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County Fermanagh

Contae Fhear Manach
Coontie Fermanay
Coat of arms of County Fermanagh
Coat of arms
The Lakeland County
Feor Magh Eanagh   (Irish)
"the Country of the Lakes"
Location of County Fermanagh
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Northern Ireland
Province Ulster
Established 1584/85
County town Enniskillen
 • Total 715 sq mi (1,851 km2)
 • Land 653 sq mi (1,691 km2)
Area rank 25th
Highest elevation 2,182 ft (665 m)
 (est. 2011)
 • Rank 28th
Time zone UTC±0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode area
Area code(s) 028
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).

County Fermanagh ( fər-MAN; from Irish: [Fir Manach or Fear Manach] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help), meaning "men of Manach") is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster 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.

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.


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 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.

Fermanagh accounts for 13.2% of land mass of Northern Ireland and 30% of Fermanagh is covered with lakes and waterways.


The Annals of Ulster which cover medieval Ireland between AD 431 to AD 1540 were written at Belle Isle on Lough Erne near Lisbellaw.

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.

Industry and tourism

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] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help), '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:


Large towns

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

  • none

Medium towns

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

Small towns

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

  • none

Intermediate settlements

(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)

  • Ballinamallard
  • Irvinestown
  • Lisbellaw

Small villages or hamlets

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

  • Belcoo
  • Bellanaleck
  • Belleek
  • Boho
  • Brookeborough
  • Derrygonnelly
  • Derrylin
  • Ederney
  • Garrison
  • Kesh
  • Maguiresbridge
  • Newtownbutler
  • Rosslea
  • Teemore
  • Tempo



Baronies of Fermanagh
Baronies of County Fermanagh within Northern Ireland with civil parish boundaries
  • Clanawley
  • Clankelly
  • Coole
  • Knockninny
  • Lurg
  • Magheraboy
  • Magherastephana
  • Tirkennedy




Most common surnames in County Fermanagh at the time of the United Kingdom Census of 1901:

  • 1. Maguire
  • 2. McManus
  • 3. Johnston
  • 4. Armstrong
  • 5. Gallagher
  • 6. Elliott
  • 7. Murphy
  • 8. Reilly
  • 9. Cassidy
  • 10. Wilson


On Census Day 27th March 2011, the usually resident population of Fermanagh Local Government District, the borders of the district were very similar to those of the traditional County Fermanagh, was 61,805. Of these:

  • 0.93% were from an ethnic minority population and the remaining 99.07% were white (including Irish Traveller)
  • 59.16% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic religion and 37.78% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' religion
  • 37.20% indicated that they had a British national identity, 36.08% had an Irish national identity and 29.53% had a Northern Irish national identity


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.

Enniskillen RFC was founded in 1925 and is still going. There is also a rugby league team, the Fermanagh Redskins

Famous football players from Fermanagh include -

Notable people

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 Congress
  • Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), author and playwright from Foxrock in Dublin, 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 (born 1977), association footballer
  • Edward Cooney (1867–1960), evangelist and early leader of the Cooneyite and Go-Preachers
  • Brian D'Arcy (born 1945), C.P., Passionist priest and media personality
  • Brendan Dolan (born 1973), professional darts player for the PDC
  • Adrian Dunbar (born 1958), actor
  • Arlene Foster (born 1970), politician
  • Neil Hannon (born 1970), musician
  • Sean Hoy (born 1964), Irish diplomat
  • Robert Kerr (1882–1963), athlete and Olympic gold medalist
  • Kyle Lafferty (born 1987), Northern Ireland International association footballer
  • Charles Lawson (born 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 (born 1975), actor
  • Gilla Mochua Ó Caiside (12th century), poet
  • Barry Owens, Gaelic footballer, two-time All-Star winner
  • Sean Quinn (born 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 at Portora Royal School
  • Gordon Wilson (1927–1995), peace campaigner and Irish senator

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Fermanagh para niños

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