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Mullaghmore, County Tyrone

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Mullaghmore, County Tyrone

This article is about the town of Omagh. For the film of same name, see Omagh (film).

Coordinates: 54°35′N 7°17′W / 54.59°N 7.29°W / 54.59; -7.29

Omagh
Scots: Omey[1][2]
Irish: an Ómaigh
100px
Omagh Coat of Arms

 Omagh shown within Northern Ireland
Population 19,910 (2001 Census)
District Omagh
County County Tyrone
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town OMAGH
Postcode district BT78, BT79
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament West Tyrone
NI Assembly West Tyrone
Website Official website
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Tyrone

Omagh (/ˈmə/[3] or /ˈmɑː/; Irish pronunciation: [ˈomæ] – from Irish: an Ómaigh, meaning "the virgin plain" [ənˠ ˈoːmˠəi])[4] is the county town of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is situated where the rivers Drumragh and Camowen meet to form the Strule. The district, which is the largest in the county, had a population of 51,356 at the 2011 Census. Omagh also contains the headquarters of Omagh District Council and the Western Education and Library Board. The town is twinned with East Kilbride (Scotland) and L'Haÿ-les-Roses (France).

History

The name Omagh is an anglicisation of the Irish name an Óghmaigh (modern Irish an Ómaigh), meaning "the virgin plain". A monastery was apparently established on the site of the town about 792 AD, and a Franciscan friary was founded in 1464.[5] Omagh was founded as a town in 1610. It served as a refuge for fugitives from the east of Tyrone during the 1641 Rebellion. In 1689, the same year as the Battle of the Boyne, James II arrived at Omagh, en route to Derry. Supporters of William III, Prince of Orange, burned the town.

In 1768 Omagh replaced Dungannon as the county town of County Tyrone. Omagh acquired railway links to Derry to with the Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway in 1852, Enniskillen in 1853 and Belfast in 1861. The military barracks were built in 1881. In 1899 Tyrone County Hospital was opened. Today the hospital is the subject of a major campaign to save its services. The Government of Northern Ireland made the Great Northern Railway Board close the Omagh – Enniskillen railway line in 1957.[6] In accordance with The Benson Report submitted to the Northern Ireland Government in 1963, the Ulster Transport Authority closed the Portadown – Omagh – Derry main line in 1965,[7] leaving Omagh with no rail service. St Lucia Barracks in the town closed on 1 August 2007.

Visitors to Omagh have included Queen Elizabeth II, Charles, Prince of Wales, former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton, Irish president Mary McAleese, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Troubles

Omagh came into the international focus of the media on 15 August 1998, when the Real Irish Republican Army exploded a car bomb in the town centre. 29 people were killed in the blast – 14 women (including one pregnant with twins), 9 children and 6 men. Hundreds more were injured as a result of the blast.

In April 2011, a car bomb killed police constable Ronan Kerr. A group of former Provisional IRA members calling itself the Irish Republican Army made its first public statement later that month claiming responsibility for the killing.[8]

Geography


Wards

These wards are only those that cover the town.

  • Camowen (2001 Population – 2,377)
  • Coolnagard (2001 Population – 2,547)
  • Dergmoney (2001 Population – 1,930)
  • Drumragh (2001 Population – 2,481)
  • Gortrush (2001 Population – 2,786)
  • Killyclogher (2001 Population – 2,945)
  • Lisanelly (2001 Population – 2,973)
  • Strule (2001 Population – 1,780)

Townlands

The town sprang up within the townland of Omagh, in the parish of Drumragh. Over time, the urban area has spread into the surrounding townlands. They include:[9]

Weather


An air temperature of −19.4 °C (−2.9 °F) was recorded once, and it remains the coldest air temperature ever recorded in Ireland.[25] Omagh has a history of flooding and suffered major floods in 1909, 1929, 1954, 1969, 1987, 1999 and, most recently, 12 June 2007. As a result of this, flood-walls were built to keep the water in the channel (River Strule) and to prevent it from overflowing into the flood plain. Large areas of land, mainly around the meanders, are unsuitable for development and were developed into large, green open areas, walking routes and parks. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[26]

Climate data for Omagh
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
(46)
9
(48)
10
(50)
12
(54)
16
(61)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
13
(55)
10
(50)
8
(46)
13.3
(55.8)
Average low °C (°F) 2
(36)
2
(36)
3
(37)
3
(37)
6
(43)
9
(48)
11
(52)
11
(52)
9
(48)
6
(43)
4
(39)
2
(36)
5.7
(42.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 119
(4.7)
79
(3.1)
79
(3.1)
74
(2.9)
71
(2.8)
69
(2.7)
80
(3)
64
(2.5)
86
(3.4)
122
(4.8)
99
(3.9)
117
(4.6)
1,059
(41.5)
Source: Weatherbase [27]

Demography

Omagh is classified as a large town settlement by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).[28] On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 19,910 people living in Omagh. Of these:

  • 24.8% were aged under 16 years and 14.9% were aged 60 and over, with an average age of 34.0 years.
  • 48.9% of the population were male and 51.1% were female.
  • 68.2% were from a Catholic background and 29.5% were from a Protestant background.
  • 3.9% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
  • 13.8% of people were born outside Northern Ireland.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Population change

According to the World Gazetter, the following reflects the census data for Omagh since 1981:[29]

  • 1981 – 14,627 (Official census)
  • 1991 – 17,280 (Official census)
  • 2000 – 18,031 (Official estimate)
  • 2001 – 19,910 (Official census)
  • 2010 – 22,834 (Calculation)

Places of interest

Tourist attractions


  • The Gortin Glens Forest Park, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Omagh is a large forest with many attractions, including a deer enclosure and many areas of natural beauty, including waterfalls, lakes, etc.
  • Strule Arts Centre opened in 2007 is good example of urban renewal in Omagh town centre. Creating a modern civic building, in a newly created public space reclaimed from the formerly disused area, between the River Strule and High Street.

Parks

  • Omagh boasts over 20 playgrounds for children,[31] and a large amount of green open area for all the public. The largest of these is the Grange Park, located near the town centre. Many areas around the meanders of the River Strule have also been developed into open areas. Omagh Leisure Complex is a large public amenity, near the Grange Park and is set in 11 hectares (27 acres) of landscaped grounds and features a leisure centre, boating pond, astroturf pitch and cycle paths.

Retail

Omagh is the main retail centre for Tyrone, as well as the West of Ulster (behind Derry and Letterkenny), due to its central location. In the period 2000–2003, over £80 million was invested in Omagh, and 60,960 m2 (656,200 sq ft) of new retail space was created. Shopping areas in Omagh include the Main Street Mall, Great Northern Road Retail Park and the Showgrounds Retail Park on Sedan Avenue in the town centre. High Street is also a prominent shopping street.

Transport


Former railways

Neither the town nor the district of Omagh has any railway service.

The Irish gauge Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway (L&ER) opened as far as Omagh on 3 September 1852[32] and was extended to Enniskillen in 1854.[33] The Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway (PD&O) reached Omagh in 1861,[33] completing the Portadown – Derry route that came to be informally called "The Derry Road".[34] The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) absorbed the PD&O in 1876[35] and the L&ER in 1883.[35]

The Government of Northern Ireland made the GNR Board close the Omagh – Enniskillen line in 1957.[6] The Ulster Transport Authority took over the GNR's remaining lines in Northern Ireland in 1958. In accordance with The Benson Report submitted to the Northern Ireland Government in 1963, the UTA closed the "Derry Road" through Omagh on 15 February 1965.[32][36][37] Later the Omagh Throughpass road was built on the disused trackbed though Omagh railway station.

Bus Services

Bus Services in Omagh are operated by Ulsterbus.The town has 7 Bus Corridors that run daily which are the following:

384A- Strathroy

384B- Killyclogher

384C- Tamlaght Road

384D- Culmore Park and O'Kane Park

384E- Tyrone and Fermanagh Hosp

384F- Mullaghmore and Lisanelly Heights

384G- Dergmoney and Coolnagard Estate

Proposed railways

There is a proposal for Omagh to become a rail hub again by 2050. This is a proposal to reopen the rail line to Belfast via Portadown and also a rail link between Derry and Limerick via Omagh. However, this is only a proposal in the planning stage, and no plan has been finalised as yet.

A proposal to reopen the line between Portadown and Omagh was consider by the NI Department for Regional Development in their Future Railway Investment: A Consultation Paper in early 2013. The proposal is not ranked as a high priority in the report for railway investment from 2015 to 2035. The report estimates that a link from Portadown to Omagh would cost around £475 million, thought it admits that no detail feasibility study has been carried out.

Road connections

  • A32 (Omagh – Enniskillen – Ballinamore) (Becomes N87 at border)
  • A5 (Northbound) (Omagh – Strabane [and from here north-west to Letterkenny, via Lifford on the A38, becoming the N14 at the county border] – Derry)
  • A5 (Southbound) (Omagh – MonaghanAshbourneDublin) (Becomes N2 at border)
  • A4 (Eastbound) (Omagh – Dungannon – Belfast) (A4 joins A5 near Ballygawley)
  • A505 (Eastbound) (Omagh – Cookstown)
  • The Omagh Throughpass (Stage 3) opened on 18 August 2006.

Education

Omagh has a large variety of educational institutions at all levels. Omagh is also the headquarters of the Western Education and Library Board (WELB), which is located in Campsie House on the Hospital Road.

Primary schools (elementary schools)

  • St. Colmcille's Primary School
  • Christ The King Primary School
  • Gibson Primary School
  • Gillygooley Primary School
  • Loreto Primary School
  • Omagh County Primary School (and Nursery School)
  • Omagh Integrated Primary School
  • St Mary's Primary School
  • St Conor's Primary School
  • Gaelscoil na gCrann Irish language Primary school (and Naíscoil – Irish language nursery school)
  • Recarson Primary School – Arvalee

Grammar/secondary school

Colleges/universities

Religious buildings


The following is a list of religious buildings in Omagh:

  • Christ the King (Roman Catholic)
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church
  • Gillygooley Presbyterian Church
  • First Omagh Presbyterian
  • Independent Methodist
  • Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Omagh Baptist
  • Omagh Community Church (non-denominational)
  • Omagh Free Presbyterian Church
  • Omagh Gospel Hall (A company of Christians sometimes referred to as "open brethren")
  • Omagh Methodist
  • Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic)
  • St. Columba's (Church of Ireland)
  • St. Mary's ( Roman Catholic)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon)
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church

Media

Local newspapers and magazines

Local radio

Community Radio project Strule FM broadcast for 4 weeks in December 2008. The station featured a mixture of local interest programming and music programming produced by local radio presenters, historians and South West College Media/Music students. The station received the Bronze award for Community Radio at the 2009 Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Internet

Omagh was one of the first areas in Northern Ireland, outside the Belfast commuter belt, to transfer to broadband internet. Prior to this, the only means for internet connection was through dial-up connections.

Sport

Gaelic games

Gaelic games, primarily Gaelic football, are the most popular sports in Omagh. The town has two Gaelic football clubs, Omagh St. Enda's, which plays its home games in Healy Park, and Drumragh Sarsfields, which plays its home games at Clanabogan.

Healy Park, the main GAA stadium in the town, located on the Gortin Road, has a capacity nearing 25,000,[38][39] and had the distinction of being the first Gaelic-games stadium in Ulster to have floodlights.[40]

The stadium now hosts the latter matches of the Tyrone Senior Football Championship, as well as Tyrone's home games, and other inter-county matches that require a neutral venue.[41]

Association football (soccer)

Omagh no longer has a top-flight local football team, since the demise of Omagh Town F.C. in 2005. Mountjoy United F.C., however, plays in the Northern Ireland Intermediate League.

Rugby

Omagh's rugby team, Omagh Academicals (nicknamed the "Accies"), is an amateur team, made up of primarily of local players.

People

Notable residents or people born in Omagh include:

References

  • [1]

External links

  • Omagh District Council Website
  • Omagh Chamber of Commerce & Industry Website
  • Omagh Directory 1910
  • Flickr group of Omagh photos
  • [2]

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