River Shannon: Facts About the Longest River in Ireland

River Shannon Fact File

Country: Ireland

Length: 360 km (224 miles)

Source: Shannon Pot, Culicagh Mountain, County Cavan

Mouth: Shannon Estuary, Limerick

Other Facts About the River Shannon

  • The Shannon divides Ireland, with Connacht in the west and Leinster and Munster to the east and south.
  • The river flows through 11 of the counties of Ireland.
  • There are several lakes on the Shannon, including, Lough Allen, Lough Derg and Lough Ree.
  • The Shannon is named after the Celtic goddess, Sionna, and legend has it that a monster called Cata lives in the river.
  • Many canals connect with the Shannon, including: the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal.
  • The River Shannon has historically had great strategic importance attached to it in military encounters.
  • There are only about 20 crossings of the River Shannon.
  • The Shannon provides excellent opportunities for water sports and is a very popular tourist attraction in the summer months.
  • The Shannon provided water for industry in the 1800s and was home to the famous Victorian Shannon steamers.
  • The largest towns on the river are Limerick and Athlone.
  • The river is relatively slow moving becasue it only falls 60 feet in the first 150 miles of its course.

Click here to find out more about other important rivers.

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