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Enniskillen facts for kids

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Enniskillen Castle.jpg
Enniskillen castle
Enniskillen is located in Northern Ireland
Population 13,823 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference H240440
• Belfast 88 miles (142 km)
• Dublin 89 mi (143 km)
  • Fermanagh and Omagh
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT74, BT92-94
Dialling code 02866
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • Fermanagh and South Tyrone
NI Assembly
  • Fermanagh and South Tyrone
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°20′41″N 07°38′20″W / 54.34472°N 7.63889°W / 54.34472; -7.63889

Enniskillen ( EN-iss-KIL-ən, from Irish: Inis Ceithleann 'Ceithlenn's island') is the largest town in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is in the middle of the county, between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,823 at the 2011 Census. Enniskillen Castle was built in the 15th century as a stronghold of the Maguires, before coming under English control in the early 17th century. The castle and town were expanded during the Plantation of Ulster. It was the seat of local government for the former Fermanagh District Council, and is the county town of Fermanagh.


The town's name comes from the Irish: Inis Ceithleann. This refers to Cethlenn, a figure in Irish mythology who may have been a goddess. Local legend has it that Cethlenn was wounded in battle by an arrow and attempted to swim across the River Erne, which surrounds the island, but she never reached the other side so the island was named in reference to her. It has been anglicised many ways over the centuries – Iniskellen, Iniskellin, Iniskillin, Iniskillen, Inishkellen, Inishkellin, Inishkillin, Inishkillen and so on.

The town's oldest building is Enniskillen Castle, built by Hugh (Maguire) the Hospitable who died in 1428. An earthwork, the Skonce on the shore of Lough Erne, may be the remains of an earlier motte. The castle was the stronghold of the junior branch of the Maguires. The first watergate was built around 1580 by Cú Chonnacht Maguire, though subsequent lowering of the level of the lough has left it without water. The strategic position of the castle made its capture important for the English in 1593, to support their plans for the control of Ulster; this was achieved by a Captain Dowdall in February 1594. Maguire then laid siege to it, and defeated a relieving force at the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits at Drumane Bridge on the Arney River. Although the defenders were relieved, Maguire gained possession of the castle from 1595 to 1598 and it was not finally captured by the English until 1607.

Enniskillen - - 46534
Enniskillen's main street in 2004

This was part of a wider campaign to bring the province of Ulster under English control; the final capture of Enniskillen Castle in 1607 was followed by the Plantation of Ulster, during which the lands of the native Irish were seized and handed over to planters loyal to the English Crown. The Maguires were supplanted by William Cole, originally from Devon, who was appointed by James I to build an English settlement there.

Captain Cole was installed as Constable and strengthened the castle wall and built a "fair house" on the old foundation as the centrepoint of the county town. The first Protestant parish church was erected on the hilltop in 1627. The Royal Free School of Fermanagh was moved onto the island in 1643. The first bridges were drawbridges; permanent bridges were not installed before 1688.

By 1689 the town had grown significantly. During the conflict which resulted from the ousting of King James II by his Protestant rival, William III, Enniskillen and Derry were the focus of Williamite resistance in Ireland, including the nearby Battle of Newtownbutler.

Enniskillen and Derry were the two garrisons in Ulster that were not wholly loyal to James II, and it was the last town to fall before the siege of Derry. As a direct result of this conflict, Enniskillen developed not only as a market town but also as a garrison, which became home to two regiments.

The current site of Fermanagh College (now part of the South West College) was the former Enniskillen Gaol. Many people were tried and hanged here in the square during the times of public execution. Part of the old Gaol is still used by the college.

Military history

Enniskillen is the site of the foundation of two British Army regiments:

The town's name (with the archaic spelling) continues to form part of the title to The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment).

The Troubles

Enniskillen was the site of several events during The Troubles, the most notable being the Remembrance Day bombing in which 11 people were killed.


The Irish singer/songwriter Tommy Makem wrote a lighthearted song about the town, covered by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and The Dubliners.

The Chieftains sing a song that mentions Enniskillen titled "North Amerikay".

The Irish language novel Mo Dhá Mhicí by Séamus Mac Annaidh is set in Enniskillen.

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Enniskillen Registry Office


On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 13,823 people living in Enniskillen (5,733 households), accounting for 0.76% of the NI total and representing an increase of 1.6% on the Census 2001 population of 13,599. Of these:

  • 19.76% were aged under 16 years and 15.59% were aged 65 and over;
  • 51.80% of the usually resident population were female and 48.20% were male;
  • 61.62% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic Christian faith and 33.55% belong to or were brought up in various 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' denominations;
  • 35.59% indicated that they had a British national identity, 33.77% had an Irish national identity and 30.35% had a Northern Irish national identity (respondents could indicate more than one national identity);
  • 39 years was the average (median) age of the population;
  • 13.03% had some knowledge of Irish (Gaelic) and 3.65% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots.


As throughout Britain and Ireland, Enniskillen experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Lough Navar Forest, about 8+12 mi (14 km) northwest of Enniskillen. Data has also more recently been collected from Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport, under 4 mi (6 km) north of the town centre, which should in time give a more accurate representation of the climate of the Enniskillen area.

The absolute maximum temperature is 29.8 °C (85.6 °F), recorded during July 2006. In an 'average' year, the warmest day is 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) and only 2.4 days a year should rise to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above. The respective absolute maximum for St Angelo is 29.4 °C (84.9 °F)

The absolute minimum temperature is −12.9 °C (8.8 °F), recorded during January 1984. In an 'average' year, the coldest night should fall to −8.2 °C (17.2 °F). Lough Navar is a frosty location, with some 76 air frosts recorded in a typical year. It is likely Enniskillen town centre is significantly less frosty than this. The absolute minimum at St Angelo is −14.5 °C (5.9 °F), reported during the record cold month of December 2010.

The warmest month on record at St Angelo was August 1995 with a mean temperature of 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) (mean maximum 23.3 °C (73.9 °F), mean minimum 12.9 °C (55.2 °F), while the coldest month was December 2010, with a mean temperature of −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) (mean maximum 2.9 °C (37.2 °F), mean minimum −5.9 °C (21.4 °F).

Rainfall is high, averaging over 1500 mm. 212 days of the year report at least 1 mm of precipitation, ranging from 15 days during April, May and June, to 20 days in October, November, December, January and March.

The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).

Climate data for Lough Navar Forest 126m asl 1971–2000, extremes 1960– (Weather station 8.5 miles (14 km) North West of Enniskillen)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.0
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) -12.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 163.38
Source #1: YR.NO

date=September 2011

Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Places of interest

Coles monument
Cole's Monument
  • Castle Coole
  • Mount Lourdes Grammar School
  • Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School
  • Cole's Monument
  • Enniskillen Castle
  • Portora Royal School
  • St Macartin's Cathedral
  • The Clinton Centre
  • St. Michael's College (Enniskillen)
  • The Round O
  • The Lakeland Forum
  • The Amphibious Flying Club
  • Lakeland Seaplane Tours Ltd

The Diamond

"The Diamond" is the town square. It is located directly beside the Town Hall.

International events

Enniskillen was chosen as the venue for the 39th G8 summit held on 17 and 18 June 2013. The gathering was the biggest international diplomatic gathering held in Northern Ireland. Among G8 leaders who attended were British Prime Minister David Cameron, United States President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In recent years Enniskillen has hosted an array of international events, most notably stages of the World Waterski World Cup, annually from 2005 to 2007 at the Broadmeadow. Despite its success, Enniskillen was not chosen as a World Cup Stop for 2008.

A professional wakeboarding competition, 'Wakejam', hosted by Erne Wakeboard Club (EWC), took place between 27 and 29 July 2007. Top riders from around the world, as well as local riders, took part.

In January 2009 Enniskillen hosted the ceremonial start of Rally Ireland 2009, the first stage of the WRC FIA World Rally Championship 2009 Calendar.

Enniskillen Airport hosted Heli Challenge: The Premier Helicopter Championship in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Heli Challenge is a competition which tests the skill of some of the best helicopter pilots from across the British Isles.

May 2009 saw the first International Seaplane Festival take place at the Share Centre in Lisnakea, as part of the Fermanagh Seaplane Festival, 10 Seaplanes from across Europe arrived to celebrate the beauty of the Fermanagh Loughs. The day before the festival a number of planes landed in the town of Enniskillen.

In 2011 The Fermanagh Seaplane Festival returned, located at the original World War II Catalina base in RAF Killadeas on Lower Lough Erne. The Festival attracted two World War II Catalina's and went on to capture global media exposure(Confirmed 4.5million plus viewers) via a TV show called 'Dig WWII', hosted by presenter Dan Snow.

For the past two years, Enniskillen has played host to the Ireland Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting, an event that draws motorcyclists from across the country and across Europe. The 2010 HU Ireland meeting raised £506 for Motorcycle Outreach, through the sale of raffle tickets and the generous donation of prizes.


Rail – historic

Railway lines from Enniskillen railway station linked the town with Derry from 1854, Dundalk from 1861, Bundoran from 1868 and Sligo from 1882. 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. In October 1957 the Government of Northern Ireland closed the GNR line, which made it impossible for the SL&NCR continue and forced it also to close.

Rail – current

The nearest railway station to Enniskillen is Sligo station which is served by multiple trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. The Dublin-Sligo railway line has a two-hourly service run by Iarnród Éireann Official site – Timetables, bookings and operations: The connecting bus from Sligo via Manorhamilton to Enniskillen is route 66 operated by Bus Éireann.


Bus service to Enniskillen is provided by both Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann, from Enniskillen bus station. Number 261, 261b and X261 Goldline buses run from Belfast to Enniskillen. Bus Éireann Route 30 runs from Donegal to Dublin Airport/Dublin City via Enniskillen.


Enniskillen has a World War II-era airport, Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport. The airport had scheduled flights in the past but now serves mainly private traffic.


The town is on the main A4/N16 route linking Belfast and Sligo, and on the main Dublin to Ballyshannon route, the N3/A46/A509.


Enniskillen is twinned with Bielefeld, Germany. Enniskillen was originally twinned with Brackwede – a Bielefeld suburb – where the Inniskilling Dragoon Guards were stationed at the end of World War II; however, this suburb was incorporated into Stadt Bielefeld in 1973, the city with which Enniskillen is now officially twinned.


Association football

The town has two association football teams called Enniskillen Rangers and Enniskillen Town United F.C.

Enniskillen Rangers are the current holders of the Irish Junior Cup, defeating Hill Street 5–1 on Monday, 1 May 2017. The match was played at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. They play their home games at the Ball Range.

Enniskillen Rangers have several notable former players including Sandy Fulton and Jim Cleary.

Enniskillen Town United F.C. currently play in the Fermanagh & Western 1st Division. Their most notable former player is Michael McGovern who currently plays for Norwich City F.C. At the moment, Enniskillen Town play their home games at The Lakeland Forum playing fields in Enniskillen.


Enniskillen Rugby Football Club was founded in 1925 and plays their home games at Mullaghmeen. The club currently fields 4 senior men's teams, a senior ladies teams, a range of male and female youth teams, a vibrant mini section and a disability tag team called The Enniskillen Elks. Enniskillen XV won the Ulster Towns Cup in the 2018/19 season, defeating Ballyclare 19–0. The team currently play in Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship Division 1.

The rugby club was formed on 28 August 1925, when 37 attended a meeting in Enniskillen Town Hall. The name Enniskillen Rugby Club was agreed and the club adopted the rules of Dublin University. The first match was played on 30 September 1925 against Ballyshannon in County Donegal.

Gaelic games

Enniskillen Gaels is a Gaelic Athletic Association club founded in 1927. It is based at Brewster Park, Enniskillen. The club has had success in both Gaelic football and hurling winning in both county and provincial competitions.


The old Enniskillen Model School - - 1464238
The old Enniskillen Model School, now used as the Fermanagh office of the Western Education and Library Board (WELB)

There are numerous schools and colleges in and around the Enniskillen area, from primary level to secondary level, including some further education colleges such as the technical college.

Primary level

  • Enniskillen Integrated Primary school
  • Model primary school
  • Holy Trinity Primary School
  • Jones Memorial Primary School
  • Mullnaskea Primary School

Secondary level

  • Erne Integrated College
  • Devenish College
  • Enniskillen Royal Grammar School
  • Mount Lourdes Enniskillen; convent girls grammar school
  • St Michael's College; boys grammar school
  • St Fanchea's College
  • St Joseph's College


  • Enniskillen Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)
  • Enniskillen Campus South West College

Notable natives and residents

Arts and Media

  • Samuel Beckett, playwright, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Charles Duff, Irish author of books on language learning and other subjects
  • Adrian Dunbar, actor, born and brought up in Enniskillen
  • Nial Fulton, film and television producer, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Neil Hannon, lead singer/composer of the pop band The Divine Comedy, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Charles Lawson, most notable for playing Jim McDonald in Coronation Street
  • David McCann, author of children's books
  • Lisa McHugh, country music singer; born in Glasgow, Scotland, she moved to Enniskillen as an adult.
  • Fearghal McKinney, journalist, former UTV broadcaster and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
  • Nigel McLoughlin, poet, editor of Iota poetry journal and Professor of Creativity and Poetics, University of Gloucestershire
  • Ciarán McMenamin, television actor and author
  • Frank Ormsby, poet
  • David Robinson, photographer and publisher, educated at Portora Royal School
  • William Scott, artist
  • Mick Softley singer and songwriter for Bob Dylan and Donovan, lived in the town at the time of his death
  • Joan Trimble, pianist and composer
  • Oscar Wilde, satirist and playwright, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Ron Wilson, a news anchor with Network Ten in Australia


  • James Gamble, co-founder of Procter & Gamble, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Seán Quinn, entrepreneur and formerly Ireland's richest man (originally from Derrylin)

Medicine and Science



  • Edward Cooney, evangelist and early leader of the Cooneyite and Go-Preacher sects, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Edward Kernan, a Roman Catholic bishop
  • Henry Francis Lyte, hymn composer, most notably of "Abide With Me", educated at Portora Royal School
  • John McElroy (1782–1877), Jesuit priest, founder of Boston College


  • Declan Burns, Irish kayaking athlete, three-time Irish Olympic representative and former World Superstars runner-up
  • Roy Carroll, goalkeeper who plays for Dungannon Swifts F.C. and who has been capped by Northern Ireland
  • Harry Chatton, football player, from the 1920s and 1930s, who was a dual international for both the IFA and FAI Irish international teams
  • Jim Cleary, former Glentoran footballer and member of Northern Ireland's 1982 World Cup squad
  • William Emerson, football player who won 11 caps for Ireland between 1919 and 1923
  • Gordon Ferris, Northern Irish former heavyweight boxer who was both Irish and British champion in the early 1980s
  • Frank Hoy, professional wrestler, was born in the town
  • Robert Kerr, Olympic 100m gold medalist in the 1908 Olympics for Canada
  • Kyle Lafferty, striker, professional football player for Anorthosis Famagusta FC and Northern Ireland international
  • Andrew Little, former professional football player and Northern Ireland international, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Michael McGovern, Northern Ireland international goalkeeper, currently with Norwich City F.C.
  • Gavin Noble, Irish international triathlete, educated at Portora Royal School
  • Dick Rowley, football player who won six caps for Ireland between 1929 and 1931

Images for kids

See also

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