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The Province of Munster.
The combined 4 Province flag.
The flag of Munster.
Counties in the province of Munster.
The name means 'Place of the men of Munha.'
Name Irish Equivalent

County Town

sq miles
Clare Clár Ennis 3188 1,231
Cork Corcaigh Cork 7457 2,879
Kerry Ciarraí Tralee 4701 1,815
Limerick Luimneach Limerick 2686 1,037
Tipperary Tiobraid Arainn Clonmel 4303 1,661
Waterford Port Lairge Waterford 1837 798


Munster is the largest of Ireland's four provinces. The name comes from Mumha, the Irish name for the area, and the Danish ster (a place). It covers a total area of 24,125 sq. km, (9,314 Sq M) one third of the area of the whole state. The largest towns in the Province are Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Tralee, Ennis, Clonmel and Killarney. The highest mountain in Ireland Carrauntoohil 1,041 meters (3,414 ft) in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks which are situated in this Province. The Provence has 13 constituencies which elect 49 members to Dail Eireann. It consists of six counties: Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford. Munster is the major dairy farming region of the Irish Republic, but also contains three of the five largest cities: Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

The People.

The everyday language of most of Munster's people is English. There are four main Gaeltacht areas (Irish-speaking communities), located in parts of Cork, Kerry, and Waterford. The population of the Munster Gaeltacht is 13,000. Irish as spoken in Munster differs in several ways from the Irish spoken in other parts of Ireland.


Agriculture is an important feature of the economy throughout Munster. Dairying, pig production and beef cattle are the leading farm activities, particularly in Limerick. Farmers in the eastern region engage in arable farming. The chief crops are barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beet, and wheat. The main industrial center's are in the Cork and Limerick areas.

About half of the employment in Munster is in service industries. Tourism is a major contributor to the economy especially in Killarney and other parts of County Kerry. Tourism is also important in west of County Cork, County Limerick, the Golden Vale of Tipperary, also County Waterford. A site off the Cork coast at Kinsale produces natural gas. The principal areas of peat production are in Tipperary and Kerry. Fishing is an important industry along the southwest coast.



The port of Waterford capable of handling ships of large size, it is world famous for its production of beautiful Crystal glassware which bears the town's name. It also has electrical engineering, food processing, as well as paper and packaging industries. In county Cork the port of Cobh formerly known as Queenstown was once the main port in Ireland for the trans Atlantic trade.

The main roads of Munster link Waterford, Cork, Tralee, and Limerick to each other and to Dublin. There are railways between these center's and Dublin. Cork and Waterford are the main seaports, and there are international airports at Shannon and Cork.

The main lowland districts are in the valleys of the major rivers. These are the lower part of the River Shannon and its tributaries in the north, and the Suir, Blackwater, Lee and Brandon. The largest lake is Lough Derg on the Shannon but the most famous are the Lakes of Killarney.


The Climate.

The coast of southwest Munster is the mildest part of Ireland. The average January temperature ranges from 7 °C there to less than 4 °C in the northeast. The July temperature is 16 °C. Annual rainfall ranges from 100 centimeters on the lowlands to over 200 centimeters on the mountains of the southwest.


Munster was one of the five kingdoms of Ireland nearly 2,000 years ago. The Rock of Cashel became the seat of the kings of Munster. Within the province there were two territories. Desmond in the south and Thomond in the north.

The British granted lands to settlers in the 1500's and the 1600's. Possibly the most famous of these was Sir Walter Raleigh who received vast tracts of County Waterford from Elizabeth I. In 1601, the British defeated most of the remaining Irish chiefs at the Battle of Kinsale. During the Great Famine of the 1840's almost a fourth of Munster's population died or emigrated.