Athlone is a town on the River Shannon near the southern shore of Lough Ree, Ireland. Athlone is on the border of counties Roscommon and Westmeath. Although the River Shannon forms the historic border between Roscommon and Westmeath, the Local Government Act of 1898 designated all of Athlone (Urban) as belonging to Westmeath, including areas west of the river. Much recent growth has occurred outside the official town boundaries. Monksland for example, a suburb on the west side of the town, is not within the official town boundaries, yet is the most populous area of County Roscommon.