The River Shannon (Irish: Abha na Sionainne / an tSionainn / an tSionna) is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km (224 miles).
It divides the west of Ireland (principally the province of Connacht) from the east and south (Leinster and most of Munster). County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception. The river represents a major physical barrier between east and west, with fewer than thirty crossing-points between Limerick city in the south and the village of Dowra in the north.
The river is named for Sionna, a Celtic goddess.
The Shannon has been an important waterway since antiquity, having first been mapped by the Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy. The river flows generally southward from the Shannon Pot in County Cavan before turning west and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean through the 113 km (70 mi) long Shannon Estuary. Limerick city stands at the point where the river water meets the sea water of the estuary. The Shannon is unaffected by sea tides east of Limerick.
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