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Church of St Patrick, Dungannon - geograph.org.uk - 112576.jpg
St Patrick's Roman Catholic church
Dungannon Coat of Arms v2.png
Dungannon Coat of Arms
United Kingdom Northern Ireland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Northern Ireland
Population14,340 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference H7962
  Belfast 40 miles (64 km)
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT70, BT71
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°30′N6°46′W / 54.50°N 6.77°W / 54.50; -6.77 Coordinates: 54°30′N6°46′W / 54.50°N 6.77°W / 54.50; -6.77

Dungannon (from Irish : Dún Geanainn, meaning "Geanann's fort") [1] is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the third-largest town in the county (after Omagh and Strabane) and had a population of 14,340 at the 2011 Census. [2] 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.


For centuries, it was the 'capital' of the O'Neill dynasty of Tír Eoghain, who dominated most of Ulster and built a castle on the hill. After the O'Neills' defeat in the Nine Years' War, the English founded a plantation town on the site, which grew into what is now Dungannon. Dungannon has won Ulster in Bloom's Best Kept Town Award five times. It currently has the highest percentage of immigrants of any town in Northern Ireland.


For centuries, Dungannon's fortunes were closely tied to that of the O'Neill dynasty which ruled a large part of Ulster until the 17th century. Dungannon was the clan's main stronghold. The traditional site of inauguration for 'The O'Neill', was Tullyhogue Fort, an Iron Age mound some four miles northeast of Dungannon. The clan O'Hagan were the stewards of this site for the O'Neills. In the 14th century, the O'Neills built a castle on what is today known as Castle Hill; the location was ideal for a fort as it was one of the highest points in the area, and dominated the surrounding countryside with the ability to see seven counties depending on the weather.

Dungannon Market Square in the 1880s Heavy traffic expected soon (38083984691).jpg
Dungannon Market Square in the 1880s

This castle was burned in 1602 by Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone as Crown forces under Lord Mountjoy closed in on the Gaelic lords towards the end of the Nine Years' War. In 1607, ninety-nine Irish chieftains and their followers, including Hugh O'Neill, set sail from Rathmullan, bound for the continent, in an event known as the Flight of the Earls. In what is became known as the Plantation of Ulster, their lands were confiscated and awarded to Protestant English and Scots settlers; Dungannon and its castle were granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, the Lord Deputy of Ireland. [3]

Sir Phelim O'Neill seized the town in the opening stages of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, and issued the Proclamation of Dungannon, in which the rebels set out their aims and proclaimed their loyalty to Charles I. O'Neill claimed they had been ordered to rise by the King and later produced a forged commission in support of this. [4] During the course of the Irish Confederate Wars, Dungannon changed hands several times; Scots Covenanter forces under Alexander Leslie captured it in September 1642, before O'Neill took it back in spring 1643. [5]

The castle was partially excavated in October 2007, by the Channel 4 archaeological show Time Team , uncovering part of the moat and walls of the castle. In 1973, the town became the seat of the new district of the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council. In 1782, the town was the location where the independence of the Irish Parliament was declared by members of the Protestant Ascendancy who controlled the parliament at the time. [6]

The Troubles

In the late 1960s, Northern Ireland was plunged into an ethnopolitical conflict known as the Troubles. On 24 August 1968, the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ), the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), and other groups, held Northern Ireland's first civil rights march from Coalisland to Dungannon. The rally was officially banned, but took place and passed off without incident. The publicity surrounding the march encouraged other groups to form branches of NICRA. [7]

During the conflict, Dungannon suffered numerous bombings while almost 50 people were killed in and around the town. [8] The deadliest attack was on 17 March 1976, when a loyalist car bomb killed four Catholic civilians.


Dungannon had a population of 14,340 at the 2011 census. [2] It has the highest percentage of immigrants of any town in Northern Ireland. [9] Immigrants make up about 11% of its population; more than twice the average. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of immigrants in Dungannon increased tenfold; the biggest increase of any town. [9] Many came to work in the local food processing plants. There have been several attacks on immigrants [10] and clashes between rival groups of immigrants [11] in the area.

The population of the town increased slightly overall during the 19th century: [12] [13]


On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 14,340 people living in Dungannon (5,388 households), accounting for 0.79% of the NI total. [2] Of these:

Places of interest

Georges Street in the late 19th century Georges Street, Dungannon (16022291874).jpg
Georges Street in the late 19th century

An interesting feature of the town is the former police barracks at the top right-hand corner of the market square which is quite unlike any other barracks of a similar vintage in Ireland. A popular but apocryphal story relates that the unusual design of this building is due to a mix-up with the plans in Dublin which meant Dungannon got a station designed for Nepal and they got a standard Irish barracks, complete with a traditional Irish fireplace. Dungannon Park is a seventy-acre oasis centred round an idyllic still-water lake, with miles of pathways and views of the surrounding townland. [14] [15]


Dungannon is in the southeast of County Tyrone, within the historic barony of Dungannon Middle and the civil parish of Drumglass. [16]

The town grew up around a hill, known locally as Castle Hill. There are three small lakes on the southern edge of town, the biggest of which is Black Lough. There are also two parks in the eastern part of town: Dungannon Park and Windmill Park. Surrounding settlements include Moygashel (a village at the southern edge of Dungannon), Coalisland (to the northeast), Donaghmore (to the northwest), Eglish (to the south) and Castlecaulfield (to the west). [ citation needed ]


Dungannon sprang up in a townland called Drumcoo. Over time, the urban area has spread into the neighbouring townlands. Many of its roads and housing estates are named after them. The following is a list of these townlands and their likely etymologies: [17] [18]


Former Tyrone Crystal building in Dungannon (2008) Tyrone Crystal Factory - geograph.org.uk - 904631.jpg
Former Tyrone Crystal building in Dungannon (2008)

The economy of Dungannon has evolved from agriculture and linen production dominating the landscape to food and light engineering being the main industrial employers. [ citation needed ] A well-known crystal glass producer was Tyrone Crystal.




Dungannon is linked to the M1 motorway, which runs from the southeast of the town to Belfast. There is an Ulsterbus town bus service that runs daily that serves the town's suburbs. [20] Formally operated by the Optare Solo buses. The nearest railway station is Portadown on Northern Ireland Railways.

Former railways

The Irish gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway (PD&O) linked the town with Portadown from 1858 and Omagh from 1861, [21] completing the PortadownDerry railway route that came to be informally called "The Derry Road". [22] The Great Northern Railway took over the PD&O in 1876 [23] and built a branch line from Dungannon to Cookstown in 1879. [21]

The GNR Board cut back the Cookstown branch to Coalisland in 1956 [24] and the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) closed the branch altogether in 1959. [24] In accordance with the Benson Report submitted to the Government of Northern Ireland 1963 the UTA closed the "Derry Road" through Dungannon in 1965. [24] [25] The site of Dungannon station is now a public park and the former trackbed through the station is now a greenway.

Notable people





Dungannon Cricket Club is the oldest sporting club in Dungannon dating back to at least 1865. The club played continuously through to 1914 with a break from 1901-04 when Lord Ranfurly was Governor of New Zealand and there was no ground available until his return. The club became affiliated to the NCU in 1913 and played in the Junior Cup in 1913 and 1914 until the club was discontinued during the Great War.

Attempts were made to reestablish the club after the war and this was done in 1929 and survived until 1933 when Lord Ranfurly died to again leave the club without a ground. Cricket was kept alive by the Royal School, Bankers and the RUC until 1939 when the Second World War broke out. The club was reformed in 1948 mainly due to the efforts of Eddie Hodgett and the NCU leagues in 1952 and continues to do so to the present time. The club has never quite reached senior cricket as it has limited resources and relies on the District Council for a ground. The club has played on at least five different locations during its existence. Home games are played at Dungannon Park. [30]


Dungannon Swifts F.C. is the town's local team, which plays in the IFA Premiership, and is Tyrone's only representative in the league, following Omagh Town's collapse. The club represented Northern Ireland in European competition in 2005–06 and 2006-06.

Gaelic games

The town has also achieved much success in Gaelic games, Gaelic football and hurling. Dungannon has produced many footballers, especially for the Tyrone County Team, who won the All-Ireland Gaelic Football Championship in 2003, 2005 and 2008.[ citation needed ]

The local boys' Gaelic football club is Dungannon Thomas Clarkes (Thomáis Uí Chléirigh Dún Geanainn) while the ladies' football team is Aodh a Ruadh. The local hurling club is Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon and the Camogie club is Naomh Treasa.[ citation needed ]


PGA tour golfer Darren Clarke grew up in Dungannon, and was a member of Dungannon Golf Club. The club is one of the oldest 18-hole courses in Northern Ireland, having been founded in 1890.

Hare coursing and greyhound racing

The local Hare Coursing Club has been in existence since the 1920s but the sport was popular in the area long before the formation of the club. With hare coursing currently banned in Northern Ireland the Dungannon club organises meetings in the Republic of Ireland.[ citation needed ] Greyhound racing was a popular sport in Dungannon from the 1940s until the Oaks Park Greyhound Stadium finally closed in January 2003. Large crowds attended the weekly meetings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays with visitors travelling from as far away as Dublin to enjoy the races. [31] [32]


Dungannon was one of the first towns in Ireland to form a rugby club. Dungannon Rugby FC's most recent success was sharing the Ulster Senior League title with Ballymena. They were also the first Ulster club to win the All Ireland League. The rugby club was founded in 1873 and was a founder member of the IRFU. Despite being a rugby union club since inception its official title is Dungannon Football Club.

See also

Related Research Articles

County Tyrone County in Ireland

County Tyrone is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the nine counties of Ulster. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.

Omagh Human settlement in 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.

Portadown Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Portadown is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town sits on the River Bann in the north of the county, about 24 mi (39 km) southwest of Belfast. It is in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area and had a population of about 22,000 at the 2011 Census. For some purposes, Portadown is treated as part of the "Craigavon Urban Area", alongside Craigavon and Lurgan.

Coalisland Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Coalisland is a small town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, with a population of 5,682 in the 2011 Census. Four miles from Lough Neagh, it was formerly a centre for coal mining.

Moy, County Tyrone Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Moy is a large village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom 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 2,129.

Beragh Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Beragh is a village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is about 8 miles Southeast of Omagh and is in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area. The 2001 Census recorded a population of 520.

Carrickmore Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Carrickmore is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It lies in the centre of the county on a raised site colloquially called "Carmen"; between Cookstown, Dungannon and Omagh. An alias name for Carrickmore village is Termon Rock, Termonn being the first element of the parish name Termonmaguirk and rock referring to the rocky hill on which the village is situated. The McGurks were erenaghs or hereditary lay custodians of the parish’s church lands. The site of the former parish church is adjacent to the village of Carrickmore. It is situated in the historic barony of Omagh East and the civil parish of Termonmaguirk. It had a population of 612 in the 2001 Census. In the 2011 Census 2,330 people lived in the Termon Ward, which covers the Carrickmore and Creggan areas.

Greencastle, County Tyrone

Greencastle is a hamlet in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is within the townland of Sheskinshule.

Sixmilecross Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Sixmilecross is a townland and small village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Its toponym is said to be derived from a Celtic cross that stood in a field outside the village, in the townland of Aughnaglea and also from its distance of six Irish miles from Omagh.

Ballygawley, County Tyrone Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Ballygawley or Ballygawly is a Village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is about 20 kilometres southwest of Dungannon, near the meeting of the A5 Derry–Dublin and A4 Dungannon–Enniskillen roads.

Newtownstewart 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 2001 Census it had a population of 1,479 people. It lies within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

Pomeroy, County Tyrone Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Pomeroy is a small village and civil parish in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is in the townland of Cavanakeeran, about 8.5 miles (14 km) from Cookstown, 9 miles (14 km) from Dungannon and 16 miles (26 km) from Omagh. The 2001 Census recorded a population of 604 people.

Caledon, County Tyrone Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Caledon is a small village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is in the Clogher Valley on the banks of the River Blackwater, 7 miles from Armagh. It lies in the southeast of Tyrone and near the borders of County Armagh and County Monaghan. It is situated in the historic barony of Dungannon Lower and the civil parish of Aghaloo. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 387 people. It is a designated conservation area. It was historically known as Kinnaird (Irish: Cionn Aird, meaning "head/top of the height or hill".

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.


Brockagh is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is on the western shore of Lough Neagh, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of Coalisland and north of Washing Bay. It lies within the Mid Ulster District Council area.

Dungannon Thomas Clarkes is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in the town of Dungannon in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. They play at O'Neill Park in Dungannon, which is also the second home of Tyrone G.A.A. A club whose sons such as Iggy Jones, Gerald Cavlan, Audi Hamilton, Danny Barr and Brendan Mallon have all won Ulster senior championship medals with Tyrone. Dungannon Thomas Clarkes GFC was formed in 1917 and is named after one of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, Thomas J Clarke, who spent his formative years living in Dungannon. The club colours are green, white and yellow.

The Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway (L&ER) was an Irish gauge railway in Ireland.

The Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway (PD&O) was an Irish gauge railway in County Armagh and County Tyrone, Ulster, Ireland.

Dungannon railway station served Dungannon in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.


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