Leinster, encompassing most of the East and the Midlands of Ireland, is Ireland's largest province. Here's an overview of the counties contained in the province and links to resources for more information.
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Leinster on the Map
The counties that are part of Leinster are Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. Meath and Westmeath once were the "Fifth Province" of Ireland, yet even without them, Leinster would have more counties than any other province. Many parts of Leinster are quite urban - but there are rural backwaters too.
Let us have a look at the Leinster counties in alphabetical order now... except for Dublin... the capital and surrounding countryside are detailed in an Introduction to County Dublin and an Introduction to Dublin City.
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Carlow is one of the most rural counties in Leinster. With a moderate size and very fertile soil, agriculture reigns here. Nonetheless, parts of Carlow are within commuting distance to Dublin, one of the reasons for the population growth of around 33% in the last twenty years.
More Information on County Carlow: An Introduction to County Carlow and Things to Do.
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Kildare has become a favorite place to commute from into Dublin. But the population growth over the last decades has not spoilt the county too much. Attractions like the Curragh, the Bog of Allen and the rivers Barrow and Liffey have not changed a lot (though the latter are cleaner now).
More Information on County Kildare: An Introduction to County Kildare
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Kilkenny is "the Marble County" - not really, it is just polished limestone, but the area is certainly worth a visit. From the old-fashioned townscape of Kilkenny with its massive castle and well-known witch to attractions that will seduce you into the middle of nowhere.
More Information on County Kilkenny: An Introduction to County KilkennyContinue to 5 of 12 below.
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Laois is a midland county of 1,719 square kilometers, the number of inhabitants grew by 54% in the last twenty years. Busy with commuters, but otherwise Laois is often regarded as being unspectacular. By the way - until 1922 it was also known as Queen's County.
More Information on County Laois: An Introduction to County Laois
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Longford is the middle of the Midlands, also a bit of the middle of nowhere somehow stuck in the bogs. But there can be had some quite charming encounters ... unless you meet "the Slashers" on a GAA playing field.
More Information on County Longford: An Introduction to County Longford
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Louth is the smallest county in Leinster and the smallest county in all Ireland as well, "the Wee County". But it packs a punch, with historic sites at Mellifont, Monasterboice, and Carlingford ... plus a resident saint in Drogheda.
More Information on County Louth: An Introduction to County Louth
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Meath is the most popular country for Dublin commuters, being situated just west of the capital. The most common county nickname is "Royal Meath", after the High Kings of Tara ... and the Boyne Valley, as well as the 1690 battle-site, have further royal connotations.
More Information on County Meath: An Introduction to County MeathContinue to 9 of 12 below.
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Offaly is in the middle of the bogs ... and home to the Biffos – but also the ancestral homeland of Barack Obama. Stargazers will head for Birr, those in search of Stars and Stripes to Moneygall and the "Barack Obama Plaza".
More Information on County Offaly: An Introduction to County Offaly
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Westmeath is the home Niall Horan (of One Direction or 1D fame), otherwise, there is not a lot to write home about. Of course, there is Fore and its wonders, and Belvedere House near Mullingar.
More Information on County Westmeath: An Introduction to County Westmeath
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Wexford (in Irish Loch Garman) is "the Model County" and home to the "Yellowbellies". It also offers a lot to discover for the tourist, who might be arriving here by ferry anyway. Rosslare is a popular port of entry.
More Information on County Wexford: An Introduction to County Wexford
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Wicklow is a huge county just south of Dublin, marketed as the "Garden County" (or even "The Garden of Ireland"). A lot of gardening, however, goes on in massive housing estates, since Dublin commuters literally invaded the tranquil foothills and coastal areas.
More Information on County Wicklow: An Introduction to County Wicklow