Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) is situated on the banks of the River Lee in the south of the country. With a city population of 119,418 in 2006 (190,384 including suburbs) it is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the third largest on the island of Ireland once Belfast in the North is included.
Cork is the anglicised version of the Irish word Corcaigh, which means marsh. The city centre was originally built on marshland and boats were able to navigate into the channels which separated the many islands. Many of the wider streets, such as St Patrick's Street, the South Mall and the Grand Parade, are actually built on former river channels. St Patrick's Street is Cork's commercial hub, and is known colloquially as either "Patrick Street" or "Pana". The centre of the city forms an arrow-shaped island between the North and South channels of the River Lee. There are upwards of thirty bridges over the two channels. This, combined with the one-way traffic system, can make the centre a little bit confusing for first-time visitors. The River Lee flows from West to East, and outside of the centre, hills rise steeply to the Northside, while the Southside is that bit flatter but still hilly in parts. St. Anne's Church watches over Shandon, just to the North of the river. The University is about 2km to the west of the centre.