Counties of Ireland- An overview from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The island of Ireland is often referred to as the 32 counties, with its two states, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, being nicknamed respectively the six counties and the twenty-six counties. The counties are subdivisions of the ancient Provinces of Ireland. While the provinces of which the counties are subdivisions are existed for centuries, the county subdivison of these provinces were first set up in the 19th century by the then government of Ireland to provide a framework for local government.
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