All the facts and interesting trivia about the Irish county of Limerick! 

Irish Name: Luimneach

County Town: Limerick

Nickname: The Treaty County, The Shannonsiders

GAA Colors: Green and white

Population: 209,536 (as per Census 2022)

Area: 1,064 square miles

Province: Munster

Famous people with roots in Co Limerick

Frank McCourt, Sylvester O'Halloran, Patrice de Mac-Mahon (Marshal of France), William de Burgh, Mick Moloney

Common surnames in County Limerick

Ryan, Fitzgerald, O'Brien, O'Connor, Hayes, Moloney, O'Shaughnessy, Walsh, Sullivan, Bourke, Madigan, Collopy, and Wolfe. 

A brief history of County Limerick

Limerick is a riverside city with the River Shannon flowing through it. It's a vibrant city with a combination of big-city amenities and small-town friendliness. This makes it a wonderful location to learn English.

It is one of the largest cities in Ireland and is home to several third-level institutions, including the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, and the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Limerick has many cultural attractions, some fascinating historic sights, fashionable bars, charming old pubs, glossy shops, smart restaurants and boutique hotels, cinemas, theatres, museums, and a wide variety of sports amenities. It would be difficult to imagine a better or more central location from which to explore the many attractions of the West of Ireland.

Bedford Row, Limerick City, Co Limerick. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Bedford Row, Limerick City, Co Limerick. (Ireland's Content Pool)

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Key attractions in County Limerick

Many places offer the bright lights, noise, and action of the big city. Others offer the tranquility of a rural setting. Limerick is one of the exceptional places that provide both.

Limerick City is one of Ireland's biggest cities and is the bearer of a proud heritage dating back over 800 years. The rural parts of the county include large tracts of the Golden Vale, a part of Ireland called such for the richness of the land and the beauty of the region.

Possibly the most notable feature of Limerick City is King John's Castle which,  constructed in 1210, dominates the city. Built by the Normans, the castle now holds a visitor center providing an information and images of the city going back through the centuries. 

King John's Castle. (Ireland's Content Pool)

King John's Castle. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Of course, Limerick has become known internationally thanks to the writing of one of its more famous sons Frank McCourt, whose book "Angela's Ashes" was made into a successful movie. A walking tour based on locations featured in the book is now available and is a popular way to see Limerick.

Venturing out from Limerick City the visitor will find himself surrounded by a picturesque countryside with charming towns and villages running along the banks of the Shannon. These towns and villages are great centers for watersports and as the river broadens out into the Shannon estuary sailing becomes more and more popular with several sailing clubs along the coast.

Driving along the Shannon Estuary Way. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Driving along the Shannon Estuary Way. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Down the river is the Foynes Flying Boat Museum which recalls the period of the 1930s and early 1940s when Foynes was the hub for air traffic between Europe and America. In those years, flying boats dominated air travel on the North Atlantic route and visitors can relive that time at the museum, which features interactive exhibits, illustrations, and audio-visuals. Limerick is very proud of the part it played in the growth of transatlantic travel.

With the beauty spots of Cork, Kerry, and the rest of the Shannon basin within easy reach, Limerick City provides the perfect base from which to tour the rest of the county and beyond.

But with the beauty and range of activities available you might not want to leave.

* Originally published in 2016. Updated in May 2024.