Waterford is a city in Ireland. It is in the South-East Region, Ireland and is part of the province of Munster. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour. It is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland. It is the eighth most populous city on the island of Ireland. Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the city. Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass-making industry. According to the 2016 Census, 53,504 people live in the city of Waterford and its suburbs.
With a population of 53,504, Waterford is the fifth most populous city in the State and the 32nd most populous area of local government.
Following the Local Government Reform Act 2014, Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the city. The authority came into operation on 1 June 2014. Prior to this the city had its own local council, Waterford City Council. The new Council is the result of a merger of Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council. The Council has 32 representatives (councillors) who are elected from five electoral areas. The city itself forms three of the electoral areas – which when combined form the Metropolitan District of Waterford – and returns a total of 18 councillors to Waterford City and County Council. Residents in these areas are restricted to voting for candidates located in their ward for local elections. The office of the Mayor of Waterford was established in 1377. A mayor is then elected by the councillors from the two electoral areas of the Metropolitan District of Waterford every year, and there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve. Mary O'Halloran who was mayor during 2007–2008 was the first woman to hold the post. The current mayor is Adam Wyse.
For the purposes of elections to Dáil Éireann, the city is part of the Waterford constituency, which includes the county of Waterford except for those parts of the county near Clonmel that lie in Tipperary South. The constituency elects four deputies to 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.
The climate of Waterford is, like the rest of Ireland, classified as a maritime temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. It is mild and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The counties in the Waterford area are often referred to as the 'Sunny Southeast'. The hottest months of the year are June, July and August with temperatures of around 17 – 22 degrees. Waterford gets rainfall all year round and the wettest months are October, November, December and January.
Waterford is the main city of Ireland's South-East Region. Historically Waterford was an important trading port which brought much prosperity to the city throughout the city's eventful history. Throughout its history Waterford Crystal provided employment to thousands in the city and surrounding areas.
Waterford Port is Ireland's closest deep-water port to mainland Europe, handling approximately 12% of Ireland's external trade by value. Waterford's most famous export, Waterford Crystal is an internationally known and highly sought after product that was manufactured in the city from 1783 to 2009 and again from 2010 to the present day. Some of the places where Waterford Crystal can be seen include New York City where Waterford Crystal made the 2,668 crystals for the famous New Year's Eve Ball that is dropped each year in Times Square, in Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle and the Kennedy Center, Washington.
Agriculture also played an important part in Waterford's economic history. Kilmeadan about 5 km from the city was also home to a very successful co-operative. The farmers of the area benefited greatly from the sale of their produce (mostly butter and milk) to the co-op. In 1964, all of the co-ops in Waterford amalgamated, and was registered as Waterford Co-op. This led to the construction of a cheese factory on a green field site opposite the general store, and Kilmeadan cheese was to become one of the most recognised and successful cheddar brands in the world. This is evident as the brand won a gold and bronze medal in the World Cheese Awards in London in 2005.
Today[when?], Waterford is the site of a number of multinational companies including GlaxoSmithkline, Bausch & Lomb, Nypro Healthcare, Sanofi, West Pharmaceuticals, Hasbro, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Honeywell International.
The Irish economic recession from 2008 onwards has had a major negative impact on Waterford's economy. A number of multinational companies have closed from the recession, including Waterford Crystal and Talk Talk, which has led to a high rate of unemployment. Until 2013 the hedge fund office of the Citibank resided here. Waterford Co-op and Avonmore Co-op have merged to form Glanbia plc.
The city is served by 21 primary schools and 9 secondary schools. There is one third level institution in Waterford: Waterford Institute of Technology, which has applied for university status. Waterford College of Further Education previously called the Central Technical Institute (CTI), is a Post Leaving Certificate institute located on Parnell Street, Waterford city. It was founded in 1906 and thus celebrated its centenary in 2005. Mount Sion Secondary and Primary School at Barrack Street were founded by Edmund Ignatius Rice and the schools have seen many prestigious pupils pass through its doors. The Quaker co-educational boarding school, Newtown School is situated in Waterford, east of the city centre.
Waterpark College is a secondary school in Waterford. 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 and girls from Waterford City, County and the surrounding area. It has only recently become a co-educational school.
De La Salle College is a secondary school in Waterford. With more than 1,000 students and over 70 staff it is the biggest in the county. It ranks as a highly sought after college within the city. Founded by the brothers of the De La Salle in 1892, it now serves as a Catholic school for boys.