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Port Láirge
Motto: Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia  (Latin)
"Waterford remains the untaken city"
Location of Waterford
centerMap highlighting Waterford
Irish grid reference
Province: Munster
County: County Waterford
Area: 41.58 km2
Elevation: 6 m (22 ft)

Population (2006)
 - Town:
 - Environs:


Waterford (from the Old Norse: Veðrafjǫrðr/Vedrafjord meaning "ram fjord" or "windy fjord"—Irish: Port Láirge meaning "Lárag's port")[1] is the primary city of the South East region of Ireland. Founded in 914 AD by the Vikings, it is the country's oldest city and its fifth largest. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour (Loch Dá Chaoch or Cuan Phort Láirge). The city motto Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia ("Waterford remains the untaken city") was granted by King Henry VII of England in 1497 after Waterford refused to recognise the claims of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck to the English throne.

Waterford was subjected to two sieges in 1649 and 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. It withstood the first siege but surrendered during the second siege to Henry Ireton on 6 August 1650.[2][3]

Reginald's Tower is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, and the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. To this day, it remains Waterford's most recognisable landmark. It is believed to be the first building in Ireland to use mortar.

Waterford and the River Suir by night

The population of the city in 2006 was 49,240; of which 45,775 lived within the city limits, and 3,465 lived in the suburbs in County Kilkenny.[4]

The River Suir, which flows through Waterford city, has provided a basis for the city's long maritime history. The place downriver from Waterford where the Nore and the Barrow join the River Suir is known in Irish as Cumar na dTrí Uisce ("the confluence of the three waters"). Waterford Port has been one of Ireland's major ports for over a millennium. In the 19th century shipbuilding was a major industry. The owners of the Neptune Shipyard, the Malcomson family, built and operated the largest fleet of iron steamers in the world between the mid-1850s and the late-1860s, including five trans-Atlantic passenger liners.[1]

Today, Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass making industry. Glass, or crystal, was manufactured in the city from 1783 until early 2009, when the factory there was shut down after the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood plc.[5] Waterford is the sister city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and Rochester, New York.



Main article – History of Waterford

Waterford born Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher
The quay at Waterford c. 1890–1900

Viking raiders first established a settlement at Waterford in 853. Waterford and all the other longphorts were vacated in 902, the Vikings having been driven out by the native Irish. The Vikings re-established themselves in Ireland at Waterford in 914 and built what would be Ireland's first city. A list of the city's rulers from this date to the mayors of the present day can be found in Rulers of Waterford.

In 1167, Diarmuid MacMorrough, King of Leinster, failed in an attempt to take Waterford. He returned in 1170 with Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow); together they besieged and took Waterford after a desperate defence. This was the introduction of the Anglo-Normans into Ireland. In 1171, Henry II of England landed at Waterford. Waterford and then Dublin were declared royal cities, Dublin was declared capital of Ireland.

Throughout the medieval period, Waterford was Ireland's second city after Dublin. In the 15th century Waterford repelled two pretenders to the English throne: Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. As a result, King Henry VII gave the city its motto: Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia (Waterford remains the untaken city).

After the Protestant Reformation, Waterford remained a Catholic city and participated in the confederation of Kilkenny – an independent Catholic government from 1642 to 1649. This was ended abruptly by Oliver Cromwell, who brought the country back under English rule; his nephew Henry Ireton finally took Waterford in 1650 after a major siege.[12]

The 18th century was a period of huge prosperity for Waterford. Most of the city's best architecture appeared during this time. In the 19th century, great industries such as glass making and ship building thrived in the city.

In the early 1800s, Waterford City was deemed vulnerable and the British government erected three Martello towers on the Hook Peninsula to reinforce the existing Fort at Duncannon.

The city was represented in the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1891 to 1918 by John Redmond MP, leader (from January 1900) of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Redmond, then leader of the pro-Parnell faction of the party, defeated David Sheehy in 1891.

In 1911, Br. Jerome Foley, Br. Dunstan Drumm and Br. Leopold Loughran left Waterford for Malvern, Australia. Here, they founded a Catholic college which is still in existence today.[13]

In July 1922, Waterford was the scene of fighting between Irish Free State and Irish Republican troops during the Irish Civil War.

Places of interest

A view from The Quays: "The Three Sisters" mix near the city before flowing into the harbour.

The old city of Waterford consists of various cultural quarters. The oldest is what has been referred to as the Viking triangle. This is the part of the city surrounded by the original 10th century fortifications, which is triangular in shape with its apex at Reginald's tower. Though this was once the site of a thriving Viking city, the city centre has shifted to the west over the years, and it is now a quiet and tranquil area, dominated by narrow streets, medieval architecture, and civic spaces. Over the past decade, a number of restaurants have opened in High Street and Henrietta Street, taking advantage of the charming character of the area. Much of Waterford's impressive architecture is to be found in the Viking triangle.

In the 15th century, the city was enlarged with the building of an outer wall on the west side. Today Waterford retains more of its city walls than any other city in Ireland with the exception of Derry, whose walls were built much later. Tours of Waterford's city walls are conducted daily.

The Quay, once termed by historian Mark Girouard 'the noblest quay in Europe', is a mile long from Grattan Quay to Adelphi Quay, though Adelphi Quay is now a residential area. It is still a major focal point for Waterford, commercially and socially, and the face that Waterford presents to those traveling into the city from the north. Near Reginald's Tower is the William Vincent Wallace Plaza, a monument and amenity built around the time of the millennium that commemorates the Waterford born composer.

John Roberts Square is a pedestrianised area that is one of the main focal points of Waterford's modern day commercial centre.

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Barronstrand Street, Waterford

It was named after the city's most celebrated architect, John Roberts, and was formed from the junction of Barronstrand Street, Broad Street and George's Street. It is often referred to locally as Red Square, due to the red paving that was used when the area was first pedestrianised. A short distance to the east of John Roberts Square is Arundel Square, another square with a fine commercial tradition, which the City Square shopping centre opens onto.

Ballybricken, in the west, just outside the city walls, is thought to have been Waterford's Irishtown, a type of settlement that often formed outside Irish cities to house the Vikings and Irish that had been expelled during the Norman conquest of Ireland. Ballybricken is an inner city neighbourhood with a long tradition, centred around Ballybricken hill, which was a large, open market-square. Today it has been converted into a green, civic space, but the Bull Post, where livestock was once bought and sold, still stands as a remnant of the hill's past.

The Mall is a fine Georgian thoroughfare, built by the Wide Streets Commission in order to extend the city southwards. It contains some of the city's finest Georgian architecture. The People's Park, Waterford's largest and finest park, is located nearby.

Ferrybank in Co Kilkenny is Waterford city's only suburb north of the river. It contains a village centre of its own. Kilkenny Co Council have granted permission for a number of major retail developments in Ferrybank. One has been completed and the second is currently under construction and due to be completed in January 2009.

In April 2003 an important site combining a 5th century Iron Age and 9th century Viking settlement was discovered at Woodstown near the city, which appears to have been a Viking town that predates all such settlements in Ireland.[14]

Scotch Quay, Waterford



Poet Seán Dunne was born in Waterford in 1956 and grew up in St John's Park. He attended Mount Sion CBS in Barrack Street and wrote with affection of the city in his memoir "My Father's House".


Waterford Museum of Treasures, in the Granary on Merchant's Quay, is the city's foremost museum, housing a collection spanning over 1,000 years of the city's history.[15] Reginald's Tower, the oldest urban civic building in the country, is situated on the Quays/The Mall, in Waterford. It has performed numerous functions over the years and today is a civic museum.

There is a new museum at Mount Sion (Barrack Street) dedicated to the story of Brother Edmund Ignatius Rice and the history of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. Along with the museum there is a cafe and a new chapel. The new museum was designed by Janvs Design[16]

Art galleries

The Waterford Municipal Art Gallery has been housed in Greyfriars since 2001. It is the permanent home for the Municipal Art Collection, "A Gem Among Municipal Collections", over 200 paintings by Irish and International artists, including pieces from renowned artists such as Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Charles Lamb and Louis Le Brocquy.

Garter Lane Arts Centre is located in two separate restored buildings on O'Connell Street. A new contemporary gallery called Soma opened in 2009 on the Mall.


The Theatre Royal,[17] on The Mall, was built in 1876, as part of a remodelled section of City Hall. It is a U-shaped, Victorian theatre, seating about 600 people.

Garter Lane Arts Centre[18] is housed in two conserved 18th century buildings on O'Connell Street. Garter Lane Gallery, the 18th century townhouse of Samuel Barker contains the gallery and the Bausch & Lomb Dance Studio, and Garter Lane Theatre is based in the beautiful Quaker Meeting House, built in 1792. The theatre was renovated and restored in 2006 and now contains a 164 seat auditorium.

Waterford also has three theatre companies: Red Kettle, Spraoi and Waterford Youth Arts.

Red Kettle[19] is a professional theatre company based in Waterford that regularly performs in Garter Lane Theatre.

Spraoi[20 ] is a street theatre company based in Waterford. It produces the Spraoi festival, and has participated regularly in the Waterford and Dublin St. Patrick's day parades, often winning best float. In January 2005 the company staged its biggest and most prestigious production to date, "Awakening", the Opening Show for Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture.

Waterford Youth Arts (WYA),[21] formerly known as Waterford Youth Drama, was established in August 1985. WYA has grown from the voluntary efforts of two individuals and 25 young people, to a fully structured youth arts organisation with a paid staff and 400 young people taking part each week.


The Spraoi festival,[20 ] organised by the Spraoi theatre company, is held in Waterford during the summer each year. It attracts crowds in the region of anywhere up to 80,000 people.

The Waterford International Festival of Light Opera[22] is an annual event that has been held in the Theatre Royal since 1959.

The Tall Ships festival, held in Waterford in 2005, marked the start of the Tall Ships race of that year. The Suir river provided a perfect berthing location for the numerous tall ships that lined the north and south quays, for almost a week. The festival attracted in the region of 450,000 people to the city in what was the biggest event ever held in Waterford or the south east. On 27 March 2007, it was confirmed that Waterford will host the start of the Tall Ships race again in 2011. Starting from Waterford, Ireland the fleet will race to Greenock in Scotland, starting mid-late June 2011 (exact date to be confimed).

There are two Arts Festivals of note in the city; The Imagine Arts Festival in October and The Fringe Arts Festival in September.


Waterford Film For All (WFFA)[23] is a non-profit film society whose aim is to offer an alternative to the cineplex experience in Waterford. WFFA conduct much of its activities on the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) campus.

Waterford city has two cinemas. The older of the two, now closed, was the five-screen Waterford Cineplex on Patrick St.,[24] which was the city's only cinema for many years. The other is the eight-screen Storm Cinema in the Railway Square complex.[25]

Also, situated in Dungarvan is the SGC cinema, one of the few cinemas in Ireland that has 3D capabilities.


There are three public libraries in the city, all operated by Waterford City Council: Central Library, in Lady Lane; Ardkeen Library, in the Ardkeen shopping centre on the Dunmore Road; and Brown's Road Library, on Paddy Brown's Road.

Central Library, or Waterford City Library, opened in 1905. It was the first of many Irish libraries funded by businessman Andrew Carnegie (Carnegie funded 2,509 libraries across the world). It was renovated in 2004 for its centenary.



Waterford United is a team in the League of Ireland First Division. Waterford United's origins are as Waterford Football Club which was formed in 1930 and joined the League of Ireland the same year. The Club which changed its name to United in 1982 played its games in the city's greyhound racing stadium at Kilcohan Park. At the end of the 1992/93 season, the Club were granted the use of the Regional Sports Centre, due to the absence of owning their own pitch. The Club has had mixed fortunes through its history, success peaking in a near decade spell of domination of the domestic game between 1965 and 1973 which led to games being played at European level against teams that included Manchester United and Celtic. The club's last trophy win was the First Division in 2003. Since then Waterford United has bounced between the two League of Ireland divisions changing managers frequently.

Successful Waterford born or raised football players include Jim Beglin, John O'Shea and Daryl Murphy. There is a common misconception that Stephen Hunt was born in Waterford but he was actually born in Co Laois. He was however raised from a young age in the Rathgormack area of east Waterford along with his brother Noel Hunt.


Mount Sion GAA is a local Gaelic Athletic Association club. Other clubs include: Erin's Own GAA (Waterford), De La Salle, and Ballygunner GAA.


The skate scene in Waterford has grown substantially in the past 15 years. Two skate parks have been built recently, one in Tramore and one in the Peoples Park.


Waterford Boat Club is the oldest active sports club in Waterford established in 1878. Located on Scotch Quay the club has had great success in recent years with several national championships and numerous medals in Europe. Several Waterford rowers have been selected to row for Ireland recently.


Waterford City has 15 elected representatives (councillors) who sit on Waterford City Council. The city is divided into 3 "wards" (or areas) and residents in these areas are restricted to voting for candidates located in their ward for local elections. A mayor is then elected by the councillors every year. The current Mayor of Waterford is Cllr John Halligan.

Mary O'Halloran who was mayor during 2007/2008 was the first woman to hold the post.

The office of the Mayor of Waterford was established 1377. Each major is elected for a one year term, and there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve. See rulers of Waterford.

For general elections, the city is part of the Waterford constituency, which covers the whole county and has been allocated four seats in Dáil Éireann. There are no such ward restrictions for these elections and voters are entitled to vote for any candidate throughout the city and county.



Waterford Local Radio (WLR FM) is available on 94.8FM on the Coast, 95.1FM in the County and on 97.5FM in Waterford City WLR FM is Waterford's local radio station. It serves a potential audience of 170,000 people, and 75% of all adults in Waterford tune in weekly.

Beat 102-103 is a regional youth radio station broadcasting across the South East of Ireland, it is based at "The Broadcast Centre" in Ardkeen, along with sister station WLR FM. It serves a population of about 450,000, and in August 2006 it had a 49% share of the south east market.


Radio Telefís Éireann's south eastern studio is located in the City Square shopping centre, in the city. The local correspondents are Damien Tiernan (South East Correspondent) and Helen McInerny (South East Reporter).

Waterford Report[26] is a once weekly television programme on City Channel covering local news in Waterford. It is now presented by Mark Staunton. It is available only on cable and mmds from NTL (Channel 107). The programme is repeated twice every day. The service began on 1 November 2006, and broadcasts to homes across Waterford City and County. Previous presenters include: Aoibhin Fallon (WLR FM), Mary O'Neill and Janice Corrigan (Beat 102 103, WLR FM).

Print media

The Munster Express is Waterford's only remaining broadsheet format newspaper. It has its office on the Quay in Waterford City and covers stories from across the city and county.

The Waterford News & Star is based on Michael Street in Waterford City. It covers Waterford city and county. It is now published in tabloid format.

Waterford Today is an advertising supported free newspaper. It is delivered to most homes in the Waterford city area and is also available in many shops across the east of the county. Its newly refurbished offices are at the Mayors Walk in the city.

The Munster Express, Waterford News and Star and Waterford Today are in the shops on Wednesdays. The Munster Express "Late Edition" comes out on Fridays.


The city is served by 21 primary schools[27] and 9 secondary schools.[28]

There are two third level institutions in Waterford: Waterford Institute of Technology, which is currently being considered for university status[29] and the Waterford College of Further Education.[30] Waterford is the only city in the Republic of Ireland without a National University.

The Quaker co-educational boarding school, Newtown School is situated in Waterford, east of the city centre.

Waterpark College is a secondary school in the city of Waterford, Ireland. The school was established in 1892 on the banks of the River Suir as Waterfords' first classical school, and still provides a secondary education to boys from Waterford City, County and the surrounding area.

Transport and infrastructure

An orange train can be seen across a river. In the background is a large hill and the bearing post of a big single post suspension bridge.
The train heading Dublin direction a few hundred yards from the Waterford station

Waterford currently provides access to five primary means of transport; Road, Rail, Bus, Air and Sea.


Waterford is connected to other urban centres via the N9 to Dublin, the N25 to Cork (westbound) and Rosslare (eastbound) and the N24 to Limerick.

On the 19 October 2009, the Waterford City Bypass opened to traffic. The bypass is a toll road and consits of 23 km (14 mi) of dual carriageway and 14 km (9 mi) of single carriageway. Beginning at Kilmeaden to the west of the city, it passes the Woodstown historic settlement, before crossing the River Suir via 475m long cable-stayed River Suir Brige between Gracedieu (Co. Waterford) and Grannagh (Co. Kilkenny). The N25 meets the N9 and N24 at the Grannagh interchange, before joining the existing N25 east of Slieverue. The bypass connects to the Outer Ring Road and the old N25 via a road known as the Western Link.


The main railway station servicing Waterford city is Plunkett (named in honour of nationalist leader Joseph Plunkett). It is located across Edmund Rice bridge on the north side of the Suir. Waterford railway station opened on 26 August 1864.[31]

There are seven daily connections to Dublin; four daily connections to Limerick Junction; and one direct daily connection each way to Rosslare Europort and onwards to Wexford and Enniscorthy. There are no direct passenger services between Waterford and Cork since the Waterford to Mallow line closed to passengers in 1967. A change at Limerick Junction allows passengers to join the Dublin-Cork line. There is a direct line between Waterford and Limerick, but passengers must change at Limerick Junction on all services. There is also a direct line to Rosslare Europort. The Waterford to Ballinacourty railway, part of the Mallow branch, was preserved to allow for freight to be transported from Quigley Magnesite. The line shut in 1982 with the shock closure of Quigley Magnesite and the line was finally lifted in 1993.

The line to New Ross closed to passengers in 1964 and to freight rail in 1976. The Waterford to Tramore Railway closed in 1961.

The Waterford & Suir Valley Railway[32] follows 6 km of the old Waterford to Dungarvan/Cork route on a narrow gauge line. It is a heritage route that runs between Waterford and Kilmeaden. The panoramic views from this line are considered to be exceptional.


Bus services are provided by Bus Éireann to all major Irish centres, and by J.J. Kavanagh & Sons[33] to locations such as Dublin and Carlow. The Bus Éireann station is located on the quays opposite Dooleys Hotel and J.J. Kavanagh & Sons stop at both the Bus Éireann station and on Parnell Street. Bus Éireann have ten daily services to Dublin Monday to Saturday with five on a Sunday. J.J. Kavanagh & Sons have ten daily departures to Dublin Monday to Saturday and nine on a Sunday.

City bus services are provided by Bus Éireann and by J.J. Kavanagh & Sons.[34]


Waterford Airport,[35] serves Waterford and the south east region. Aer Arann is currently the only carrier operating out of the airport. It is currently possible to fly between Waterford and Birmingham, London Luton and Manchester in the UK. From 1 May 2008, summer flights will resume to Lorient (France), Bordeaux (France), Faro (Portugal), Malaga (Spain) and Amsterdam. All users of the airport are subject to a €5 tax which must be paid in cash. Waterford Airport is currently extending its runway and building a new terminal. It can handle 1 million a year.

There is an air sea rescue service operating out of Waterford Airport from a dedicated Irish Coastguard base.[36] This operation is currently contracted to a private operator, CHC Ireland. Rescue cover is provided by a Sikorsky S-61. A reserve S-61 helicopter is also based here. Waterford airport is also the base of the Pilot Training College, which trains pilots up to and including commercial pilot rating.


The Port of Waterford is a major Irish port and the closest one to mainland Europe. The port is on the River Suir, at Belview, County Kilkenny, 16 km (10 miles) from the open sea. It handles lo-lo, bulk liquid, bulk solid and breakbulk or general cargoes. It is the fastest growing port in Ireland. In 2005, 776 vessels called at the port carrying a total of 2.6 million tonnes of cargo. Container throughput in 2005 was 137,453 laden 6 m (20 ft) equivalent units. Waterford is also a port of call for many cruise liners. The famous Queen Elizabeth 2 has visited while many small liners can make it up river to the inner port in the heart of the city. The port hosted the Tall Ships race in 2005 and will do so again in 2011.

The closest passenger port is Rosslare Europort in County Wexford [37] (72 km (45 miles) away by road), which has services to Fishguard, Pembroke Dock, Cherbourg, Roscoff and Le Havre.


Waterford, Ireland (XXXX–XXXX)
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm

International relations

Twin towns—sister cities

Waterford is twinned with:

Country City County / District / Region / State / Province
Canada Canada St. John's Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Newfoundland and Labrador
United States United States Rochester Flag of New York.svg New York
France France Saint-Herblain Pays de la Loire Pays de la Loire

See also



Additional reading

  • Shipbuilding in Waterford 1820–1882, by Bill Irish, ISBN 1 86985791 7
  • History of Waterford, by Joseph Hansard, ISBN 0 9532022 0 8


  1. ^ a b Discover Waterford, by Eamon McEneaney (2001). (ISBN 0-86278-656-8)
  2. ^ A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign, by Philip McKeiver (2007). (ISBN 978-0-9554663-0-4)
  3. ^ Discover Waterford, by Eamon McEneaney (2001). (ISBN 0-86278-656-8)
  4. ^ Census 2006: Population classified by area –
  5. ^,but Reopens again in the Viking Quarter of Waterford City in June of 2010 after the intervention of Waterford City Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce. Also included in the launch of Waterfords Viking Triangle with be the "undercroft" of The Bishops Palace, a Medevial escape route from the City, and the award winning Waterford Museum of Treasures.
  6. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14 1865.
  7. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". in Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.  
  11. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November), "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850", The Economic History Review Volume 37 (Issue 4): 473–488, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x,  
  12. ^ A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign, by Philip McKeiver (2007). (ISBN 978-0-9554663-0-4)
  13. ^ Steve Stefanopolous, St. Joseph's Malvern, 2003. Held by the De La Salle College Malvern Archives
  14. ^ 9th Century Settlement found at Woodstown –
  15. ^ Waterford Treasures Official Site
  16. ^
  17. ^ The Theatre Royal Official Homepage
  18. ^ The Garter Lane Arts Centre Official Homepage
  19. ^ Red Kettle Official Homepage
  20. ^ a b Spraoi Official Homepage
  21. ^ Waterford Youth Arts Official Homepage
  22. ^ Waterford International Festival Of Light Opera Official Homepage
  23. ^ WFFA – Waterford Film For All
  24. ^ Waterford Cineplex page at Go Ireland
  25. ^ Storm Cinemas – Waterford
  26. ^ Waterford Reports Page on
  27. ^ Primary Schools in Waterford City- Education Ireland
  28. ^ Secondary Schools in Waterford City- Education Ireland
  29. ^ Waterford Institute Of Technology Official Homepage
  30. ^ Waterford College of Further Education Official Homepage
  31. ^ "Waterford ststion" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  
  32. ^ The Waterford & Suir Valley Railway Official Homepage
  33. ^
  34. ^ Coach Hire, Bus Hire, Mini Bus Hire, Travel Tours around Ireland with J.J. Kavanagh and Sons, Minibus Hire, Dublin Airport Coach and bus timetables
  35. ^ Waterford Airport Official Homepage
  36. ^ CHC Ireland
  37. ^ Rosslare Europort official homepage

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Waterford City at night as seen from Ferrybank in 2006
Waterford City at night as seen from Ferrybank in 2006
For other places with the same name, see Waterford (disambiguation).

Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland famous for its crystal ware and intriguing medieval history. Located on the River Suir, Waterford was once one of the most important European ports in times past. Today, Waterford still maintains its 'small Irish town' feel, and has a much more relaxed vibe than the larger cities, whilst still providing for most traveler's tastes. Appealing most, perhaps, to interests including history, culture, music and arts. Waterford, like most Irish towns, has a lot of pubs.



Waterford is in the south-east of Ireland on the River Suir, and close to where the Suir, Barrow and Nore enter into the sea. Most of Waterford City itself is on the southern side of the river, Ferrybank being the only suburb on the north. The South Quay (once dubbed 'The Noblest Quay in Europe') is a mile long and provides the perfect entrance to the city.

Being a medieval town, the city itself has sprawled over other fully functional villages over the many generations of its existence. Most (if not all) of these villages have kept their own village centres and attitudes,which provides the city with numerous cultural quarters. The oldest of these is the Viking triangle near Reginald's tower. Narrow laneways, tranquil surroundings and late-night dining have made this spot very popular with visitors. The architecture in the area is also some of the finest in the city.

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Barronstrand Street, Waterford
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Barronstrand Street, Waterford

After a Norman conquest, as Waterford grew, the city walls were extended west. A large portion of these walls still stand today, and tours are run regularly. Inside the Norman quarter (opposite the Clock Tower on the Quay) is the pedestrianised John Roberts Square, and Arundel Square. These are two of the main social and commercial hubs in the city.

Just outside the walls is Ballybricken, one of the many inner-city villages in Waterford. The centre has been converted into a public green area with a bandstand and many benches for those tired from walking the hill. Being an old farmers community, Ballybricken is known locally for having some of the finest produce and butcher shops in the city. Waterford city Garda station is also located on Ballybricken.

When to visit

Waterford has a wet and windy climate like most of Ireland almost all year round. The summers are mild, but absolutely no guarantee of good weather. Heavy rain is common in the Winter, and snow is rare. Bring your umbrella and don't let it put you off, there are plenty of scenic shelters in the city. One of the finest is the William Vincent Wallace Plaza on the Quay.

Get in

By car

Waterford City is located 65km (40 miles) west of Wexford, 53km (33 miles) west of Rosslare Harbour, 158km (98 miles) southwest of Dublin, 126km (78 miles) east of Cork, and 153km (95 miles) southeast of Shannon Airport. Waterford is reachable from anywhere in Ireland by road.

By plane

Waterford airport is 6km south of the City, and can be reached from certain locations in the UK, Europe (during the Summer) and other major Irish airports. Aer Arann [1] have daily flights to London-Luton airport, as well as several times weekly flights to Birmingham and Manchester. There are also summer time flights to Lorient (Brittany). The Airport runs four services a week to Amsterdam and several flights to Bordeaux. Waterford is also ideally located between Dublin and Cork and therefore has access to both airports for long distance flights.

By boat

The nearest ferrypoint to Waterford is in Rosslare. It is a short journey from Rosslare to Waterford. Rosslare is accessible by Fishguard and Pembroke (Wales). You can connect at Rosslare and get a bus directly to Waterford City.

By train

Plunkett Railway Station is the main train station in Waterford. It is on the the north side of the river. You can travel anywhere in Ireland on the rail network [2]. Plunkett Station is outdated, and as the large signs posted over the entire building suggest, due an upgrade. Don't hang around wondering where the services are and just start your trek across the bridge.

By bus

Bus Eireann [3] provide the State bus service in Ireland. The main Bus Terminal is located right in the heart of the city. Bus services run from all major cities and smaller towns into Waterford and is probably the easiest and least expensive way to travel to the city.

Get around

By foot

Waterford remains a small city keeping it's medievel feel. The city centre is easily travelled on foot, as the centre itself is pedestrianised. Leave the car behind, you'll likely save time by walking! Also worth noting is that Waterford is infamously known for it's steep urban hills. Don't be afraid to take advantage of the many public benches around.

  • Bus Éireann provide the major local bus service in the city. Connecting you to all suburbs (including regular services to Tramore) and quarters of the city itself.
  • Rapid Express (or J.J Kavanagh & Sons Coaches [4]) also offer a local service, concentrating mainly on Ferrybank and Dunmore Road locations to and from the centre.

By taxi

Taxis and Hackney Cabs are available in Waterford. Taxis can be hailed down in the street however hackney cabs must be booked from offices. Costs are measured by distance. Taxis have a metre. If you have to be somewhere at a particular time, it is wise to book in advance as offices can be quite busy.

  • Rapid Cabs 051 858585 Major carrier in the city. Serve all surrounding areas.

By car

Whilst travelling to Waterford by car is easy, travelling around the city by car is not recommended. The city centre is almost entirely pedestrianised, and in the narrower streets during peak times, your car horn will fall on deaf ears. This is truly a walker's city! Vehicle hire is readily available but make advance reservation particularly during main holidays periods. As with rental anywhere, make sure you have a current driving license.

  • Budget Southeast [5] Car rentals in South-East Ireland.


With its diverse range of attractions, Waterford City, County and sorounding areas of the South East appeals to a wide sector of the tourism pie with its numerous museums, architecture, historical sites and its endless variety of good restaurants, clubs, international cultural and social events, and even modern art galleries.

From the Waterford Crystal tour
From the Waterford Crystal tour

Coastal highlights south of Waterford include Dunmore East, a picturesque fishing village; Dungarvan, a major town with a fine harbor; Ardmore, an idyllic beach resort; and Passage East, a tiny seaport from which you can catch a ferry across the harbor and cut your driving time from Waterford to Wexford in half. Of all the coastal towns in County Waterford, Ardmore stands out as the perfect getaway. It has a beautiful and important early Christian site, a pristine Blue Flag beach, a stunning cliff walk, a fine craft shop, an excellent restaurant, comfortable seaside accommodations, and a quaint town recently named Ireland's tidiest. Portally Cove, near Dunmore East, is the home of Ireland's only Amish-Mennonite community.

In northwest County Waterford, the Comeragh Mountains [6] provide many opportunities for beautiful walks, including the short trek to Mahon Falls. These mountains also have highly scenic roads for biking. Farther west, there's great fishing and bird-watching on the Blackwater estuary.

Waterford Crystal [7] is a famous export of this city. Glass is hand blown and hand cut in the Waterford Crystal factory situated about 10 minutes from the centre of the City. The factory tour is well worth it if you have an hour to spare. See the master craftsmen at work on one of the factory tours. Many famous designers have contributed to the collections ranging from glass tumblers to chandeliers. Tours of the factory run every 15-20 minutes.

Discover the Viking and Norman heritage of the city on one of the walking tours including a visit to the famous Reginald's Tower and the ancient city walls.

Reginald's Tower on the Quay, Ireland's oldest civic building
Reginald's Tower on the Quay, Ireland's oldest civic building
  • The Waterford Treasures Museum [8] located in the old Granary building on the Hanover Street junction of the Quay, holds thousands of artefacts from archaelogical digs that have uncovered Waterford's rich heritage and tell the story of Ireland's oldest city.
  • Reginald's Tower named after the city's founder, Regnall, is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, and the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. The tower now serves as a museum displaying pieces on the history of Waterford and the tower itself. Reginald's tower is hard to miss, opposite the William Vincent Wallace Plaza on the Quays.
  • Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre [9] on Barrack Street is dedicated to the memory of Brother Edmund Rice, founder of the Presentation and Christian Brothers.
  • A blaa A floury bread bun unique to this area of Ireland.
  • Café Lucia 2 Arundel Square, Tel: 051 825553 A lovely little café in a small laneway, Cafe Lucia is the best in the city. Enjoy sumptuous food and decadent hot drinks. Located in the centre of the city, it is perfect for a cup of coffee or lunch in the middle of your sightseeing.
  • Bodéga, 54 John Street (City centre in entertainment hub), 051 844177, [10]. 12- 10.30PM Mon to sat closed Sunday. Located in the hub of Waterford's nightlife, this very fine bistro/wine bar offers a fabulous range of dishes prepared by their three French chefs. Seafood a speciality. This alternative, informal late-night wine bar has a truly Latin feel, with a full licence serving wines, beers & spirits. Awards include; Bridgestone 05, Guardian, Time Out... Maincourse 15-27 euro.  edit
  • The Brasserie Arundel Square, Tel: 051 857774 For great service & great food in a relaxed informal atmosphere, the Brasserie is definitely the place. Located in the very heart of the city, take time to relax with friends over a good meal. Full range of wines & beers to compliment a delicious selection of dishes.
  • The Cottage Bistro Cheekpoint, Tel: 051 380854 Email: [] Aidan and Marian McAlpin opened the Cottage Bistro in March 2003. It's reasonably priced menu and wine list, together with a light hearted atmosphere made it an initial hit with people from Waterford and abroad.Situated in the picturesque village of Cheekpoint, seven miles east of the historic city of Waterford. Cheekpoint is a small 17th century fishing village situated where the three rivers: the Suir, the Nore, and the Barrow meet. Open Tuesday to Saturday (6PM-9.45PM). All Bank Holiday Mondays. Sundays from June to August.
  • The Dry Dock Bar at Dooley’s Hotel, The Quay, Tel: 051 873531 Web: [] Conventiently located in the City Centre. Rich in character comfort and style. Enjoy the dining experience. Carvery Lunch served from 12.30 - 2.30PM followed by an a la Carte Menu until 8PM. Tradition Irish music on Monday and Wednesday nights during the summer. Irish stew on Wednesday nights until 8PM. Contact Dooley's Hotel 051-873531.
  • Espresso Parnell Street, Tel: 051 874141 Web: [] Espresso is an Italian run Pizza / Pasta restaurant at Parnell Street in the heart of John’s Street Village. The menu is inexpensive and includes lots of Pasta, Homemade Burgers, Salads and probably the best Pizza in the country. The house wine comes by the litre and the beer comes by the pitcher. The style is informal, the music is loud and the prices are cheap. Espresso is open from Tuesday to Sunday for Lunch & Dinner. We also do Pizza & Pasta to take out.
  • Haricots Wholeford restaurant 11 O'Connell St Tel: 051 841299 Haricots is a family run wholefood restaurant serving homemade meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan dishes in warm, friendly & relaxed surroundings. Using only the finest ingredients. Haricots offers a menu which also caters for extra-dietary requirements, ie. neutron friendly, gluten free, etc. Open 9AM-8PM (last orders) Mon-Sat. Full menu served all day also morning coffees, afternoon teas, juices, homemade soups & desserts throughout the day.
  • Jade Palace 4 The Mall Tel: 051 855611 Fine traditional Chinese restaurant in the heart of the city Wide variety of Chinese, Thai, European & Seafood dishes available. Relax & enjoy a splendid meal in the restaurant or alternatively enjoy the barfood menu in the fully licensed bar - Monday - Sunday from 5 - 8PM. Monday - Friday 12.30 - 2.30PM. Evening meals Monday - Saturday 5.00 - 11.30. Sunday 12.30 - 11.00PM.
  • Kambo The Brasscock Centre, Dunmore Road, Tel: 051 870727 A delightful Thai restaurant serving the best Oriental dishes. All dishes freshly prepared to traditional recipes using only the best seafood, meats and vegetables. Excellent selection of wines & bottled beers. Book now for special occasions & dinner parties. Free Car Parking.
  • Kong's Chinese Restaurant Glenville Centre, Dunmore East Rd. (behind StatOil Garage) Tel: 051 843082 A genuine Chinese experience in style & taste. Enjoy the authentic flavours and spices of oriental cuisine, in a cool and comfortable setting. A fine selection of wines & bottled beers. Open 12:30PM - 2:30PM and 5PM-12PM.
  • La Bohème 2 George’s St., Tel: 051 875645 Be transported in time and enjoy innovative French Food in the vaulted elegance of this beautiful restaurant, carved from the cellars of one of the oldest houses in Georgian Waterford. 7 Course Tasting Menu a Speciality. [Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 5.30-10.30PM; Saturday 6- 10.30PM; 3 Course Table d’Hote Menu Monday-Friday from 5.30-7PM for ?28 per person.] Proprietors: Eric and Christine Theze.
  • La Palma - Ristorante Italiano 20 The Mall, Tel: 051 879823 Visit La Palma’s striking new location at No. 20 The Mall in a beautifully restored Georgian building. Set over two levels La Palma now offers a private dining room & Cocktail Bar with an enclosed heated Terrace. Bridgestone Recommended. Open for lunch Monday - Friday 12.30 to 2.30PM & dinner Monday - Saturday from 5.30PM. Closed Sundays.
  • Savannah Steak House 8 Mary St., Tel: 051 875880 Savannah is one of Waterford’s first Specialist Steak Houses, located in Mary Street, (by the Guinness Brewery), it offers an a La Carte menu with a wide choice of flamed grilled Steaks to suit everyone’s taste, as well as a fine selection of seafood. Savannah Steak House is a stylish African/Savannah themed restaurant with a comfortable setting and friendly atmosphere. The Restaurant can seat up to 68 people, and caters for large & small parties with bar & wine licence. A visit to Savannah Steak House is highly recommended. Booking advisable. Children & Vegetarian menus available. [Mon-Sun 5.30-10PM; Lunch: Sun 12.30-3PM; Early Bird Menu: 5.30-7PM (Mon-Thurs)]
  • The Wine Vault. High Street, Tel: 051 853444 Web: [12]. Find an excellent selection of quality meat and vegetarian dishes as well as freshly caught seafood offered daily. The warm cheerful restaurant makes a perfect setting for a fun relaxing meal. For quieter romantic dinners, a candlelit table in the historic wine vault below can be arranged.
  • Zaks at Athenaeum House Hotel Christendom, Ferrybank, Tel: 051 833999 Athenaeum's signature restaurant Zaks, overlooking Waterford city, offers superb cuisine in chic & elegant surroundings. An ideal venue for entertaining friends, associates or simply a get away from the stress of everyday life. Zaks is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner with music from their resident pianist every Saturday night.
  • Geoffs on Michael Street is a popular location with the alternative crowd. Impossible to find a seat after 9 on the weekends. Good drinks and loud music without being too imposing. Geoffs has an amazing arty interior and a large sheltered and heated smoking area.
  • T & H Doolans [13] on Georges Street is a 'true' Irish experience. A real traditional tavern, located in a tranquil and quiet part of the city's nightlife, the sound of bodhrán and fiddle can be heard far up the alleyways on the approach. A must for any visit to the city.
  • Downse's Pub on Thomas Street (between the Quays and the Glen) is Waterford's oldest pub and still today remains a clock-ticking pub. Conversation is the music of this pub and it attracts the most unique characters from all over the city. Please switch off the ring-tones on your mobile (cell) phone as this is frowned upon.
  • The Forum [14] in the Glen is a bit out of the way from the normal nightlife hub, but is one of the major gathering points for the 'alternative' crowd in the city. They run a popular indie nightclub every Thursday and Saturday night. The main floor is normally open for techno nights, but still attracts an unusual crowd due to it's location. They also host live bands and theatre productions.
  • Harveys on Manor st play a mix of mainstream pop music from every era. Is nearly always packed. Popular venue, It's located right in the middle of the nightlife so get there early if you plan on sitting down. Harveys do cater for an older crowd, 21+, but still the club hosts a student night on a Wednesday.
  • Oxegen and Ruby's are two night clubs situated on the corner of Parnell st. and John st. these play the usual nightclub music and are populated by the younger mainly student crowd.
  • Ramada Viking Hotel Waterford, Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland, +353 51 336933, [15]. Ramada Viking Hotel is a comfortable modern 3 star hotel in Waterford City with free parking, business facilities and much more.
  • Waterford Castle, [16]
  • Dunbrody Country House, [17]
  • Marlfield House, [18]
  • Whites hotel, [19]
  • Whitford House Hotel, [20]
  • The Fitzwilton Hotel , [21]
  • Majestic Hotel Tramore Waterford (Majestic Hotel Tramore Waterford), Tramore, Waterford (From Dublin, take the N11 to Waterford and R675 to Tramore), +353 (0)51 381 761, [22]. checkin: 16:00; checkout: 12:00. Majestic Hotel Tramore, Waterford on the Waterford Coast overlooking Tramore Bay.  edit
  • Athenaeum House Hotel (Athenaeum), Ferrybank, Waterford, 051 833999, [23]. checkin: 2.00PM; checkout: 12.00PM. 4 Star Boutique hotel set on the banks of the River Suir overlooking Waterford City and Harbour. It has 29 bedrooms including 4 suites, award winning restaurant, bar and lounge, terrace overlooking the city. from E50pps.  edit
  • The Comeragh Mountains are one of Ireland's best kept secrets. Here you will find hill walks of all kinds with spectacular views, hidden lakes, pretty valleys, wild waterfalls and rocky crags. Some of the larger tracks are suitable for mountain biking. Powers the Pot camp site high in the Comeragh Mountains is good for camping or caravanning. They also do wonderful home cooked meals in their little bar.
  • Dunmore East is a working fishing village about 10 miles from Waterford City. With views across to Hook head, the scenery can be breathtaking. Dunmore East was recently (2005) home to one of the main events of the 2005 Tall Ships Race. The start of the race was hosted by Waterford City, with the bay around Dunmore East holding over 50 antique tall ships. Well worth a visit to anyone who goes to the south-east of Ireland.
  • The coast of Waterford is scenic and varied and is still very unspoiled. There are cliffs, sandy beaches and sea-caves. The stretch between the towns of Tramore and Dungarvan is called the Copper Coast. See the Copper Coast geopark website at [24].
  • Tramore, Clonea and Ardmore are known for their fine, long sandy beaches.
  • The beaches at Bonmahon, Clonea, and Dunmore East have Blue flag status


Stay Safe

The city centre is safe, both day and night, and even wandering the narrow alleyways of the old town alone is perfectly secure. The nightlife can keep certain areas near Parnell Street very busy until 5AM Thursday through Sunday, but there is normally Gardaí around (they stand out with big glow-in-the-dark coats). Tourists should maybe avoid some of the denser neighbourhood suburbs if alone at night.


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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Waterford discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. A city in Munster, Ireland
  2. A former county of Ireland, see Wikipedia:County Waterford


The city

  • Irish: Port Láirge

The county

  • Irish: Contae Phort Láirge

Derived terms

  • Waterford Crystal


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