County Tyrone

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County Tyrone

Contae Thír Eoghain
Coontie Tyrone
Arms of County Tyrone.png
Coat of arms
The Red Hand County
Consilio et Prudentia  (Latin)
"By Wisdom and Prudence"
Island of Ireland location map Tyrone.svg
Province Ulster
County town Omagh
  Total1,218 sq mi (3,150 km2)
Area rank 8th
Highest elevation2,224 ft (678 m)
  Rank 10th [1]
Time zone UTC±0 (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode area
Contae Thír Eoghain is the Irish name; Countie Tyrone, [2] Coontie Tyrone [3] and Coontie Owenslann [4] are Ulster Scots spellings (the latter used only by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council).

County Tyrone ( /tɪˈrn/ ; [5] from Irish : Tír Eoghain, meaning "land of Eoghan") is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties on the island of Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.


Adjoined to the south-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,155 km2 (1,218 sq mi) and has a population of about 177,986; its county town is Omagh. The county derives its name and general geographic location from Tír Eoghain, a Gaelic kingdom under the O'Neill dynasty which existed until the 17th century.


The name Tyrone is derived from Irish Tír Eoghain, meaning 'land of Eoghan ', the name given to the conquests made by the Cenél nEógain from the provinces of Airgíalla and Ulaid. [6] Historically, it was anglicised as Tirowen or Tyrowen, which are closer to the Irish pronunciation.


Historically Tyrone stretched as far north as Lough Foyle, and comprised part of modern-day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle. The majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610–1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on natural resources located there. Tyrone was the traditional stronghold of the various O'Neill clans and families, the strongest of the Gaelic Irish families in Ulster, surviving into the seventeenth century. The ancient principality of Tír Eoghain, the inheritance of the O'Neills, included the whole of the present counties of Tyrone and Londonderry, and the four baronies of West Inishowen, East Inishowen, Raphoe North and Raphoe South in County Donegal. [13]

In 1608 during O'Doherty's Rebellion areas of the country were plundered and burnt by the forces of Sir Cahir O'Doherty following his destruction of Derry. However, O'Doherty's men avoided the estates of the recently fled Earl of Tyrone around Dungannon, fearing Tyrone's anger if he returned from his exile. [14]


With an area of 3,155 square kilometres (1,218 sq mi), Tyrone is the largest county in Northern Ireland. The flat peatlands of East Tyrone border the shoreline of the largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh, rising gradually across to the more mountainous terrain in the west of the county, the area surrounding the Sperrin Mountains, the highest point being Sawel Mountain at a height of 678 m (2,224 ft). The length of the county, from the mouth of the River Blackwater at Lough Neagh to the western point near Carrickaduff hill is 55 miles (89 km). The breadth, from the southern corner, southeast of Fivemiletown, to the northeastern corner near Meenard Mountain is 37.5 miles (60.4 km); giving an area of 1,260 square miles (in 1900). [13] Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland.

Tyrone is connected by land to the county of Fermanagh to the southwest; Monaghan to the south; Armagh to the southeast; Londonderry to the north; and Donegal to the west. Across Lough Neagh to the east, it borders County Antrim. It is the eighth largest of Ireland's thirty-two counties by area and tenth largest by population. [15] It is the second largest of Ulster's nine traditional counties by area and fourth largest by population. [16]

Blackrock Bridge near Newtownstewart, carrying the closed GNR mainline that ran through the county Blackrock Bridge - - 467291.jpg
Blackrock Bridge near Newtownstewart, carrying the closed GNR mainline that ran through the county


The county was administered by Tyrone County Council from 1899 until the abolition of county councils in Northern Ireland in 1973. [17]


It is one of four counties in Northern Ireland which currently has a majority of the population from a Catholic community background, according to the 2011 census. In 1900 County Tyrone had a population of 197,719, [13] while in 2011 it was 177,986.


Large towns

(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census) [18]

Medium towns

(population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census) [18]

Small towns

(population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census) [18]

Intermediate settlements

(population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census) [18]


(population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census) [18]

Small villages

(population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census) [18]





Future railway revival

There is the possibility of the line being reopened to Dungannon railway station from Portadown. [19]


The major sports in Tyrone are Gaelic games, association football, rugby union and cricket.[ citation needed ]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

County Donegal County in the Republic of Ireland

County Donegal is a county of Ireland in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. Donegal County Council is the local council and Lifford the county town.

Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council administrative territorial entity of the United Kingdom

Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council was a local council in Northern Ireland. It merged with Cookstown District Council and Magherafelt District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Mid-Ulster District Council.

Strabane town in Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Strabane, historically spelt Straban, is a town in west Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Dungannon town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Dungannon is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the third-largest town in the county and had a population of 14,340 at the 2011 Census. The Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council had its headquarters in the town, though since 2015 it has been covered by Mid-Ulster District Council.

Inishowen peninsula in Ireland

Inishowen is a peninsula in the north of County Donegal in Ireland. It is the largest peninsula on the island of Ireland. The Inishowen peninsula includes Ireland's most northerly point, Malin Head. The Grianan of Aileach, a ringfort that served as the royal seat of the over-kingdom of Ailech, stands at the entrance to the peninsula.

Cookstown District Council administrative territorial entity of the United Kingdom

Cookstown District Council was a district council covering an area largely in County Tyrone and partly in County Londonderry. It merged with Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council and Magherafelt District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Mid-Ulster District Council.

Ballinderry is a small civil and ecclesiastical parish on both sides of the County Londonderry / County Tyrone border in Northern Ireland. It is a rural parish of about 350 houses and lies on the western shores of Lough Neagh.

The Tyrone Senior Football Championship is an annual Gaelic Athletic Association competition organised by Tyrone GAA between the top gaelic football clubs in County Tyrone. The winners represent Tyrone in the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship.

Tír Eoghain Gaelic kingdom of ancient and Medieval Ireland

Tír Eoghain, also known as Tyrone, was a kingdom and later earldom of Gaelic Ireland, comprising parts of present-day County Tyrone, County Armagh and County Londonderry. The kingdom represented the core homeland of the Cenél nEógain people of the Northern Uí Néill and although they ruled, there were smaller groups of other Gaels in the area. Also known as the guidance of Land. One part of the realm to the north-east broke away and expanded, becoming Clandeboye, ruled by a scion branch of the Ó Néill.

Strabane Sigersons is a Gaelic Athletic Association club. The club is based in the town of Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Mid Ulster (district) Local government district in Northern Ireland

Mid Ulster is a local government district in Northern Ireland. The district was created on 1 April 2015 by merging Magherafelt District, Cookstown District, and the Borough of Dungannon and South Tyrone. The local authority is Mid Ulster District Council.

Loughinsholin Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Loughinsholin is a barony in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Its southeast borders the northwest shore of Lough Neagh, and itself is bordered by seven other baronies: Dungannon Upper to the south; Strabane Upper to the west; Keenaght and Coleraine to the north; Kilconway, Toome Upper, and Toome Lower to the east. It was formed largely on the extent of the medieval Irish túath of Uí Tuirtri.

Tirkeeran Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Tirkeeran is a barony in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It connects to the north-Londonderry coastline, and is bordered by four other baronies: Keenaght to the east; Strabane Lower to the south-east; North West Liberties of Londonderry to the west; Strabane Upper to the south.

Tirkennedy Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Tirkennedy is a barony in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. To its west lies Lower Lough Erne and south Upper Lough Erne, and it is bordered by seven other baronies: Clanawley and Magheraboy to the west; Lurg and Omagh East to the north; Clogher to the east; Magherastephana and Knockninny to the south.

Clogher (barony) Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Clogher is a barony in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is bordered by four other baronies in Northern Ireland: Omagh East to the north; Dungannon Lower to the east; Magherastephana to the south; and Tirkennedy to the south-west. It also borders two baronies in the Republic of Ireland: Trough and Monaghan both to the south-east.

Omagh East Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Omagh East is a barony in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is bordered by nine other baronies: Omagh West and Lurg to the west; Strabane Lower and Strabane Upper to the north; Dungannon Middle and Dungannon Upper to the east; Clogher and Tirkennedy to the south; and Dungannon Lower to the south-east.

Dungannon Upper Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Dungannon Upper is a barony in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It was created in 1851 with the splitting of the barony of Dungannon. Lough Neagh runs along its eastern boundary, and it is bordered by four other baronies: Dungannon Middle to the south; Loughinsholin to the north; Strabane Upper to the north-west; and Omagh East to the south-west.

The Cenél nEógain or Kinel-Owen are a branch of the Northern Uí Néill, who claim descent from Eógan mac Néill, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Originally their power-base was in Inishowen, with their capital at Ailech, in modern-day County Donegal in what is now the west of Ulster. Under pressure from the Cenél Conaill, they gradually spread their influence eastwards into modern counties Tyrone and Londonderry, pushing aside the Cruithin east of the River Bann, and encroaching on the Airgiallan tribes west of Lough Neagh. By the 11th century their power-base had moved from Ailech to Tullyhogue outside Cookstown, County Tyrone. By the 12th century the Cenél Conaill conquered Inishowen; however, it mattered little to the Cenél nEóghain as they had established a powerful over-kingdom in the east that had become known as Tír Eoghain, or the "Land of Owen", preserved in the modern-day name of County Tyrone.


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  14. McCavitt, John. The Flight of the Earls. Gill & MacMillan, 2002. p.143-44
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  19. "All aboard! Dungannon railway hopes revived".
  20. The Tyrone GAA team have won the Ulster Senior Championship on eight occasions in the 20th century
  21. "Tyrone Kane given first Ireland call-up for World T20 qualifiers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  22. Ireland's Bready Cricket Club Gets ICC's Recognition [ permanent dead link ]
  23. "ICC announces schedule of ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015". International Cricket Council. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  24. "Kansas Governor Walter Roscoe Stubbs". National Governors Association. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
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  28. Professor P G (Gerry) McKenna.

Pointon, GE (1990), BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.  92, ISBN   0-19-282745-6

Further reading