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Irish Luimneach (Bare Land), county borough, port, and chief town of County Limerick, Ireland, occupying both banks and King's Island of the River Shannon at the head of its estuary. The Norse, who sacked the early  settlement in 812, made it the principal town of their kingdom of Limerick;  they were expelled at the end of the 10th century by the Irish hero Brian Boru. From 1106 to 1174 it was the seat of the kings of Thomond, or North Munster. Richard I granted it a charter in 1197. King John (reigned 1199-1216) granted it to William de Burgh, who founded English Town and erected a strong castle. In the 15th century its fortifications were extended  to include Irish Town, and it became one of the strongest fortresses of the  kingdom. After an unsuccessful siege by William III, its resistance was  ended in 1691 by the treaty of Limerick. In 1609 it had received a charter constituting it a  county of a city and also incorporating a society of merchants. Fragments of the old walls  remain.

Under the Local Government Act of 1888, Limerick became a county borough with a city council. The city is divided into English Town (on King's Island), Irish Town, and Newtown Pery (founded  1769), the first including the ancient nucleus of the city and the last, the principal modern  streets. The main stream of the Shannon is crossed by the Thomond and the Sarsfield, or  Wellesley, bridges. The Protestant Cathedral of St. Mary was originally built in 1142-80.

Limerick. Pop. (1981) 60,736.                     

Limerick, Ireland