|Number of units in system:|
|Geographical Level:||7 (County)|
|ADL Feature Type:||countries, 2nd order divisions|
|May be part of:||State , Nation , Irish Province|
|May have as parts:||Barony , Poor Law Union , Irish Civil Parish|
Ireland is divided into 32 Counties: 6 in the state of Northern Ireland, 26 in the state of the Republic of Ireland. Counties were introduced into Ireland during the nineteenth century to provide a framework for local government. The administrative and legal functions of these counties went out of official use by 1889, but the counties were sub-divided rather than abolished. For instance, in Northern Ireland the 6 counties have been administratively replaced by 26 unitary authorities, and within the Republic of Ireland 6 of the counties have been split to create 34 county authorities.