County Fermanagh

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 Knockinny and Maghenaboy 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.

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 is situated mostly in the basin of the River Erne. It is approximately 120 km (75 mi) from Belfast and 160 km (99 mi) from Dublin.

Fermanagh District Council is the only one of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland that contains all of the county it is named after. The district council also contains a small section of County Tyrone in the Dromore and Kilskeery road areas.

Fermanagh is part of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Parliamentary Constituency, renowned for high levels of voting and for electing Provisional IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands as a Member of Parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, April 1981, shortly before his death.

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, ‘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:

  • Belleek Pottery
  • Castle Archdale
  • Crom Estate
  • Devenish Island
  • Florence Court
  • Lough Navar Forest Park
  • Marble Arch Caves

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)

  • Enniskillen

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)

  • Lisnaskea

(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
  • Corranny
  • Derrygonnelly
  • Derrylin
  • Ederney
  • Garrison
  • Kesh
  • Maguiresbridge
  • Newtownbutler
  • Rosslea
  • Teemore
  • Tempo

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Baronies of County Fermanagh within Northern Ireland with civil parish boundaries

  • Clanawley
  • Clankelly
  • Coole
  • Knockninny
  • Lurg
  • Magheraboy
  • Magherastephana
  • Tirkennedy


  • The Fermanagh Herald
  • The Fermanagh News
  • The Impartial Reporter


  • Q101.2

New Media


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. Famous Football players from Fermanagh include Roy Carroll, Harry Chatton, Barry Owens and Kyle Lafferty.

Notable people:
Famous people born, raised in or living in Fermanagh.

  • John Armstrong (1717–1795), born in Fermanagh, United States Congressman.
  • Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), author and playwright (educated in Portora Royal School)
  • Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911–1993), doctor – discoverer of Burkitt’s lymphoma.
  • Roy Carroll (1977– ), association footballer.
  • Brendan Dolan (1973- ), Professional darts player for the PDC.
  • Charles Lawson (1959– ), actor (plays Jim McDonald in Coronation Street)
  • Edward Cooney (1867–1960), evangelist and early leader of the Cooneyite and Go-Preachers
  • Brian D’Arcy (1945– ), C.P. Passionist priest and media personality.
  • Adrian Dunbar (1958– ), actor.
  • Neil Hannon (1970– ), musician.
  • Robert Kerr (1882–1963), athlete & Olympic Gold Medalist.
  • Kyle Lafferty (1987– ), Northern Ireland International association footballer.
  • Terence MacManus (c. 1823–1861), leader in Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848.
  • Sean Quinn (1947– ), entrepreneur.
  • Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), author and playwright (educated in Portora Royal School)
  • Gordon Wilson (1927–1995), Peace campaigner and Irish senator.