Munster, also known as Cúige Mumhan in Irish, is the southwestern province of Ireland. It is the largest of the four provinces, encompassing the counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. This area has a rich history, having been one of the “five fifths” (former provinces or kingdoms) of Ireland. Munster covers an area of 9,315 square miles and has a population of 1.2 million people.
The main cities are Cork City, Limerick City and Waterford City. The Bandon, Blackwater, Lee, Shannon and Suir rivers flow through the province and the highest point within its boundaries is Carrauntouhill (3,409 feet). The largest city in Munster is Cork with 120,000 inhabitants. The Shannon Free Trade Zone in County Clare has attracted many multinational companies due to its generous corporate tax policy.
It is located next to Shannon Airport which was once the largest airport for commercial flights between Europe and North America after World War II. The name Munster derives from a pre-Christian goddess, Muma. Like the other provinces of Leinster and Ulster, the full English name incorporates the original Gaelic along with the Norman suffix “-ster” which is related to the modern French terre meaning “land”.
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