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Cork, county (1991 pop. 410,369), 2,881 sq mi (7,462 sq km), SW Republic of Ireland. Cork is the county seat. Largest of the Irish counties, it has a rocky and much-indented coastline (Bantry, Dunmanus, Roaringwater, Courtmarsherry, Clonakilty, and Youghal bays, and Kinsale and Cork harbors). The interior has wild rugged mountains rising as high as 2,239 ft (682 m) and fertile valleys (notably of the Bride, the Blackwater, the Lee, and the Bandon). The main occupations are farming (dairying, raising livestock, and growing grains and sugar beets) and fishing. There is a growing manufacturing sector, centered around the city of Cork, which includes products as diverse as tweed cloth and electronic components. There is a large oil refinery at Whitegate. Cóbh is an important transatlantic harbor. Tourism is important, and notable attractions include prehistoric remains (dolmens and stone circles), the ruins of medieval abbeys and churches, and Blarney Castle.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography

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