Mid-West Region, Ireland
The Mid-West Region is a NUTS Level III region of the Republic of Ireland. It consists of the areas of counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, Limerick city is the regional capital. The Mid-West region spans 8,248 km², 11% of the total area of the state and has a population of 339,591. Its NUTS code is IE023. The region is located on the western seaboard of Ireland.
The region is also referred to as the Shannon Region as the lower River Shannon passes through the region forming a distinctive corridor and unifying force in the character of the area. Shannon Development is the regional development body for the region, however its scope of area transcends beyond the Mid-West Region to include North Kerry (in the South-West Region) & South Offaly (in the Midlands Region).
Mid-West Regional Authority
The Mid-West Region was administered by the Mid-West Regional Authority, which consisted of 26 elected representatives including the region's representative on the EU Committee of the Regions. These representatives met once a month and were nominated from the three administrative councils of the region:
The Regional Authorities were dissolved in 2014 and were replaced by Regional Assemblies.
The Mid-West region has a population of 339,591 which constitutes about 8.67% of Ireland's total population. The population density of the region is 41.17 persons/square km. Limerick city is the largest urban area in the region with a population of 57,106 (2011 census) within the city boundary area and has a population of 91,454 people within the larger urban area including the city suburbs.
The economy of the region is based mainly around the greater Limerick/Shannon corridor. The Shannon Free Zone, Shannon International Airport, Shannon Estuary Ports, National Technology Park Limerick and major educational institutions such as the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology are major drivers of the regional economy with growth prospects in Biotechnology and medical technology, ICT, aerospace, tourism agribusiness and logistics. The Dublin/Limerick corridor and the western corridor linking Galway/Ennis/Limerick/Cork is of strategic importance to the region.
The workforce in the region was 160,400 in 2003 which was an employment rate of 96.7% of which 61.8% were employed in services, 29.8% in Industry and 8.3% employed in agriculture.
Agriculture remains a major part of the Mid West economy. The Clare Marts in Ennis is a major trading post of livestock nationally. The plains of East Limerick are part of Ireland's Golden Vale that stretch from Limerick city into County Tipperary
Shannon International Airport is the only airport in the region with a wide range of flights available to Britain, continental Europe and transatlantic flights to the USA. The M7 is a high quality motorway connecting Dublin and Limerick. The N18/M18 including the Limerick Tunnel provides a complete bypass of Limerick and improved access to Shannon, Ennis and Galway. The N/M20 road/motorway provides access to Cork and Kerry.
A list of the largest urban areas in the Mid-West Region. County capitals are shown in bold.