Because of their prominent locations on the River Shannon and their roles as important cities in the province of Munster, both County Clare (An Chláir) and County Limerick (Luimnigh) have played crucial parts in the history of western Ireland. County Clare is referred to as “the banner county” because of its past history of toting various banderoles at social and political events. Clare has world-famous cliffs, enchanting towns, and impressive castles. Tucked south of Clare and fed directly by the River Shannon, County Limerick is redefining itself. New, opulent buildings, boutiques, chic stores, and caf és are all attracting new business. While it's not a major tourist destination, its environs contribute to the Emerald Isle's mystique.