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Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city in County Limerick. Limerick is the second-largest city in the province of Munster, an area which constitutes the midwest and southwest of Ireland.
Limerick is situated on several curves and islands of the River Shannon, which spreads into an estuary shortly after Limerick. Road infrastructure features three main crossing points near the city centre (an additional river tunnel to the west of the three bridges is expected to open in 2010), and in 2006 the Limerick urban area had a population of 91,000. Limerick is one of the constituent cities of the Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor, which has a population of 1 million.
History of Limerick City
King John's Castle is on the southern bank of the River Shannon. Alongside is Thomond Bridge. Luimneach originally referred to the general area along the banks of the Shannon Estuary known as Loch Luimnigh. The earliest settlement in the city, Inis Sibhtonn, was the original name for King's Island during the pre-Viking and Viking eras. This island was also called Inis an Ghaill Duibh, The Dark(haired) Foreigner's Island. The name is recorded in Viking sources as Hlymrekr.
The city dates from at least the Viking settlement in 812. The Normans redesigned the city in the 12th century and added much of the most notable architecture, such as King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral. During the civil wars of the 17th century the city played a pivotal role, besieged by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and twice by the Williamites in the 1690s. Limerick grew rich through trade in the late 18th century, but the Act of Union in 1800 and the famine caused a crippling economic decline broken only by the so-called Celtic Tiger in the 1990s.
The Waterford and Limerick Railway linked the city to the Dublin-Cork main line in 1848 and to Waterford in 1853. The opening of a number of secondary railways in the 1850s and 1860s developed Limerick as a regional centre of communications.
Limerick is at the centre of the Midwest region, which contributed €8.224 billion in 2002 to Irish GDP. It is 195 km west of Dublin and is 105 km from both Cork to the south and Galway to the north.
Source : Wikipedia.org