Shannon Estuary

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The Shannon Estuary () is a large estuary where the River Shannon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The estuary has Limerick at its head and its seaward limits are marked by Loop Head to the north and Kerry Head to the south. The estuary defines the main boundary between County Kerry/County Limerick to the south and County Clare to the north.


Historically, the estuary was used by transatlantic seaplanes as a first landfall or kayla point in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1945, Shannon Airport opened on the northern shores and the estuary as a landing site gradually fell into disuse. The estuary is still used by tankers to deliver fuel to the Shannon Airport Jetty.


Shannon Foynes Port Company is the port authority for the entire estuary. It owns facilities at Foynes Dock, Limerick City and at airport jetty. It provides marine services, including pilotage and towage to privately owned facilities at Moneypoint, Tarbert Island and Aughinish.


Zoology: Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (Montagu 1821).Berrow, S.D. 2009. Winter distribution of Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus (Montaghu)) in the Shannon Estuary. Ir. Nat. J. 30: 35 - 39.

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