Wexford, town (1991 pop. 15,393), seat of Co. Wexford, SE Republic of Ireland, on Wexford Harbour, which is formed by the Slaney River estuary. Wexford serves as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic diocese of Ferns. It is a business center; agricultural produce and farm animals are raised. Malting, fishing, and tourism are important. English invaders signed a treaty there with the Irish in 1169; Oliver Cromwell sacked it in 1649; and the United Irishmen made it their headquarters in 1798. Of interest are Selskar, or St. Sepulchre, Abbey (12th cent.), the Church of St. Patrick, and the old Bull Ring (scene of bullfights). The town was once noted for its fairs and tourneys. Today its opera company specializes in rarely heard works.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography