Minster (anc. Mumhan), the largest and southernmost of the four provinces of Ireland, bounded N. by Connaught, N. E. by Leinster, and on other sides by the Atlantic, and comprised between lat. 51° 26' and 53° 12' N, and Ion. 6° 56' and 10° 20' W.; area, 9,272 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 1,390,402. In the west are the highest mountains in Ireland, and the south is crossed by long chains of hills. Three fourths of the surface is arable, and one fourth under tillage. The principal rivers are the Suir, Blackwater, Lee, Bandon, Cashen, Maigue, and Fergus, with the estuary of the Shannon, all of which are navigable. The principal lakes are those of Killarney. Except in the rugged uplands of Kerry, Clare, and western Cork, the limestone soil of Munster is excellent. The climate is the most genial in Ireland. Geo-logically, the province is peculiar in Ireland for the rare appearance of igneous protrusions and the absence of bituminous coal, though possessing perhaps the most extensive anthracite deposit in the British isles. Clay slate is found, and copper abounds all along the S. coast. Lead, silver, iron, alum, black and mottled marbles, plastic clays, and fine ochres are found.

The province comprises the counties of Clare Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford. - As a kingdom of the Irish pentarchy, Mumhan was perhaps the most formidable of the live states; it early subjected Leinster to the payment of an annual tribute; its princes successfully opposed and ultimately expelled the Danes, and more than once usurped the sceptre of Tara as sovereigns of the entire island. It was then divided into three principalities, Thomond, Desmond, and Ormond (i'.e, North. South, and East Munster), and Cashel was the civil,.as it is still the ecclesiastical, metropolis. During the rebellions in the time of Queen Elizabeth Munster was governed through a local president and council.