Facts About the River Shannon. ( ROI )
At 240 miles long, The River Shannon - an tSionainn in Irish Gaelic - is Ireland's longest river.
The river rises in an area called the Shannon Pot in the Cuilcagh Mountains of County Cavan and travels south towards its 70 mile estuary just outside the City of Limerick, before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
The river forms a natural border between the Republic of Ireland's eastern and western counties and passes through large swathes of agricultural land.
The river is shallow, not rising more than 250 feet above sea level at it's highest point meaning it has never seen much in the way of heavy, industrial shipping, this fact coupled with it's routes sparsely populated towns and little in the way of industry, makes for a healthy and little polluted river that is well stocked with fish, particularly trout, salmon, bream and pike.
The river's name comes from one of Ireland's many Celtic Goddesses of Knowledge, Sionna.
The river's history goes back to ancient times, with its first known charted course, created by Roman geographer, Ptolomy who lived between AD 90 and AD 168.
The river feeds 13 lakes or loughs and traverses through 11 of Ireland's counties, forming one of Ireland's largest waterways systems, that covers an area of just over 1/5th of Ireland's entire landmass.
The river has 11 tributaries including the Rivers Suck, Erne and Brosna and links with 8 canals, the largest of these being the Grand Canal which links with the River Liffey in Dublin and the Royal Canal which also passes through Dublin.
The 13 loughs which the River Shannon feeds includes the 45 square mile Lough Derg in the south of the country and the 11 mile long Lough Allen and Lough Ree in the north of the country.
Because the river is so shallow the river is only served by 6 locks and 6 swing bridge locks along it's entire route.
Despite the river's length it is only spanned by 20 bridges - 3 of which are in the one city, Limerick - the oldest of which is the Shannon Bridge in County Offaly, a stone built, multi arched bridge, completed in 1757.
THE SHANNON BRIDGE, COUNTY OFFALY.
The river passes through a sparsely populated area of small towns and villages, including the river's only city, that of Limerick in southern Ireland and the towns of Athlone, Killaloe, Drogheda and Kilrush.
Also situated along the river's route is Shannon Airport (SNN) , the 1960's Newtown of Shannon, the centre of Ireland's pleasure boating industry at Carrick - on - Shannon, the busy harbour at Foynes, the picturesque marina at Leitrim Village, the village of Dowra, situated just a few miles from the river's source and the river's only industrial area, a power station, dam and canal all situated at Ardnacrusha.
As a whole, the areas that surround the River Shannon are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, with activities on offer such as river, lough and canal cruises, hill walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing and a myriad of watersports.
Most of the area's towns and the City of Limerick have several historic places of interest that include castles, museums and churches.
The Shannon Estuary is a large body of water situated west of the City of Limerick which is surrounded by several rocky headlands, points and coves and long, sandy beaches, that is a busy shipping route and port area as well as a zoologically important area for several species of marine mammals, including Bottle Nosed Dolphins.
For more information visit The River Shannon website - shannon-river.com/TravelGuide
MAP OF THE ROUTE OF THE RIVER SHANNON
RIVER SHANNON TRIBUTARIES
RIVER SHANNON LOUGHS
RIVER SHANNON CANALS
Le Carrow Canal
Shannon - Erne Waterway
For facts about England's longest river - facts-about-the-river-severn-uk
For facts about Scotland's longest river - facts-about-the-river-tay-uk
For facts about Wales' longest river - facts-about-the-river-towy-uk