Lim'erick, a county of Munster, separated by the Shannon on the N. from Clare, and bounded elsewhere by Tipperary, Cork, and Kerry. Its greatest length is 35 miles, its greatest breadth 54 miles, and its area 680,842 acres, or 1063 sq. m. Pop. (1841)330,029; (1861)217,223; (1901)146,018, mainly Roman Catholics. The surface is an undulating plain, except in the extreme N. and S. The soil in general is fertile, especially the Golden Vale, and a portion beside the Shannon below Limerick. Dairy-farming flourishes ; woollens, flour, and paper are manufactured. The county returns two members. Limerick is the only town of any size. Limerick is more than usually rich in antiquities, both ecclesiastical and civil, of the Celtic as well as the Anglo-Norman period. There are monastic ruins at Adare, Askeaton, etc.
Limerick, the county town, stands at the head of the estuary of the Shannon, 120 miles by rail WSW. of Dublin. The town consists of English Town, the original English settlement made in the reign of King John, on King's Island ; Irish Town, immediately S., on the left bank ; and Newtown-Pery, S. of Irish Town, the handsomest part of the city, dating from 1769. There are few objects of interest except the Protestant cathedral of*St Mary (1180; rebuilt 1490); the Gothic R.C. cathedral (1860); and the fine bridges over the Shannon. Limerick manufactures a little lace, grinds flour, and cures bacon. Fourth among Irish seaports, it has a graving and a floating dock, and extensive quays; and imports grain, petroleum, wine, spirits, and timber. It returns one member (till 1885 two). Pop. (1851) 53,448 ; (1901) 38,085. See the county history by Fitzgerald and M'Gregor (2 vols. Dublin, 1826-27).