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County Tyrone
Contae Thír Eoghain
Coontie Tyrone

Coat of arms
Motto: Consilio et Prudentia  (Latin)
"By Wisdom and Prudence"
Country United Kingdom
Region Northern Ireland
Province Ulster
County town Omagh
 • Total 1,260 sq mi (3,263 km2)
Area rank 8th
Population (2011) 177,986
 • Rank 10th[1]
Contae Thír Eoghain is the Irish name; Countie Tyrone,[2] Coontie Tyrone[3] and Coontie Owenslann[4] are Ulster Scots spellings (the latter used only by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council).

County Tyrone (from Irish: Tír Eoghain, meaning "land of Eoghan") is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the south-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,155 km² and has a population of about 177,986, with its county town being Omagh. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland and is within the historic province of Ulster.

Tyrone is the seventh largest of Ireland's thirty-two counties by area and tenth largest by population.[5] It is the second largest of Ulster's nine counties by area and fourth largest by population.[6] The county is no longer used as an administrative division for local government purposes, but retains a strong identity in popular culture.


The name Tyrone is derived from Irish Tír Eoghain, meaning "land of Eoghan". This Eoghan was son of king Niall of the Nine Hostages, and brother of Conall Gulban, who gave his name to the kingdom of Tír Chonaill.[7] Historically, it was anglicised as Tirowen or Tyrowen, which are closer to the Irish pronunciation.


Historically Tyrone stretched as far north as Lough Foyle, and comprised part of modern day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle. The majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610–1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on natural resources located there. Tyrone was the traditional stronghold of the various O'Neill clans and families, the strongest of the Gaelic Irish families in Ulster, surviving into the seventeenth century. The ancient principality of Tír Eoghain, the inheritance of the O'Neills, included the whole of the present counties of Tyrone and Londonderry, and the four baronies of West Inishowen, East Inishowen, Raphoe North and Raphoe South in County Donegal.[7]


With an area of 3,155 square kilometres (1,218 sq mi), Tyrone is the largest county in Northern Ireland. The flat peatlands of East Tyrone borders the shoreline of the largest lake in Ireland, Lough Neagh, rising gradually across to the more mountainous terrain in the west of the county, the area surrounding the Sperrin Mountains, the highest point being Sawel Mountain at a height of 678 m (2,224 ft). The length of the county, from the mouth of the River Blackwater at Lough Neagh to the western point near Carrickaduff hill is 55 miles (89 km). The breadth, from the southern corner, southeast of Fivemiletown, to the northeastern corner near Meenard Mountain is 37.5 miles (60.4 km); giving an area of 1,260 square miles (in 1900).[7] Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland.

Blackrock Bridge near Newtownstewart, carrying the closed GNR mainline that ran through the county.


It is one of four counties in Northern Ireland which presently has a majority of the population from a Catholic community background, according to the 2011 census. In 1900 County Tyrone had a population of 197,719,[7] while in 2011 it was 177,986.


Large towns[]

(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Omagh

Medium towns[]

(population of 10,000 or more and under 18,000 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Cookstown
  • Dungannon
  • Strabane

Small towns[]

(population of 4,500 or more and under 10,000 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Coalisland

Intermediate settlements[]

(population of 2,250 or more and under 4,500 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Castlederg


(population of 1,000 or more and under 2,250 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Ardboe
  • Carrickmore
  • Dromore
  • Fintona
  • Fivemiletown
  • Moy
  • Newtownstewart
  • Sion Mills

Small villages[]

(population of less than 1,000 at 2001 Census)[14]

  • Altamuskin
  • Altmore
  • Ardstraw
  • Artigarvan
  • Augher
  • Aughnacloy
  • Ballygawley
  • Ballymagorry
  • Benburb
  • Beragh
  • Brockagh
  • Caledon
  • Clogher
  • Clonoe
  • Derryloughan
  • Derrytresk
  • Donaghmore
  • Donemana
  • Drumquin
  • Edenderry
  • Eglish
  • Erganagh
  • Eskra
  • Evish
  • Glenmornan
  • Gortin
  • Greencastle
  • Killyclogher
  • Loughmacrory
  • Kildress
  • Plumbridge
  • Pomeroy
  • Rock
  • Stewartstown
  • Tamnamore
  • Tullyhogue
  • Victoria Bridge



  • Clogher
  • Dungannon Lower
  • Dungannon Middle
  • Dungannon Upper
  • Omagh East
  • Omagh West
  • Strabane Lower
  • Strabane Upper




The major sports in Tyrone are Gaelic games, Association football and Rugby Union.

  • Gaelic football is more widely played than hurling. The Tyrone GAA football side has had considerable success since 2000, winning three All Ireland titles (in 2003, 2005 and 2008), they have also won thirteen Ulster titles (1956, 1957, 1973, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010)[15] and two National League titles (in 2002 and 2003).
    • Underage Gaelic football teams have also had considerable successes on the field at both provincial and national level – winning the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship seven times (the most recent, also in 2010) and the All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship four times.
  • Association Football also has a large following. Omagh Town F.C. were members of the Irish Football League until they folded in 2005 due to financial problems. Dungannon Swifts F.C. compete in the NIFL Premiership - the top division. Other teams include NIFL Championship sides Coagh United F.C. and Dergview F.C..
  • Rugby Union is very popular in the county. Dungannon RFC are one of only three Ulster teams currently playing in All Ireland League One. Other teams include Omagh RFC, Clogher Valley RFC, Cookstown RFC and Strabane RFC.

Notable people[]

  • Ryan Dolan – Representing Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
  • Philomena Begley, Irish country music singer
  • James E. Boyd, seventh Governor of Nebraska[16]
  • Paul Brady, musician.
  • William Burke, 1792–1829, grave robber and murderer
  • Peter Canavan, former All Ireland winning Tyrone captain and second top scorer in Senior Ulster Championship football.
  • William Carleton, 1794–1869, writer
  • Darren Clarke, professional golfer.
  • Tom Clarke, a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising
  • Janet Devlin, soul and pop artist and contestant on The X Factor (UK)
  • Brian Dooher, former captain of the Tyrone senior football team.
  • Hugo Duncan, singer and broadcaster on BBC Radio.
  • John Dunlap (1747–1812), publisher of the first American daily newspaper the Pennsylvania Packet in 1784, also the printer of the American Declaration of Independence.
  • Brian Friel, dramatist and theatre director
  • Aaron Hughes, current captain of the Northern Ireland football team and also plays for Fulham.
  • John Hughes (1797–1864), born in Annaloghan, first Archbishop of Roman Catholic diocese of New York.[17]
  • Ryan Kelly, singer with Celtic Thunder "Ryan Kelly". 
  • Benedict Kiely (1919–2007), writer and broadcaster
  • William McMaster (1811–1887), Founder of Canadian Bank of Commerce and namesake of McMaster University
  • Mary Mallon (1869–1938), more commonly known as Typhoid Mary
  • W. F. Marshall (1888–1954), the 'The Bard of Tyrone', Presbyterian minister, author and poet, creator of one of Northern Ireland's most popular dialect poems 'Me an' Me Da', and many others in similar vein, lecturer at Magee College Derry and leading authority on Mid Ulster English.
  • Thomas Mellon, founder of Mellon Bank, now Bank of New York Mellon
  • Flann O'Brien, 1911–1966, writer
  • Dominic Ó Mongain (1715–1800?), Poet and harpist.
  • Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone (Aodh Mór Ó Néill), c.1550–1616, Irish leader during the Nine Years' War
  • Arthur O'Neill (c.1737–1816) was a travelling blind Irish harpist, a virtuoso player of the Irish harp or cláirseach
  • Victor Sloan MBE, Visual Artist
  • Ivan Sproule, football player for Bristol City F.C.
  • Dennis Taylor, former World Snooker Champion.

See also[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland (County Tyrone)
  • High Sheriff of Tyrone
  • List of civil parishes of County Tyrone
  • List of places in County Tyrone
  • List of townlands in County Tyrone
  • Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone
  • Ulster American Folk Park
  • The Moorlough Shore


  1. ^
  2. ^ "North-South Ministerial Council: 2010 Annual Report in Ulster Scots" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "North-South Ministerial Council: 2006 Annual Report in Ulster Scots" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0-340-89695-7. 
  6. ^ Marie Veronica Tarpey The role of Joseph McGarrity in the struggle for Irish independence
  7. ^ a b c d "Description of County Tyrone from Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland (1900)". Library Ireland. Retrieved 24 February 2009. 
  8. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy, 14 March 1865.
  9. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures.". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  13. ^ Mokyr, Joel (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Statistical classification of settlements". NI Neighbourhood Information Service. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  15. ^ The Tyrone GAA team have won the Ulster Senior Championship on eight occasions in the 20th century
  16. ^ "Kansas Governor Walter Roscoe Stubbs". National Governors Association. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  • The Memoirs of John M. Regan, a Catholic Officer in the RIC and RUC, 1909–48, Joost Augusteijn, editor, District Inspector, Co. Tyrone, 1920s, ISBN 978-1-84682-069-4.

Further reading[]

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at County Tyrone. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.