County Fermanagh (// fər-MAN-ə; from Irish: Fir Manach or Fear Manach, meaning "men of Manach") is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. The county covers an area of 1,691 km² (653 sq mi) and has a population of 61,805 as of 2011. Enniskillen is the county town and largest in both size and population.
Contae Fhear Manach
Feor Magh Eanagh
|• Total||715 sq mi (1,851 km2)|
|• Land||653 sq mi (1,691 km2)|
|2,182 ft (665 m)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|Contae Fhear Manach is the Irish name; Countie Fermanagh, Coontie Fermanagh and Coontie Fermanay are Ulster Scots spellings (the latter used only by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council).|
Fermanagh is one of four counties of Northern Ireland to have a majority of its population from a Catholic background, according to the 2011 census. Unusually for an area of Northern Ireland, there are few Presbyterians in Fermanagh. Most of the Protestants are members of the Church of Ireland and there is also a Methodist community.
Fermanagh is by far the smallest of Northern's Ireland's six counties in terms of population, with just over one-third of the population of Northern Ireland's next smallest county, Armagh. It is the second smallest county in Northern Ireland by area and is ranked 25th in Ireland by size. Fermanagh borders County Tyrone to the north-east, County Monaghan to the south-east, County Cavan to the south-west, County Leitrim to the west and County Donegal to the north-west. The county town, Enniskillen, is the largest settlement in Fermanagh, situated in the middle of the county.
It is mainly rural, with a population density of 36.1 people per km2, and is situated largely in the basin of the River Erne. It is dominated by two connected lakes: Upper and Lower Lough Erne, and, including water, spans an area of 1,851 km² (715 sq; mi). It is approximately 120 km (75 mi) from Belfast and 160 km (99 mi) from Dublin.
Under Köppen climate classification, Fermanagh experiences a maritime temperate oceanic climate with cold winters, mild humid summers, and a lack of temperature extremes. Fermanagh accounts for 13.2% of the land mass of Northern Ireland and 30% of Fermanagh is covered with lakes and waterways. With 24,000 hectares of forest cover, or approximately 14% of total land area, Fermanagh is well above both the UK and Irish national averages. Due to its expansive lakelands and scenic rural countryside, much of the county is set to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The county is situated over a sequence of prominent faults, primarily the Killadeas – Seskinore Fault, the Tempo – Sixmilecross Fault, the Belcoo Fault and the Clogher Valley Fault which cross-cuts Lough Erne. To the north of Lough Erne, the oldest rocks in the county are found. These are red beds that were formed approximately 550 million years ago. In eastern Fermanagh there are extensive sandstones that were laid down during the Devonian, 400 million years ago. Much of the rest of the county's bedrock geology dates from the Carboniferous, 354 to 298 million years ago. These rocks are primarily marine muds, shales and limestones, which have produced extensive cave systems such as the Shannon Cave, the Marble Arch Caves and the Caves of the Tullybrack and Belmore hills. These carboniferous shales aggregate across several counties in the northwest of Ireland - known colloquially as the Lough Allen basin - and are estimated to contain 9.4 trillion cubic metres of natural gas, equivalent to 1.5 billion barrels of oil (approximately $115 billion at 2018 prices).
The county has three prominent upland areas, the expansive West Fermanagh Scarplands to the southwest of Lough Erne, which rise to some 350m, the Sliabh Beagh hills to the east on the Monaghan border, and the Breifne mountain range along Fermanagh's southern border, which contain Cuilcagh, the county's highest point, at 665m.
The Menapii are the only known Celtic tribe specifically named on Ptolemy’s 150 AD map of Ireland, where they located their first colony- Menapia – on the Leinster coast circa 216 BC. They later settled around Lough Erne, becoming known as the Fir Manach, and giving their name to Fermanagh and Monaghan. Mongán mac Fiachnai, a 7th-century King of Ulster, is the protagonist of several legends linking him with Manannán mac Lir. They spread across Ireland, evolving into historic Irish (also Scottish and Manx) clans.
Fermanagh was a stronghold of the Maguire clan and Donn Carrach Maguire (died 1302) was the first of the chiefs of the Maguire dynasty. However, on the confiscation of lands relating to Hugh Maguire, Fermanagh was divided in similar manner to the other five escheated counties among Scottish and English undertakers and native Irish. The baronies of Knockninny and Magheraboy were allotted to Scottish undertakers, those of Clankelly, Magherastephana and Lurg to English undertakers and those of Clanawley, Coole, and Tyrkennedy, to servitors and natives. The chief families to benefit under the new settlement were the families of Cole, Blennerhasset, Butler, Hume, and Dunbar.
Fermanagh was made into a county by statute of Elizabeth I, but it was not until the time of the Plantation of Ulster that it was finally brought under civil government.
The closure of all the lines of Great Northern Railway (Ireland) within County Fermanagh in 1957 left the county as the first non-island county in the UK without a railway service.
With the creation of Northern Ireland's district councils, Fermanagh District Council the only one of the 26 that contained all of the county from which it derived its name. After the re-organisation of local government in 2015, Fermanagh was still the only county wholly within one council area, namely Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, albeit that it constituted only a part of that entity.
For the purposes of elections to the UK Parliament, the territory of Fermanagh is part of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Parliamentary Constituency. This constituency is renowned for high levels of voting and for electing Provisional IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands as a member of parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, April 1981, shortly before his death.
Industry and tourismEdit
Agriculture and tourism are two of the most important industries in Fermanagh. The main types of farming in the area are beef, dairy, sheep, pigs and some poultry. Most of the agricultural land is used as grassland for grazing and silage or hay rather than for other crops.
The waterways are extensively used by cabin cruisers, other small pleasure craft and anglers. The main town of Fermanagh is Enniskillen (Inis Ceithleann, 'Ceithleann's island'). The island town hosts a range of attractions including the Castle Coole Estate and Enniskillen Castle, which is home to the museum of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.
Attractions outside Enniskillen include:
(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)
(population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census)
(population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census)
(population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census)
(population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census)
Small villages or hamletsEdit
(population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census)
Fermanagh GAA has never won a Senior Provincial or an All-Ireland title in any Gaelic games.
Only Ballinamallard United F.C. take part in the Northern Ireland football league system. All other Fermanagh clubs play in the Fermanagh & Western FA league systems. Fermanagh Mallards F.C. played in the Women's Premier League until 2013.
Famous football players from Fermanagh include -
Famous people born, raised in or living in Fermanagh include:
- John Armstrong (1717–1795), born in Fermanagh, Major General in the Continental Army and delegate in the Continental Congressman
- Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), author and playwright from Foxrock in Dublin who was educated at Portora Royal School)
- The 1st Viscount Brookeborough, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 1943-1963
- Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911–1993), doctor, discoverer of Burkitt's lymphoma
- Roy Carroll (1977– ), association footballer
- Edward Cooney (1867–1960), evangelist and early leader of the Cooneyite and Go-Preachers
- Brian D'Arcy (1945– ), C.P., Passionist priest and media personality
- Brendan Dolan (1973– ), professional darts player for the PDC
- Adrian Dunbar (1958– ), actor
- Neil Hannon (1970– ), musician
- Sean Hoy (1964-), Irish diplomat
- Robert Kerr (1882–1963), athlete and Olympic gold medalist
- Kyle Lafferty (1987– ), Northern Ireland International association footballer
- Charles Lawson (1959– ), actor (plays Jim McDonald in Coronation Street)
- Francis Little (1822–1890), born in Fermanagh, Wisconsin State Senator
- Terence MacManus (c. 1823–1861), leader in Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848
- Michael Magner (1840–97), recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Peter McGinnity, Gaelic footballer, Fermanagh's first winner of an All Star Award
- Martin McGrath, Gaelic footballer, All Star winner
- Ciarán McMenamin (1975– ), actor
- Barry Owens, Gaelic footballer, two time All Star winner
- Sean Quinn (1947– ), entrepreneur
- Michael Sleavon (1826-1902), recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Patrick Treacy, author and one time physician to Michael Jackson
- Joan Trimble (1915–2000), pianist and composer
- Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), author and playwright (educated in Portora Royal School)
- Gordon Wilson (1927–1995), peace campaigner and Irish senator
The railway companies that served the county, prior to the establishment by merger of Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway, Enniskillen and Bundoran Railway the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway which was later named the Irish North Western Railway, thus forming the Great Northern Railway (Ireland). By 1883 the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) absorbed all the lines except the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway, which remained independent throughout its existence.
The nearest railway station to Enniskillen is Sligo station which is served by trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. The Dublin-Sligo railway line has a two hourly service run by Irish Rail Official site – Timetables, bookings and operations The connecting bus from Sligo via Manorhamilton to Enniskillen is route 66 operated by Bus Éireann.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to County Fermanagh.|
- Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland (County Fermanagh)
- Castles in County Fermanagh
- Extreme points of the United Kingdom
- High Sheriff of Fermanagh
- List of parishes of County Fermanagh
- List of places in County Fermanagh
- List of townlands in County Fermanagh
- Lord Lieutenant of Fermanagh
- People from County Fermanagh
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- Clogher Record
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- Fermanagh: its special landscapes: a study of the Fermanagh countryside and its heritage /Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. – Belfast: HMSO, 1991 ISBN 0-337-08276-6
- Livingstone, Peadar. – The Fermanagh story:a documented history of the County Fermanagh from the earliest times to the present day – Enniskillen: Cumann Seanchais Chlochair, 1969.
- Lowe, Henry N. – County Fermanagh 100 years ago: a guide and directory 1880. – Belfast: Friar's Bush Press, 1990. ISBN 0-946872-29-5
- Parke, William K. – A Fermanagh Childhood. Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh: Friar's Bush Press, 1988. ISBN 0-946872-12-0
- Impartial Reporter
- Fermanagh Herald