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There are officially ten cities in Ireland, five of these in Northern Ireland and five of them in the republic (though description city may be used in relation to Kilkenny, to the extent that that description was used before 2001). The majority of these cities were established as cities before the partition of Ireland in 1921 and only in Northern Ireland have new cities been created since this partition.

Contents

Republic of Ireland

Cities in the Republic of Ireland are legally defined[1] by the Local Government Act (2001), with one historic city (Kilkenny, legally a town) permitted[2] continued ceremonial usage. Dublin is the only city named in the Constitution of Ireland; it is mentioned for the purposes of residence of the President of Ireland and the assembly of the Houses of the Oireachtas – both of which must be "in or near the City of Dublin"[3]

Five cities trace their city status to historic royal charters, Cork,[4] Dublin,[5] Limerick[6] and Waterford[7] all but Kilkenny have a city council and city limits that separate it from its surrounding county or counties. In addition, Galway was granted a charter in 1484 that, while not using the word 'city', did grant it authority to elect a mayor.[8]

Name Mayor Foundation1 Charter Local Government 2006 Population
of City2
2006 Population
of Urban area3
Dublin Lord Mayor4 917 1171 City Council 506,211 1,045,769
Cork Lord Mayor4 9155 11856 City Council 119,418 190,384
Galway7 Mayor 13968 14849 City Council 72,414 72,729
Limerick Mayor 922 1197 City Council 52,539 90,757
Waterford Mayor 914 1171 City Council 45,775 49,213

1 These dates are used as approximations of the date that the city came to be viewed as a city. Before 1171, and the advent of English rule in Ireland, cities were not declared such officially, in the form of a charter or otherwise (the equivalent cities in England being those said to have been cities 'since time immemorial'). Foundation dates for these pre-Norman cities date from the earliest, continuous Viking occupation.[9] Otherwise the charter date is given.

2 Data from census 2006.[10]

3 City plus suburbs or environs.[10]

4 The right to the title of Lord Mayor was granted to the City of Dublin in 1665 by Charles II and at the same time the style The Right Honourable was also permitted, which continued until a change in the law in 2001. The City of Cork was given the right to the title of Lord Mayor in 1900 by Victoria but the Lord Mayor has never been permitted the use of the style of The Right Honourable.

5 Exact date not known.

6 Charter granted by Prince John.[11]

7 The designation "city" was first applied by the Local Government Act 2001, on the redesignation of the county borough.

8 Charter of Richard II.[12]

9 Charter of Richard III granted Galway a mayor. However, the text refers to it being a town rather than a city.[13]

Northern Ireland

City status in Northern Ireland is granted by award by the reigning monarch of letters patent to upgrade a place to a city.

Name Mayor Foundation1 Charter Local Government 2001 Population
of City2
2001 Population
of Urban area2,3
Belfast Lord Mayor4   1888 City Council 276,459 483,4185
Derry6 Mayor 542 1604[14] City Council 83,652 90,6637
Lisburn Mayor 20028 City Council 71,465  
Newry Mayor 1144 20028 City and District Council 27,433  
Armagh Mayor   1994 City and District Council 14,950  

1 These dates are used as approximations of the date that the city came to be viewed as a city. Before 1171, and the advent of English rule in Ireland, cities were not declared such officially, in the form of a charter or otherwise (the equivalent cities in England being those said to have been cities 'since time immemorial'). Foundation dates for these pre-Norman cities date from the earliest, continuous Viking occupation.[15] Otherwise the charter date is given.

2 Data from census 2001.

3 City/Borough Council plus (contiguous) suburb population figures, available from the relevant Office for National Statistics[16] census reports.

4 The right to use the title of Lord Mayor was granted to the City of Belfast in 1892. In recognition of Belfast being the capital of the then recently created Northern Ireland, the style of The Right Honourable was permitted in 1923.

5 Greater Belfast, includes Lisburn.

6 Charter name is Londonderry, the walled city (see Plantation of Ulster).

7 Derry Urban Area.

8 Granted a charter for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Former cities

  • Kilkenny was given the status of a city by Royal Charter in 1609 by King James I of England. Kilkenny continues to be permitted to refer to itself as a city, however it does not have the same status as other cities within the state[18], and remains for historical use. In 2009 the city of Kilkenny celebrated its 400th year as a city.[19]
  • Downpatrick, County Down was recognised as the "City of Down, in Ulster" in letters of protection issued by Henry IV in 1403.[20] The corporation existed by prescription but seems to have ceased to exist by the seventeenth century, and city status was not maintained.[21]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Schedule 5 of the 2001 Act
  2. ^ Article 10 Para 6 of the Local Government Act (2001)
  3. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Articles 12.11.1 and 15.1.3 respectively
  4. ^ Cork City Council - Charters
  5. ^ Dublin City Council - Guide to Pre 1840 Collections I
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Ireland, Page 630
  7. ^ Lewis's Topographical Dictionary (Part 3) – Waterford City
  8. ^ Hardiman's History of Galway – Chapter 4: From 1484 to the commencement of the Irish Rebellion in 1641 – Charter of Richard III
  9. ^ "Viking Longphorts in Ireland". Viking Network Ireland. National Centre for Technology in Education. 2000. http://www.ncte.ie/viking/vikarch.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  10. ^ a b "Persons in each town of 1,500 population and over, distinguishing between those within legally defined boundaries and in suburbs or environs". Census 2006. Central Statistics Office. 2006. http://beyond2020.cso.ie/Census/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=1770. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  11. ^ "Charters". Cork City Council. http://www.corkcity.ie/citycouncil/charters/. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  12. ^ "Galway". A Topographical Dicionary of Ireland. Library Ireland. 1837. http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/g.php. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  13. ^ "Charter of Richard III". Hardiman's History of Galway. World Wide Web Marketing Ltd. 1995 - 2001. http://www.galway.net/galwayguide/history/hardiman/chapter4/charter_of_richard_iii.html. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  14. ^ Derry City Council - City commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the City’s first charter
  15. ^ "Viking Longphorts in Ireland". Viking Network Ireland. National Centre for Technology in Education. 2000. http://www.ncte.ie/viking/vikarch.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  
  16. ^ Office for National Statistics website
  17. ^ Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Volume I, 1837 (Library Ireland)
  18. ^ Local Government Act, 2001 (Section 10 - Local government areas.)
  19. ^ kilkenny400.ie
  20. ^ Reports from Commissioners on Municipal Corporations in Ireland. London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 1835. p. 797. http://books.google.ie/books/download/Parliamentary_papers.pdf?id=lksSAAAAYAAJ&output=pdf&sig=ACfU3U1qsk7i227jxc5S2BQfX2f9bTKbuQ. Retrieved 11 June 2009.  
  21. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1837). Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. London. http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/d2.php. Retrieved 11 June 2009.  
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