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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Derry County
Derry (Irish: Contae Dhoire) is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland in the province of Ulster in Ireland. It was named after its main town – and later city and administrative centre – Derry (Londonderry), which lies in the north-western corner of the county. It is one of four counties in Northern Ireland which presently has a majority of the population from a Catholic community background, according to the 2001 census.

The highest point in the county is the summit of Sawel Mountain (678m) on the border with County Tyrone. Sawel is part of the Sperrin Mountains, which dominate the southern part of the county. To the east and west, the land falls into the valleys of the Bann and Foyle rivers respectively; in the south-east, the county touches the shore of Lough Neagh, which is the largest lake in Ireland; the north of the county is distinguished by the steep cliffs, dune systems and remarkable beaches of the Atlantic coast.

The county is home to a number of important buildings and landscapes, including the well-preserved 17th-century city walls of Derry; the National Trust-owned Plantation estate at Springhill; the Mussenden Temple with its spectacular views of the Atlantic; the dikes, artificial coastlines and the noted bird sanctuaries on the eastern shore of Lough Foyle; and the visitor centre at Bellaghy Bawn, close to the childhood home of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. In the centre of the county are the old-growth deciduous forests at Banagher and Ness Wood, where the Burntollet River flows over the highest waterfalls in Northern Ireland.

Unlike the town, governmentally there was not a preceding administrative area called County Derry: it was established in 1613 by the government combining the former County of Coleraine with small parts of Counties Antrim, Donegal, and Tyrone at the behest of the London Livery Companies and the Irish Society (hence, London-Derry) so that they could control both banks of the mouths of the River Foyle and the River Bann and have access to sufficient wood for construction.

Administratively, the city became a separate county borough, so from the establishment of Londonderry County Council in 1899 until its abolition in 1973, the town of Coleraine was the official County Town of County Londonderry with the county council's headquarters.

In Gaelic games, the county teams wear the colours red and white. There are many club teams competing in up to five leagues and three championships. The county team has won one All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (1993) and five National League titles. Hurling is also widely played but is not as popular as football. However, the county team is generally regarded as one of the top hurling sides in Ulster and in 2006 won the Nicky Rackard Cup - the third tier hurling competition in Ireland.

In Association Football, County Derry is represented in the IFA Premiership by Coleraine F.C. and Institute F.C. Coleraine are one of the most successful provincial sides in the country. Limavady United, Portstewart and Tobermore United compete in the IFA Championship. Derry City F.C. play in the Premier Division of the FAI League of Ireland after leaving the Northern Ireland structures in 1985, having resigned from the Irish Football League at the height of The Troubles because of not being allowed play their home games at the Brandywell due to security concerns from other clubs.

Derry City
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Derry County
Place: Ulster
People: 213,000
Speak: English
Area: 2,074 km˛
GPS: -6.661, 55.133