|This article currently links to a large number of disambiguation pages (or back to itself) (check | fix). (May 2013)|
|• Teachta Dála||21 Fine Gael TDs
9 Labour Party TDs
7 Fianna Fáil TDs
5 Independent TDs
3 Sinn Féin TDs
1 ULA TD
|• Total||24,675 km2 (9,527 sq mi)|
|• Rank||3rd in Ireland, 2nd in the Republic of Ireland|
|Patron Saint: Ailbe of Emly|
Munster (Irish: an Mhumhain / Cúige Mumhan, pronounced [ənˈvuːnʲ]) is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" Irish: rí ruirech. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has seen further sub-division of the historic counties.
Munster has no official function for local government purposes. However, the province is an officially recognised subdivision of Ireland. It is listed on ISO-3166-2 as one of the four provinces of Ireland and "IE-M" is attributed to Munster as its country sub-division code. Apart from County Clare, much of the province lies in the South constituency for elections to the European Parliament. Geographically, Munster covers a total area of 24,675 km2 (9,527 sq mi) and has a population of 1,246,088 with the most populated city being Cork. Other significant urban centres in the province include Limerick and Waterford.
In the early centuries AD, Munster was the domain of the Iverni and the legendary Clanna Dedad led by Cú Roí and to whom the celebrated Conaire Mór also belonged. During the Early Middle Ages, most of the area was part of the Kingdom of Munster, ruled by the Eóganachta dynasty, who succeeded the once mighty Dáirine and Corcu Loígde overlords from the early 7th century onwards, perhaps beginning with the notable career of Faílbe Flann mac Áedo Duib. Later rulers from the Eóganachta who would dominate a greater part of Ireland were Cathal mac Finguine and Feidlimid mac Cremthanin. Notable regional kingdoms and lordships of Early Medieval Munster were Iarmuman (West Munster), Osraige (Ossory), Uí Liatháin, Uí Fidgenti, Éile, Múscraige, Ciarraige Luachra, Corcu Duibne, Corcu Baiscinn, and Déisi Muman. By the 9th century the Gaels had been joined by Norse Vikings who founded towns such as Cork, Waterford and Limerick, for the most part incorporated into a maritime empire by the Dynasty of Ivar, who periodically would threaten Munster with conquest in the next century. Around this period Ossory broke away from Munster. The 10th century saw the rise of the Dalcassians (probably descendants of the ancient Mairtine, a sept of the Iverni/Érainn), who had earlier annexed Thomond, north of the Shannon to Munster. Their leaders were the ancestors of the O'Brien dynasty and spawned Brian Bóruma, perhaps the most noted High King of Ireland, and several of whose descendants were also High Kings. By 1118 Munster had fractured into the Kingdom of Thomond under the O'Briens, the Kingdom of Desmond under the MacCarthy dynasty (Eóganachta), and the short-lived Kingdom of Ormond under the O'Kennedys (another Dalcassian sept).
The three crowns of the Munster flag represent these three late kingdoms. This flag can easily be confused with the flag of Dublin which has three castles in a similar pattern on a blue background; it also resembles the lesser coat-of-arms of Sweden, the Three Crowns.
There was Norman influence from the 14th century, due to adventuring of the FitzGerald, de Clare and Butler houses, two of whom carved out earldoms within the Lordship of Ireland, the Earls of Desmond eventually becoming independent potentates, for a time the greatest in Ireland, while the Earls of Ormond remained closer to England. The O'Brien of Thomond and MacCarthy of Desmond surrendered and regranted sovereignty to the Tudors in 1543 and 1565, joining the Kingdom of Ireland. The terrible Desmond Rebellions, led by the FitzGeralds, soon followed.
Almost three centuries later much of the area was hit hard in the Great Hunger, especially the west. After the kingdom was merged into the United Kingdom, there was a war in the 20th century resulting in secession of the Irish Free State. There was a brief Munster Republic during the Irish Civil War, soon defeated by the Irish Army. The Irish leaders Michael Collins and earlier Daniel O'Connell came from families of the old Gaelic Munster gentry.
The area is famed for Irish traditional music. There are many ancient castles and monasteries in the province; this coupled with the vast green countryside and three cities makes it a feature of the tourism industry. A 5th century bishop named Ailbe is the patron saint of Munster.
In Irish mythology, a number of pagan goddesses are associated with the province including Anann, Áine, Grian, Clíodhna, Aimend, Mór Muman, Bébinn, Aibell and Queen Mongfind. Each is historically associated with certain septs of the nobility. The druid-god of Munster is Mug Ruith. A more shadowy figure is Donn, associated with Tech Duinn, beyond the mortal realm.
The province has long had trading and cultural links with continental Europe. The tribe of Corcu Loígde is known to have had a trading fleet active along the French Atlantic coast, as far south as Gascony, importing wine to Munster. The Eóganachta had ecclesiastical ties with distant Germany, which show in the architecture of their ceremonial capital, the famous acropolis on the Rock of Cashel.
The majority of Irish ogham inscriptions are found in Munster, principally in areas occupied by the Iverni, especially the Corcu Duibne. Later, Europe's first linguistic dictionary in any non-Classical language, the Sanas Cormaic, was compiled by Munster scholars, traditionally thought to have been directed by the king-bishop Cormac mac Cuilennáin (d. 908).
The School of Ross in Munster was one of Europe's leading centers of learning in the Early Middle Ages.
Political divisions 
The province stands divided into seven counties and three cities.
|County/City||Population ||Area (km²)|
Urban areas 
In order of size (2011 census figures; urban areas with over 10,000 inhabitants):
Urban areas 5,000-10,000
- Nenagh (9,891)
- Shannon (9,673)
- Dungarvan (9,427)
- Thurles (9,229)
- Youghal (8,192)
- Newcastle West (7,098)
- Fermoy (7,031)
- Carrigtwohill (6,665)
Urban areas in bold have city status.
Cork city suburbs
- Douglas. (c25,000)
- Ballincollig (c18,000)
- Glanmire. (c15,000)
- Lehenagh (c10,000)
- Mahon (c13,000)
- Turners Cross
Limerick city suburbs
The province of Munster contributes 40bn euro (US$52.57bn) to Irish GDP (25% of total Irish GDP) (2004) (greater than the Economy of Northern Ireland 37.3bn euro). Munster also is wealthier than Slovenia (pop. 2m), Lithuania (pop. 3.5m), Latvia (pop. 2.5m) and Kenya (pop. 35m). Munster is the home to many modern capital intensive, highly productive private sector enterprises.
The Economy of Cork and Economy of Limerick are the main engines of the province's economy. The Cork harbour area was the centre of Ireland's heavy industry manufacturing sector. Cork had a steel mill, a shipyard, a car assembly plant, a tyre plant, a deep harbour, and a thriving textile sector in the mid twentieth century. However heavy taxes, excessive regulation, competition from larger centres of economic activity, and the sudden removal of protective tariffs upon membership of the European Economic Community caused a decline in the 1970s. Cork was Ireland's rust belt city in the 1980s, as heavy industry moved out, and newer sectors tried to get established in as unemployment peaked.
Munster was the home of 'The Munster and Leinster Bank', which is parent of Ireland's largest bank Allied Irish Bank. Cork, in Munster, is also home of the two largest Irish owned retailing organizations, Dunnes Stores, and the Musgrave Group. Cork is also home to two of the three Irish stout brands; Murphy's Irish stout, and Beamish, as well as the 'Paddy' brand of Irish whiskey.
The Crescent Shopping Centre is Munster's largest shopping centre located in Dooradoyle in Limerick City with over 110 shops in an estimated 100,000 square metres of retail space. Mahon Point Shopping Centre located in Cork City has an estimated total retail floor area of 23,225 square metres and has 60 shops.
Shannon Airport, a rich music tradition, the best food from land and sea, and landscapes of international renown, have all been influential in the development of the tourist sector in Munster.
Power generation 
The majority of the Republic's power stations are located in Munster.
Ireland's only oil refinery and oil storage facility is still located at Whitegate.
Moneypoint power station located near Kilrush in County Clare is Ireland's largest electricity generating station. It is Ireland's only coal powered station and is Ireland's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is capable of meeting around 25% of customer demand across the country.
The hydroelectric power plant at Ardnacrusha to the north of Limerick City in County Clare is Ireland's largest river hydroelectric power station and is operated on a purpose built canal from the River Shannon. It was the largest infrastructural project undertaken by newly established Irish Free State and was completed in 1927. For a time it was the largest hydroelectric power station in the world but was overtaken by the Hoover Dam.
I.T. and pharmaceutical industry 
Munster is one of Ireland's most important I.T. hubs with such multinationals as Apple, Intel, Amazon and Dell locating in the province. The Atlantic Quarter in Cork is a new plan to create a smaller version of Dublin's IFSC in Cork docklands. In Kerry, FEXCO Financial Services in Killorglin is a foreign exchange and global payments group.
Munster has developed into the centre of Ireland's pharmaceutical industry. The province plays an ever greater role in the bio-pharmaceutical industry and is successful in fighting off stiff competition from Switzerland and Singapore for inward investments in the bio-pharmaceutical area in companies such as Amgen and Pfizer and Roche (located in Clarecastle Co.Clare).
Metropolitan Cork & Shannon Free Zone 
The following are some of the more important employers in the region: AOL, Bausch & Lomb, Dairygold, Dell, Amazon, Motorola, Amgen, Pfizer, Analog Devices, Fexco Financial Services, Vistakon, Waterford Crystal, Apple Computer, Intel, Novartis, O2, Lufthansa Technik, Kerry Group, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Siemens, Sony and Blizzard Entertainment. The largest employment hub in Munster is Metropolitan Cork, with many large multinational firms located in the area. The second most important is the Shannon Free Zone with over 120 international firms based there employing over 7,500 people.
Haulbowline Island is the location of the Irish naval fleet and the Irish Naval College.
Golden Vale 
Infrastructure & Public Transport 
Munster is linked to the rest of Ireland via several connections on the Motorway Network, most which have been constructed in the past decade. Main interurban routes include the M8 from Cork City which runs through North Co. Cork & Tipperary. The M7 which runs east from Limerick City - acting as a bypass for the city - through north Co. Tipperary & converges with the M8 in Co. Laois to form the primary interurban route to Dublin from the province.
Other major regional routes include the M18 Which runs north from Limerick City through Co. Clare, the N25 which runs east from Cork City through east Co. Cork to Waterford City and onto Rosslare Europort, the N20 which connects Cork City with Limerick City, the N21 & N22 which links Co. Kerry with Limerick City & Cork City respectively. The N24 connects Limerick City to Waterford City. The N71 runs south west from Cork City through West Cork & Co. Kerry. The N72 runs from North Co. Kerry, through North Cork and into Co. Waterford.
The busiest road in the province is the N40 which acts as a southern bypass and artery for the Cork City metropolitan area. This road, previously signposted the N25 until re-designation in 2012, has been extensively upgraded in the past decade with the removal of the Kinsale Road Roundabout & the ongoing removal fo the Bandon Road & Sarsfield Road roundabouts. The N40 links with the N25 via the Jack Lynch Tunnel, which is frequently congested due to the under-powered design of the Dunkettle Interchange
Inter-City & Regional Rail 
Railway services in Munster are operated by Iarnród Éireann. Whilst the province, like the rest of Ireland, had an extensive railway network at one time reaching effectively all major population centres within the province, these have been pared back in the past half century to the network as it stands now.
Current Inter-City services are provided in Cork, Limerick, Tralee & Waterford which all have direct connections to Dublin and other provincial centres . In addition there are local services provided on the Tralee - Mallow line, The Limerick - Nenagh - Ballybrophy line & The Waterford - Clonmel - Limerick Junction - Limerick line. In the last decade the Inter-City Network in Munster has expanded with the expansion of the Western Railway Corridor from Limerick railway station through Co. Clare, with new/re-opened stations at Sixmilebridge, Ennis and onto Athenry & Galway railway station in Galway City.
Cork Commuter Rail 
In the past decade there has been a significant expansion of services on the Cork Commuter line's. In addition to the existing Cork - Cobh railway which has experienced an increase in frequencies, there has been the re-opening of the Midleton branch, and an expansion of services on the Mallow - Cork line, with proposals for new stations to be established at Blarney & Monard as outlined in Transport 21.
There is an extensive public bus network in operation throughout the province. The main provider of public buses is the state-owned Bus Éireann, which operates intercity, regional, city/commuter & public service obligation routes in the province.
There is also a rural bus network network in existence for places not served by other services. Note that these services do not cover all rural area's and tend to have limited timetables and services.
- Cork Airport (Republic of Ireland's 2nd busiest airport)
- Kerry Airport
- Shannon Airport (Republic of Ireland's 3rd busiest airport)
- Waterford Airport
Irish language 
- in West Kerry (Corca Dhuibhne)
- in South Kerry (Uíbh Ráthach).
- in West Cork (Múscraí)
- in south-west Cork (Oileán Cléire)
- in south-west Waterford (Gaeltacht na Rinne or Gaeltacht na nDéise)
There are about 35,000 Irish language speakers in Munster, with 9,737 native speakers in the Munster Gaeltacht areas of Cork, Kerry and Waterford and there is also the 12,219 attending the 46 Gaelscoils (Irish language primary schools) and 22 Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary schools) across the province. According to the Irish Census 2011 there are 13,193 daily speakers outside the education system in the province.
The number of Gaelscoileanna (Irish language schools) has increased sharply in the last ten years. Children learn Irish and speak Irish in the Gaelscoileanna. Munster has the second highest number of Irish-medium primary schools (46) in Ireland and the highest number of Irish-medium secondary schools (22) of any Irish province.
Third level institutions 
- University College Cork 17,000 students
- Cork Institute of Technology 17,000 students
- University of Limerick 13,000 students
- Waterford Institute of Technology 10,000 students
- Limerick Institute of Technology 6,500 students
- Institute of Technology, Tralee 3,500 students
- Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 2,500 students
- Cork College of Commerce
- Central Technical Institute, Waterford
- Central Technical Institute, Clonmel
- Limerick Senior College
- West Clare VTOS
- Burren College of Art
- Griffith College Cork
- Griffith College Limerick
- Mallow College of Further Education
- Mid West Business Institute
- Shannon College of Hotel Management
- Tipperary Institute
- Garda Síochána College
Munster media 
- RTÉ Cork - Cork based television broadcasting studios for RTÉ
- South Coast TV - Cork based television company
- Channel South
- The Irish Examiner - Cork-based national newspaper
- Evening Echo - daily evening paper covering Cork city. Also a daily Limerick edition
- The Avondhu - covers North East Cork, West Waterford, South Limerick and South Tipperary.
- The Munster Express - covers the South East.
- Nationalist & Munster Advertiser
- Cork News
The Limerick Leader (covers the Mid West)
- Clare Champion
- Clare People
- Clare Courier
- Clare County Express
- The Imokilly People (East Cork)
- The Carrigdhoun
- The Cork Weekly Free paper for Metropolitan Cork incorporating the Douglas Weekly
- The Corkman
- Cork Independent
- The Mallow Star
- The Southern Star
- The Vale Star
- The Avondhu
- Evening Echo
- Limerick Leader
- Limerick Post
- Limerick Independent
- The Vale Star (South & East Limerick)
- The Weekly Observer (West Limerick)
- The Guardian, Nenagh
- The Tipperary Star
- The Nationalist, Clonmel and South Tipperaray
- "The Three Counties", Carrick-On-Suir
- "South Tipp Today", South Tipperary
- The Waterford News and Star, Waterford City
- The Waterford Today, Waterford City
- The Munster Express, Dungarvan
- The Dungarvan Leader, Dungarvan
- The Dungarvan Observer, Dungarvan
- Red FM - Cork Youth-driven service
- Clare FM - County Clare
- Tipp FM - County Tipperary
- Radio Kerry - County Kerry
- WLR FM - Waterford City and County
- 96FM and C103 (dual franchise) - General service for Cork
- Limerick East community radio - Limerick East
- Live 95FM - Limerick City and County, covering Thomond (Tuadh Mumhan North Munster)
- West Limerick 102 - Limerick city and County
- Spin SW - province-wide- Based in Limerick city
- Beat 102-103 - Youth-driven service. Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, South Tipperary and East Limerick covering the Ormond (Urh Mumhan East Munster)
- RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta "Camchuairt" - Tralee, County Kerry covering Desmond (Deas Mumhan South Munster)
- RTÉ lyric fm - 96-99FM - Cornmarket Row, Limerick City. Broadcast Country wide
Munster is famous for its tradition of hurling. The town of Thurles in County Tipperary is the birthplace of modern GAA. Three of the four most successful teams in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship are from Munster; Cork GAA, Tipperary GAA and Limerick GAA. Clare GAA and Waterford GAA are also among the most prominent teams in the sport. The final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship is one of the most important days in the Irish GAA calendar.
Gaelic football 
Traditionally, the dominant teams in Munster football are Kerry GAA and Cork GAA, although Tipperary GAA and Limerick GAA have also won All-Ireland Senior Football Championships. Kerry in particular are famous as the most successful team in the history of football.
Rugby Union 
Rugby is a popular game in the cities of Limerick and Cork. Munster is an Irish Rugby Football Union representative side which competes in the RaboDirect Pro12, winning in 2003,2009 and 2011 and in the Heineken Cup, winning in 2006 and 2008. The Munster side is the only Irish side to have defeated the New Zealand All Blacks.
Association football is also a popular game in Munster. Four Munster clubs play in the Airtricity League of Ireland; Cork City F.C. and Limerick FC in the League of Ireland Premier Division and Waterford United & Cobh Ramblers in the Irish First Division.
- In order of capacity
- Tipperary GAA Thurles Semple Stadium 55,000
- Limerick GAA Limerick Gaelic Grounds 50,000
- Cork GAA Cork Pairc Ui Chaoimh 45,000
- Kerry GAA Killarney Fitzgerald Stadium 38,000
- Clare GAA Ennis Cusack Park 28,000
- Munster Rugby Limerick Thomond Park Stadium 26,500
- Cork GAA Cork Pairc Ui Rinn 18,000
- Waterford GAA Waterford Walsh Park 17,000
- Kerry GAA Tralee Austin Stack Park 15,000
- Waterford GAA Fraher Field 15,000
- Munster Rugby Cork Musgrave Park 8,300
- Cork City F.C. & Munster FA Turners Cross Stadium 7,450
- Waterford United Waterford Regional Sports Centre 6,000
- Limerick FC Limerick Jackman Park 3,000
See also 
- Provinces of Ireland
- Desmond Rebellions
- Éamon de Valera
- Munster Gaelic Athletic Association
- Munster Rugby
- Munster Senior Club Football Championship
- Metropolitan areas in Ireland
- List of Irish-language media
- New Munster Province
- ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-1, 19 February 2010, which gives "Munster" as the official English name of the Province and "An Mhumhain" as the official Irish name of the Province and cites "Ordnance Survey Office, Dublin 1993" as its source - http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_3166-2_newsletter_ii-1_corrected_2010-02-19.pdf
- "Province Munster". Central Statistics Office. 2011.
- Challoner, Richard. A Memorial of Ancient British Piety: or, a British Martyrology, p. 128. W. Needham, 1761. Accessed 14 Mar 2013.
- In 1841, before the Great Famine, there were just under three million people living in the province, but the population dropped devastatingly low due to mass emigration in the 1840s and continued emigration up until the 1980s.
- The ruins of the Iron Age mountaintop fortress Caherconree, preserving the name of Cú Roí, can also be found in their lands.
- CSO, Census 2011.
- "County incomes and regional GDP".
- Colm Keena (13 November 2004). "Fexco posts €9.4m profit on improved turnover". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
- "Roche Ireland pharmaceuticals & healthcare Clarecastle Co Clare Ireland".
- "Munster stadia".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Munster|
- Gaeltacht Comprehensive Language Study 2007
- Gaelscoil stats
- Texts on Wikisource: