Ailbe of Emly
Munster is part of the South constituency; the six Munster
counties contain 74.1% of the population of this constituency.
Munster (Irish: an Mhumhain / Cúige Mumhan, pronounced [ə
ˈvuːnʲ], [ˌkuːgʲə ˈmuːn]) is one of the provinces of Ireland
situated in the south of Ireland. In early Ireland, the Kingdom of
Munster was one of the kingdoms of
Gaelic Ireland ruled by a "king of
over-kings" Irish: rí ruirech. Following the Norman invasion of
Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into counties for
administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local
government legislation has seen further sub-division of the historic
Munster has no official function for local government purposes. For
the purposes of the ISO, the province is listed as one of the
provincial sub-divisions of the State (ISO 3166-2:IE) and coded as
Munster covers a total area of 24,675 km2
(9,527 sq mi) and has a population of 1,280,020, with the
most populated city being Cork. Other significant urban centres in the
Limerick and Waterford.
Hurling and football
2.1.2 Rugby Union
2.2 Irish language
3.1 Urban areas
5 In media
6 See also
9 External links
Main article: Kingdom of Munster
The Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, historical seat of the Kings of
In the early centuries AD,
Munster was the domain of the Iverni
peoples and the
Clanna Dedad familial line, led by
Cú Roí and to
whom the king
Conaire Mór also belonged. In the 5th century, Saint
Patrick spent several years in the area and founded Christian churches
and ordained priests. During the Early Middle Ages, most of the area
was part of the Kingdom of Munster, ruled by the
Prior to this, the area was ruled by the
Dáirine and Corcu Loígde
overlords from the early 7th century onwards, perhaps beginning with
the 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
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
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 Dalcassian clan, who had earlier annexed Thomond,
north of the
River Shannon to Munster. Their leaders were the
ancestors of the
O'Brien dynasty and spawned Brian Boru, perhaps the
most noted High King of Ireland, and several of whose descendants were
also High Kings.
Munster had fractured into the
Kingdom of Thomond
Kingdom of Thomond under the
Kingdom of Desmond
Kingdom of Desmond under the
(Eóganachta), and the short-lived
Kingdom of Ormond
Kingdom of Ormond under the
O'Kennedys (another Dalcassian sept). The three crowns of the flag of
Munster represent these three late kingdoms.
There was Norman influence from the 14th century, including by 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, while the Earls of Ormond
remained closer to England. The O'Brien of
Desmond surrendered and regranted sovereignty to the Tudors in 1543
and 1565, joining the Kingdom of Ireland. The impactful Desmond
Rebellions, led by the FitzGeralds, soon followed.
By the mid-19th century much of the area was hit hard in the Great
Famine, especially the west. The province was affected by events in
Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence in the early 20th century, and there was
Munster Republic during the Irish Civil War.
The Irish leaders Michael Collins and earlier
Daniel O'Connell came
from families of the old Gaelic
Noted for its traditions in Irish folk music, and with many ancient
castles and monasteries in the province,
Munster is a tourist
destination. During the fifth century, St. Patrick spent seven years
founding churches and ordaining priests in Munster, but a fifth
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
Aibell and Queen Mongfind. Each is historically
associated with certain septs of the nobility. The druid-god of
Munster is Mug Ruith.
The province has long had trading and cultural links with continental
Europe. The tribe of
Corcu Loígde had a trading fleet active along
the French Atlantic coast, as far south as Gascony, importing wine to
Eóganachta had ecclesiastical ties with Germany, which
show in the architecture of their ceremonial capital at the Rock of
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
Cormac mac Cuilennáin
Cormac mac Cuilennáin (d. 908).
School of Ross in
Munster was one of Europe's leading centres of
learning in the Early Middle Ages.
Several sports in
Munster are organised on a provincial basis, or
operate competitions along provincial lines. This includes
traditionally popular sports such as hurling, Gaelic football, rugby
union and soccer, as well as cricket (
Munster Cricket Union), hockey
Munster Hockey Union), and others.
Hurling and football
Munster Senior Football Championship
Munster is noted for its tradition of hurling. Three of the four most
successful teams in the All-Ireland Senior
Hurling Championship are
from Munster; Cork GAA,
Tipperary GAA and
Limerick GAA. The final of
Hurling Championship is one of the most important
days in the Irish GAA calendar.
Munster is the only
province in Ireland that all of its counties have won an All-Ireland
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 the
most successful county in the history of football.
Thomond Park in
Limerick – one of two venues in the province which
Munster Rugby games
Rugby is a popular game in the cities of
Limerick and Cork. Munster
Rugby is an
Irish Rugby Football Union
Irish Rugby Football Union representative side which
competes in the
Pro14 competition, winning in 2003, 2009 and 2011 and
in the Heineken Cup, winning in 2006 and 2008. Until 2016, the Munster
side was the only Irish side to have defeated the New Zealand All
Munster Football Association
Association football is also a popular game in Munster, with the
Munster Football Association governing a number of aspects of the game
in the province. Four
Munster clubs play in the
Airtricity League of
Cork City F.C.
Cork City F.C. and
Limerick FC in the League of Ireland
Premier Division and
Waterford United &
Cobh Ramblers in the Irish
The Irish language, or more specifically
Munster Irish, is spoken as a
first language in
Gaeltachtaí (Irish speaking areas) in a number of
areas in the province. This includes West Kerry (Corca Dhuibhne),
South Kerry (Uíbh Ráthach), West Cork (Múscraí), south-west Cork
(Oileán Cléire), and parts of
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. There are also 12,219 pupils attending 45 Gaelscoils (Irish
language primary schools) and 15
Gaelcholáiste (Irish language
secondary schools) in the province. As of the Census of Ireland
2011 there were 13,193 daily speakers outside the education system in
The province includes nine local government structures, made up of six
counties and three cities:
Cork City Quays
Limerick City Quays
Waterford City Quays
Munster has many large towns (including a number of growing satellite
towns) and is the province with the most cities in the Republic of
Ireland. In order of size (2016 census figures; urban areas with over
10,000 inhabitants), with cities and county towns bolded:
See also: List of urban areas in the
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland by population
Urban areas with 5,000–10,000 inhabitants:
Newcastle West (6,619)
Carrick on Suir
Carrick on Suir (5,771)
Munster is the second wealthiest province on the island of
Ireland, with 2014 CSO figures indicating GDP per
capita ranges from €28,094 in the South Tipperary/Waterford
(South-East) region to €50,544 in Cork and Kerry (South-West).
The province contributes 50bn euro to Irish GDP (25% of total Irish
GDP in 2012).[not in citation given]
GDP € (2012)
GDP per person €
GDP € (2014)
GDP per person €
Cork & Kerry
Limerick & North Tipperary & Clare
Waterford & South Tipperary
Munster's agricultural industry centres around the Golden Vale
pasturelands which cover counties Cork,
Limerick and Tipperary. Kerry
Group manufactures dairy products from the dairy cows of the region,
Glanbia is a food producer which operates an "innovation centre"
in the region. Dawn Meats also operate from County Waterford.
Dunnes Stores was founded in Cork, and Ireland's
largest supermarket group, the Musgrave Group, is also based in
Large employers in the region include 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, Siemens,
Blizzard Entertainment. The largest employment hub in
Metropolitan Cork, where a number of multinational firms are located
in the Cork city area, including at Little Island. The Shannon Free
Limerick city is also a centre of employment.
See also: List of newspapers in the Republic of Ireland
A number of television companies and studios have (or had) a
Munster-focus. These include
RTÉ Cork (RTÉ's regional studio in
South Coast TV and Channel South. The latter transmitted local
programming to Cork, Limerick, and parts of Kerry, Waterford, Clare
Apart from the local city or regional newspapers, a number of print
outlets focus or market themselves on a provincial basis. These
include the Avondhu (covering parts of Cork, Waterford,
Tipperary), the Nationalist &
Munster Advertiser, the Munster
Express, and others.
Provinces of Ireland
A This is the cities' urban area populations and not city proper
County Tipperary has two county towns, following the 2014
amalgamation of North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary
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" (PDF). www.iso.org.
^ a b c "Sapmap Area: Province Munster". Census 2016. Central
Statistics Office. 2016.
^ Challoner, Richard. A Memorial of Ancient British Piety: or, a
British Martyrology, p. 128. W. Needham, 1761. Retrieved 14 March
^ Census of Ireland 2016: 1,280,394 out of 1,728,324 total.
^ 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.
Gaelscoil stats" (PDF). Gaelscoileanna.ie. 2011.
^ for post 1821 figures, 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey
Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy
March 14, 1865, For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census
returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses"
in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA
Clarkson (1981) p54, in and also New Developments in Irish Population
History, 1700–1850 by Joel Mokyr and
Cormac Ó Gráda in The
Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov. 1984), pp.
^ "Population Density and Area Size 2016 by Towns by Size, CensusYear
and Statistic". www.cso.ie.
^ a b "County Incomes and Regional GDP (Table 9a GDP per person at
Basic Prices, 2006 to 2014)". Central Statistics Office. 22 March
^ "County incomes and regional GDP" (PDF). Archived from the original
(PDF) on 19 November 2011.
^ Gianbia Nutritionals – Official website
^ "Contact Us". www.dawnmeats.com. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
^ "About Us". AvondhuPress. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
^ "About Us
Munster Express Online". Munster-express.ie. Retrieved
21 February 2016.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Munster.
Texts on Wikisource:
Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Munster". Encyclopedia
Munster (Ireland)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Munster". New
International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
Kingdom of Munster
Eóganacht Locha Léin
Eóganacht Airthir Cliach
Fir Maige Féne
Dál Coirpri Aradh
Lordship of Ireland
List of kings of Munster
Province of Munster
Annals of Inisfallen
Senchas Fagbála Caisil
Caithréim Chellacháin Chaisil
Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib
Counties of Ireland
The counties are listed per province
Italics denote non-administrative counties.
Brackets denote non-traditional counties.
†denotes non-administrative counties o