The Shannon

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  • Aspects of Limerick

The Shannon in Limerick

The River Shannon has been hugely important in the development of Limerick over the centuries. As a ford on the river, the city of Limerick grew and the Shannon has always provided food, employment, transport and sport for the citizens of Limerick.

Bridges of Limerick City

Bridges have been vitally important to life in Limerick city over the centuries. They are used for transport, trade, convenience and leisure. Limerick has three main bridges: Thomond Bridge, Shannon Bridge and Sarsfield Bridge.

Thomond Bridge was first built some time between 1185 and 1210. It was used to link King John's castle on the Limerick side to Co. Clare on the other. It has been rebuilt several times over the centuries. It is the oldest bridge in Limerick city, and was at one time the only bridge across the Shannon.

Sarsfield Bridge was built in 1827. It was the main bridge for traffic into the city right up until the 1980s. It is a prettier bridge than Thomond, with its elegant walls, in-built pillars with gaps to see the river, and graceful lamp-posts adorning its walls. In 2002, new lock gates began operating to allow boat traffic to pass below the bridge. This was part of the re-opening of the canal to attract visitors and tourists to the Shannon.