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Lisnaskea
Main Street, Lisnaskea - geograph.org.uk - 1270375.jpg
Lisnaskea is located in Northern Ireland
Lisnaskea
Lisnaskea
Population 2,956 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference H3634
District
  • Fermanagh and Omagh
County
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ENNISKILLEN
Postcode district BT92
Dialling code 02867
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • Fermanagh and South Tyrone
NI Assembly
  • Fermanagh and South Tyrone
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Fermanagh
54°15′00″N 7°26′31″W / 54.25°N 7.442°W / 54.25; -7.442

Lisnaskea (from Irish: Lios na Scéithe, meaning "fort of the shield") is the second-biggest settlement in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated mainly in the townland of Lisoneill, with some areas in the townland of Castle Balfour Demesne, both in the civil parish of Aghalurcher and the historic barony of Magherastephana. It had a population of 2,956 people at the 2011 Census.

The nearby monument of Sciath Ghabhra is where the Maguires were crowned as kings and chiefs of Fermanagh. The town developed after the Plantation of Ulster and is built around the long main street. At the middle, the old market place contains a high cross (grid ref:H364340) from an early monastery. 19th century buildings include the former market house, corn market and butter market. The Castle Park Leisure Centre is situated just off the main street.

History

Lisnaskea was once the seat of the Maguire Clan and its strategic importance led to the town changing hands many times over the years. The 17th century remains of Castle Balfour, are just off the Main Street in Lisnaskea, built around 1618 by James, Lord Balfour. The castle was altered in 1652 and damaged in 1689, but remained inhabited into the 19th century. It was restored and conserved in the 1960s and 1990s. In 1821 the village came under the control of the Earls of Erne. They established the market in the town whilst bolstering and controlling development around the high street.

There was also evidence of a very much earlier ringfort (with radiocarbon dates of 359-428 AD) in the townland of Castle Balfour Demesne suggesting the area was inhabited from a very early date. The ruins of the old monastery, associated with St Ronan, who died some time before 635 AD, are to the west of the town.

The Troubles

In December 2013, suspected dissident republicans fired shots at Lisnaskea police station, with no resultant casualties.

The Workhouse

Lisnaskea Poor Law Union was formally declared on the 27 June 1840 and in August Sir Arthur Brooke was elected Chairman. The workhouse was built (at a total cost of over £6,400) on a six-acre site to the south of Lisnaskea purchased from Lord Erne to accommodate 500 inmates, the first of whom were received on 25 February 1843. During 1846, the number of inmates rose from 263 to 817 by the end of the year. In 1847, additional accommodation was erected for 130 inmates. In the early 1920s, during the 'Troubles' of that time, the workhouse was used to house soldiers of the Royal Hampshire Regiment. The workhouse later resumed its operation until 1940 when it was used for men of the 8th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. The inmates were transferred to Enniskillen, and in 1948 to Armagh. Eventually part of the workhouse was used for a time as the headquarters of Lisnaskea Fire Brigade. Later the buildings was adapted for a mixture of residential and commercial use. A large iron pot said to have held 300 gallons of gruel, rested at one time in its gardens. In July 2011, part of the upper floor of the building was completely gutted in a fire, believed to be malicious.

Climate

As with the rest of the British Isles, Lisnaskea experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters.

Climate data for Lisnaskea 63m asl, 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.8
(46)
8.4
(47.1)
10.2
(50.4)
12.9
(55.2)
15.9
(60.6)
18.1
(64.6)
19.6
(67.3)
19.1
(66.4)
17.0
(62.6)
13.5
(56.3)
10.1
(50.2)
8.1
(46.6)
13.4
(56.1)
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
(34.9)
1.4
(34.5)
2.8
(37)
3.8
(38.8)
6.2
(43.2)
9.3
(48.7)
11.4
(52.5)
11.0
(51.8)
8.9
(48)
6.2
(43.2)
3.4
(38.1)
1.6
(34.9)
5.7
(42.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 102.8
(4.047)
77.2
(3.039)
87.0
(3.425)
64.2
(2.528)
67.6
(2.661)
66.9
(2.634)
73.1
(2.878)
96.2
(3.787)
77.8
(3.063)
112.5
(4.429)
98.8
(3.89)
104.4
(4.11)
1,028.5
(40.492)
Sunshine hours 44.2 65.1 96.3 135.4 165.1 138.3 124.4 119.7 103.5 80.1 49.9 32.3 1,154.1
Source: Met Office

2001 Census

Lisnaskea is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 2,739 people living in Lisnaskea. Of these:

  • 23.5% were aged under 16 years and 18.9% were aged 60 and over
  • 46.8% of the population were male and 53.2% were female
  • 74.1% were from a Catholic background and 24.5% were from a Protestant background
  • 7.0% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

People

  • Johnny Patterson (1840-1889), circus showman and song-writer lived for a time in the village. He wrote many popular songs including The garden where the praties grow and The stone outside Dan Murphy's door.

Transport

Lisnaskea railway station opened on 26 August 1858 and was shut on 1 October 1957. The station was opened by the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway, later named the Irish North Western Railway. In 1876 it became part off the Great Northern Railway (Ireland).

Demographics

2001 Census

Lisnaskea is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 2,739 people living in Lisnaskea. Of these:

  • 23.5% were aged under 16 years and 18.9% were aged 60 and over
  • 46.8% of the population were male and 53.2% were female
  • 74.1% were from a Catholic background and 24.5% were from a Protestant background
  • 7.0% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

2011 Census

On Census Day (27 March 2011) the usually resident population of Lisnaskea Settlement was 2,956, accounting for 0.16% of the NI total.

  • 98.51% were from the white (including Irish Traveller) ethnic group;
  • 75.61% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic religion and 22.43% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' religion; and
  • 23.65% indicated that they had a British national identity, 43.27% had an Irish national identity and 30.82% had a Northern Irish national identity. Respondents could indicate more than one national identity

On Census Day 27 March 2011, in Lisnaskea Settlement, considering the population aged 3 years old and over:

  • 16.21% had some knowledge of Irish;
  • 2.48% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots; and
  • 4.68% did not have English as their first language.

Sport

Throughout the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Fermanagh, Lisnaskea Emmetts have consistently been a major force in Gaelic football winning 20 Fermanagh Senior Football Championship titles, ladies football and hurling. They have won a range of honours in the sport including the All Ireland intermediate championship in 2011 and the All Ireland ladies final in 2011 They wear red and green. Lisnaskea Emmetts over the years have had clubmen involved in the Fermanagh GAA and Ulster Railway Cup team.

Education

Primary level

  • St Eugene's Knocks Primary School
  • The Moat Primary School
  • St Ronan's Primary School

Secondary level

  • St Kevin's Secondary School

St Comghalls Secondary School

Roman Catholic School (1970-2017), closed due to a merge with another school. The site of the school is now used for the newly merged school St Kevin's. The last Principal of St Comghalls secondary school, Gary Kelly is now the current Principal Of St Kevins College Lisnakea

Lisnaskea High School

Lisnaskea High School (Castle Balfour Demesne), the town's only non-Catholic high school, was ordered to be amalgamated with nearby Devenish College in 2013 by then-Northern Ireland Education Minister John O'Dowd (Sinn Féin), despite the objections of those associated with the high school. Since then, 75% of the school's students transferred to Devenish College, with the majority of the remaining students transferring equally between Erne Integrated College and Fivemiletown High School.

Libraries

A new public library was opened in Main Street on 8 April 2015 by Libraries NI at a cost of £1.28m. It is spread over two floors with a special children's library, conference rooms and Wifi access.

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