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The Province of Munster


Ring of Kerry

Fuchsias and Stunning Landscapes - the Ring of Kerry

© 2004 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Geography of Munster:

Munster, or in Irish Cúige Mumhan, encompasses the Southwest and is Ireland's largest province. The counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford make up Munster. Major towns are Cork City, Limerick City and Waterford City. The rivers Bandon, Blackwater, Lee, Shannon and Suir flow through Munster and the highest point within the 9,315 square miles of the area is Carrauntouhill (3,409 feet making it Ireland's highest peak). The population is growing - in 2006 it was counted at 1,172,170. 41% of these live in County Cork.

The History of Munster:

The name "Munster" derives from the old Irish kingdom of mumu and the Norse word stadir ("homestead"). Long subject to wars between local kings, some sort of stability was gained in the 10th century. The Munster king Brian Boru became High King of Ireland at Tara. This "golden period" lasted into the 12th century, after 1119 the kings of Connacht and then the Anglo-Normans replaced Munster's native supremacy. Large parts of Munster declined into a provincial backwater, with the important towns and seaports of Cork, Limerick and Waterford being notable exceptions.

What to do in Munster:

Munster has a number of attractions that are amongst the top ten sights of Ireland - from the Cliffs of Moher to the hustle and bustle of Killarney. Further top Munster attractions include the Ring of Kerry. A holiday in Munster alone could encompass outdoor activities as well as cultural food-for-thought - the sheer size of the province and the presence of many Munster attractions making this possible. A large number of vacationers, however, prefer to relax and do virtually nothing in the relatively warm and sunny Southwest.

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