River Shannon facts for kids

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River Shannon
River Shannon from Drumsna bridge.jpg
River Shannon from Drumsna bridge, County Leitrim
Native name Abhainn na Sionainne
Physical characteristics
Main source Shannon Pot
Glangevlin, Cuilcagh Mountain, Cavan
River mouth Shannon Estuary
Limerick
Length 360.5 kilometres (224.0 mi)
Discharge
  • Maximum rate:
    300 cubic metres per second (11,000 cu ft/s)

The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km (224 miles). It drains the Shannon River Basin which has an area of 16,865 km2 (6,512 sq mi), one fifth of the area of Ireland.

The Shannon 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-five crossing-points between Limerick city in the south and the village of Dowra in the north.

The river is named after 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 southwards from the Shannon Pot in County Cavan before turning west and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean through the 102.1 km (63.4 mi) long Shannon Estuary. Limerick city stands at the point where the river water meets the sea water of the estuary. The Shannon is tidal east of Limerick as far as the base of the Ardnacrusha dam.

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River Shannon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.