County Tyrone

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County Tyrone
Contae Thír Eoghain (Irish)
Coontie Owenslann (Ulster-Scots)
Tyrone arms.svg
Nickname: 
The Red Hand County
Motto(s): 
Consilio et Prudentia (Latin)
"By Wisdom and Prudence"
Island of Ireland location map Tyrone.svg
Country United Kingdom
Region Northern Ireland
Province Ulster
Established1585
County town Omagh
Area
[1]
  Total1,261 sq mi (3,270 km2)
  Rank 8th
Highest elevation2,224 ft (678 m)
Population
 (2021)
188,383
  Rank 11th [2]
Time zone UTC±0 (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode area
BT
Contae Thír Eoghain is the Irish name; Countie Tyrone, [3] Coontie Tyrone [4] and Coontie Owenslann [5] are Ulster Scots spellings (the latter used only by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council).

County Tyrone ( /tɪˈrn/ ; [6] from Irish Tír Eoghain, meaning "land of Eoghan") is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster and one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland. Its county town is Omagh.

Contents

Adjoined to the south-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,266 km2 (1,261 sq mi) [1] , making it the largest of Northern Ireland's six counties by size, and the second largest county in Ulster after Donegal. With a population of 188,383 as of the 2021 census, Tyrone is the 4th most populous county in both Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the 11th most populous county on the island of Ireland. 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.

Name

The name Tyrone is derived from Irish Tír Eoghain 'land of Eoghan ', the name given to the conquests made by the Cenél nEógain from the provinces of Airgíalla and Ulaid. [7] Historically, it was anglicised as Tirowen or Tyrowen, which are closer to the Irish pronunciation.

History

Historically Tyrone (then Tír Eoghain or Tirowen) was much larger in size, stretching 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 and 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. [14]

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. [15]

Geography

With an area of 3,266 square kilometres (1,261 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 1,261 square miles (in 1900). [14] Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland.

Tyrone is connected by land to the counties 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. [16] It is the second largest of Ulster's nine traditional counties by area and fourth largest by population. [17]

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

Administration

The county was administered by Tyrone County Council from 1899 until the abolition of county councils in Northern Ireland in 1973. [18]

Demography

Religious Background in Tyrone (2021)
ReligionPer cent
Catholic
66.5%
Protestant and Other Christian
28.9%
None
4.0%
Other faiths
0.7%

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 2021 census. [19] In 1900 County Tyrone had a population of 197,719, [14] while in 2021 it was 188,383. At the time of the 2021 census, 66.49% were from a Catholic background, 28.88% were from a Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related), 0.66% were from other religions, and 3.97% had no religious background. [19]

Religion or religion brought up in (2021 Census)
Religion or religion brought up inNumber%
Catholic125,25166.49%
Protestant and Other Christian54,40728.88%
Other religions1,2510.66%
None (no religion)7,4743.97%
Total188,383100.00%
National identity (2021 Census) [20] [21] [22] [23]
National identityNumber(%)
Irish only78,29141.6%
British only39,55121.0%
Northern Irish only38,69820.5%
British and Northern Irish only8,1974.4%
Irish and Northern Irish only3,8532.1%
British, Irish and Northern Irish only1,1750.6%
British and Irish only7370.4%
Other identity17,8819.5%
Total188,383100.0%
All Irish identities84,56244.9%
All British identities50,76827.0%
All Northern Irish identities52,66728.0%

Settlements

Large towns

(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2021 Census) [24]

Medium towns

(population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2021 Census) [24]

Small towns

(population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2021 Census) [25]

Intermediate settlements

(population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2021 Census) [24]

Villages

(population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census) [25]

Small villages

(population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census) [25]

Subdivisions

Baronies

Parishes

Townlands

Future railway revival

There is the possibility of the line being reopened to Dungannon railway station from Portadown. [26]

Sport

Major sports in Tyrone include Gaelic games, association football, rugby union and cricket:

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Fermanagh</span> County in Northern Ireland

County Fermanagh is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster and one of six counties of Northern Ireland

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Donegal</span> County in Ireland

County Donegal is a county of Ireland in the province of Ulster and in the Northern and Western Region. It is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. It has also been known as County Tyrconnell or Tirconaill, after the historic territory. Donegal County Council is the local council and Lifford is the county town.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Londonderry</span> County in Northern Ireland

County Londonderry, also known as County Derry, is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the nine counties of Ulster. Before the partition of Ireland, it was one of the counties of the Kingdom of Ireland from 1613 onward and then of the United Kingdom after the Acts of Union 1800. Adjoining the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,118 km2 (818 sq mi) and today has a population of about 252,231.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Omagh</span> County town of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Omagh is the county town of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is situated where the rivers Drumragh and Camowen meet to form the Strule. Northern Ireland's capital city, Belfast, is 68 miles (109.5 km) to the east of Omagh, and Derry is 34 miles (55 km) to the north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Strabane</span> Town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Strabane is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Castlederg</span> Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Castlederg is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It lies on the River Derg and is near the border with County Donegal, Ireland. It stands in the townlands of Castlesessagh and Churchtown, in the historic barony of Omagh West and the civil parish of Urney. The village has a ruined castle and two ancient tombs known as the Druid's Altar and Todd's Den. It had a population of 2,980 people at the 2021 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dungannon</span> Town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Dungannon is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the second-largest town in the county and had a population of 16,282 at the 2021 Census. The Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council had its headquarters in the town, though since 2015 the area has been covered by Mid-Ulster District Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mid Ulster (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1950 onwards

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">River Foyle</span> River in the northwest of the island of Ireland

The River Foyle is a river in west Ulster in the northwest of the island of Ireland, which flows from the confluence of the rivers Finn and Mourne at the towns of Lifford in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, and Strabane in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. From here it flows to the city of Derry, where it discharges into Lough Foyle and, ultimately, the Atlantic Ocean. The total length of the River Foyle is 32 km (20 mi). The river separates part of County Donegal from parts of both County Londonderry and County Tyrone. The district of County Donegal that borders the western bank of the River Foyle is traditionally known as the Laggan. This district includes the villages of St Johnston and Carrigans, both of which are nestled on the banks of the River.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moy, County Tyrone</span> Village and area in Northern Ireland

Moy is a village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland about 5 miles southeast of Dungannon and beside the smaller village of Charlemont. Charlemont is on the east bank of the River Blackwater and Moy on the west; the two are joined by Charlemont Bridge. The river is also the boundary between County Tyrone and County Armagh. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 1,598.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coagh</span> Village in counties Londonderry and Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Coagh is a small village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, five miles (8 km) east of Cookstown. Part of the village also extends into County Londonderry. It had a population of 545 people in the 2001 Census. It owes its existence to George Butle Conyngham of Springhill, and was founded in 1728 when King George II of Great Britain granted Conyngham a market charter allowing the village to host four fairs yearly. It is situated within Mid-Ulster District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ballymagorry</span> Village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Ballymagorry or Ballymagory is a small village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is west of Artigarvan and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of Strabane. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 565. It lies within the Strabane District Council area and lies on the River Glenmornan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Newtownstewart</span> Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Newtownstewart is a village and townland of 540 acres (219 ha) in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is overlooked by hills called Bessy Bell and Mary Gray and lies on the River Strule below the confluence with its tributary the Owenkillew. It is situated in the historic barony of Strabane Lower and the civil parish of Ardstraw. In the 2011 Census it had a population of 1,551 people. It lies within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

Ulster railways, present and past, include:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mid Ulster (district)</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Loughinsholin</span> Barony in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

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 northern part of the medieval Irish túath of Uí Tuirtri.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tirkeeran</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dungannon Upper</span> Barony in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

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.

References

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Further reading