Dungannon

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For the town in Virginia, see Dungannon, Virginia. For the thoroughbred racehorse, see Dungannon (horse). For the former barony, see Dungannon (barony).
Dungannon
Scots: Rathgannon[1]
Irish: Dún Geanainn
Church of St Patrick, Dungannon - geograph.org.uk - 112576.jpg
St Patrick's Roman Catholic church
Dungannon is located in Northern Ireland
Dungannon
Dungannon
 Dungannon shown within Northern Ireland
Population 15,889 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference H7962
   – Belfast  40 miles (64 km) 
District Dungannon
County County Tyrone
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNGANNON
Postcode district BT70, BT71
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament Fermanagh–South Tyrone
NI Assembly Fermanagh–South Tyrone
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Tyrone

Coordinates: 54°30′N 6°46′W / 54.50°N 6.77°W / 54.50; -6.77

Dungannon (from Irish: Dún Geanainn, meaning "Geanann's stronghold")[2] is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the third-largest town in the county (after Omagh and Strabane) and had a population of 15,889 at the 2011 Census. The Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council has its headquarters in the town.

For centuries, it was the 'capital' of the O'Neill dynasty, who dominated most of Ulster and built a castle on the hill. After the O'Neills defeat in the Nine Years' War, the English founded a Plantation town on the site, which grew into what is now Dungannon.

Dungannon has won Ulster in Bloom's Best Kept Town Award five times. Today, it has the highest percentage of immigrants of any town in Northern Ireland.

History[edit]

Dungannon's fortunes have been closely tied to that of the O'Neill dynasty which ruled a large part of Ulster until the seventeenth century. Dungannon was the clan's main stronghold. The traditional site of inauguration for 'The O'Neill', was Tullyhogue Fort, an Iron Age mound some four miles northeast of Dungannon. The clan O'Hagan were the stewards of this site for the O'Neills. In the 1300s the O'Neills built a castle on what is today known as Castle Hill; the location was ideal for a fort as it was one of the highest points in the area, and dominated the surrounding countryside with the ability to see seven counties depending on the weather. Its location ultimately led to the British Army taking over the site for a security installation during The Troubles, only being returned to the local council in August 2007.

This castle was burned in 1602 by Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone as the English forces closed in on the Gaelic lords towards the end of the Nine Years' War. In 1607, ninety-nine Irish chieftains and their followers, including Hugh O'Neill, set sail from Rathmullan, bound for the continent. What followed became known as the Plantation of Ulster and the town and its castle were granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, the architect of the Plantation.

Dungannon's Visitor Centre, Ranfurly House, at the top of Market Square. Castle Hill is behind it.

The castle was partially excavated in October 2007, by the Channel 4 archaeological show 'Time Team', uncovering part of the moate and walls of the castle.[3]

Dungannon remained the county seat of County Tyrone after the Plantation, but High Court judges who travelled to Dungannon to the courthouse were attacked in the village of Cappagh and the county town was then moved to Omagh.[citation needed] In 1973, the town became the seat of the new district of Dungannon. In 1782, the town was the location where the independence of the Irish Parliament was declared by members of the Protestant Ascendancy who controlled the parliament at the time.[4]

The Troubles[edit]

In the late 1960s, Northern Ireland was plunged into an ethno-political conflict known as the Troubles. During the conflict almost 50 people were killed in and around Dungannon,[5] and there were many bombings in the town. The deadliest attack in the town was on 17 March 1976, when a loyalist car bomb attack on the Hillcrest Bar killed four Catholic civilians.

On 24 August 1968, the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ), the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), and other groups, held Northern Ireland's first civil rights march from Coalisland to Dungannon. The rally was officially banned, but took place and passed off without incident. The publicity surrounding the march encouraged other groups to form branches of NICRA.[6]

Demography[edit]

Dungannon is classed as a Large Town and had a population of 15,889 at the time of the 2011 Census.[citation needed]

Dungannon has a bigger share of immigrants [clarification needed] than any town in Northern Ireland.[7] Immigrants make up about 11% of its population; more than twice the average. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of immigrants in Dungannon increased tenfold; the biggest increase of any town.[7] Most have come to Dungannon to work in the local food processing plants. It has led to a string of attacks on immigrants in the area[8] and clashes between rival groups of immigrants.[9]

The population of the town increased slightly overall during the 19th century:[10][11]

Year 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 3801 3854 3994 3886 4084 3812
Houses 675 686 720 727 812 830

Places of interest[edit]

An interesting feature of the town is the former police barracks at the top right-hand corner of the market square which is quite unlike any other barracks of a similar vintage in Ireland. A popular but apocryphal story relates that the unusual design of this building is due to a mix-up with the plans in Dublin which meant Dungannon got a station designed for the Nepal and they got a standard Irish barracks, complete with a traditional Irish fireplace. Dungannon Park is a seventy acre oasis centred round an idyllic still-water lake, with miles of pathways and views of the surrounding townland.[12][13]

Geography[edit]

Dungannon is in the southeast of County Tyrone, within the historic barony of Dungannon Middle and the civil parish of Drumglass.[14] The town grew up around a hill, known locally as Castle Hill. There are three small lakes on the southern edge of town, the biggest of which is Black Lough. There are also two parks in the eastern part of town: Dungannon Park and Windmill Park. Surrounding settlements include Moygashel (a village at the southern edge of Dungannon), Coalisland (to the northeast), Donaghmore (to the northwest) and Castlecaulfield (to the west).[citation needed]

Townlands[edit]

Dungannon sprang up in a townland called Drumcoo. Over time, the urban area has spread into the neighbouring townlands. Many of its roads and housing estates are named after them. The following is a list of these townlands and their likely etymologies:[15][16]

  • Ballynorthland Park
  • Ballysaggart (from Irish: Baile Sagairt, meaning "homestead of the priest")
  • Coolhill (from Cúlchoill meaning "the back woods")
  • Drumcoo (from Druim Cuaiche meaning "ridge of the cuckoo")
  • Drumharriff (from Druim Thairbh meaning "ridge of the bull")
  • Gortmerron (from Gort Mearain meaning "Merron's field")
  • Killymaddy (from Coill na Madaí meaning "wood of the dogs")
  • Killymeal (from Coill na Maoile meaning "wood of the bald/hornless cow")
  • Lisnaclin (from Lios na Clinge meaning "ringfort of the bell chime")
  • Lisnahull (from Lios na hOlna meaning "ringfort of the wool")
  • Lurgaboy (from Lurga Buí meaning "yellow shin" i.e. shin-shaped hill)
  • Mullaghadun (from Mullach a' Dúin meaning "hilltop of the fort")
  • Mullaghanagh (from Mullach Eanach meaning "marshy hilltop")
  • Mullaghconor (from Mullach Chonchobhair meaning "Conchobhair's hilltop")
  • Mullaghmore (from Mullach Mór meaning "big hilltop")

Economy[edit]

The economy of Dungannon has evolved from agriculture and linen production dominating the landscape to food and light engineering being the main industrial employers.[citation needed]

Schools[edit]

Primary
  • Aughamullan Primary School
  • Bush Primary School
  • Clintyclay Primary School
  • Derrylatinee Primary School
  • Donaghey Primary School
  • Dungannon Primary School
  • Killyman Primary School
  • Laghey Primary School
  • Lisfearty Primary School
  • Newmills Primary School
  • St. Mary's Primary School
  • St. Patrick's Primary School
  • Tamnamore Primary School
  • Tullyroan Primary School
  • Walker Memorial Primary School
  • Windmill Integrated Primary School
Secondary

Transport[edit]

Dungannon is linked to the M1 motorway, which runs from the southeast of the town to Belfast. There is an Ulsterbus town bus service that runs daily that serves the town's suburbs.[18] Usually operated by the Optare Solo buses. The nearest railway station is Portadown on Northern Ireland Railways.

Former railways[edit]

The Irish gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway (PD&O) linked the town with Portadown from 1858 and Omagh from 1861,[19] completing the PortadownDerry railway route that came to be informally called "The Derry Road".[20] The Great Northern Railway took over the PD&O in 1876[21] and built a branch line from Dungannon to Cookstown in 1879.[19]

The GNR Board cut back the Cookstown branch to Coalisland in 1956[22] and the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) closed the branch altogether in 1959.[22] In accordance with the Benson Report submitted to the Government of Northern Ireland 1963 the UTA closed the "Derry Road" through Dungannon in 1965.[22][23] The site of Dungannon station is now a public park and the former trackbed through the station is now a greenway.

Notable people[edit]

Sport[edit]

Cricket[edit]

Dungannon Cricket Club is the oldest sporting club in Dungannon dating back to at least 1865. This was again due to the influence of the Royal School who were playing in 1861 and probably earlier. The club played continuously through to 1914 with a break from 1901 to 1904 when Lord Ranfurly was Governor of New Zealand and there was no ground available until his return. The club became affiliated to the NCU in 1913 and played in the Junior Cup in 1913 and 1914 until the club was discontinued during the Great War.

Attempts were made to reestablish the club after the war and this was done in 1929 and survived until 1933 when Lord Ranfurly died to again leave the club without a ground. Cricket was kept alive by the Royal School, Bankers and the RUC until 1939 when the Second World War broke out. The club was reformed in 1948 mainly due to the efforts of Eddie Hodgett and the NCU leagues in 1952 and continues to do so to the present time. The club has never quite reached senior cricket as it has limited resources and relies on the District Council for a ground. The club has played on at least five different locations during its existence. Home games are played at Dungannon Park.[25]

Rugby[edit]

Dungannon was one of the first towns in Ireland to form a rugby club, probably due to the Royal School. Dungannon Rugby FC's most recent success was sharing the Ulster Senior League title with Ballymena. They were also the first Ulster club to win the All Ireland League. At least one player from Dungannon is listed in the first ever Irish side. The rugby club was founded in 1873, was the sixth club in Ireland and a founder member of the IRFU. Despite being a rugby union club since inception its official title is Dungannon Football Club. This was in common with other clubs, such as the now defunct North of Ireland club from Belfast, who were founded prior to the formal division of the different styles of football into Association (soccer) and rugby. The town has connections to New Zealand rugby. The Earl of Ranfurly presented the Ranfurly Shield to the NZRFU.[citation needed]

Gaelic games[edit]

The town has also achieved much success in Gaelic games, Gaelic football and hurling. Dungannon has produced many footballers, especially for the Tyrone County Team, who won the All-Ireland Gaelic Football Championship in 2003, 2005 and 2008. The local boys' Gaelic Football club is Dungannon Thomas Clarkes (Thomáis Uí Chléirigh Dún Geanainn) while the ladies football team is Aodh a Ruadh. The local Hurling club is Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon.[citation needed] and the Camogie club is Naomh Treasa.

Football[edit]

Dungannon Swifts F.C. is the town's local team, which plays in the IFA Premiership, and is Tyrone's only representative in the league, following Omagh Town's collapse. The club represented Northern Ireland in European competition in 2005–06 and 2006-06.[citation needed]

Golf[edit]

PGA Tour golfer Darren Clarke grew up in Dungannon, and was a member of Dungannon Golf Club. The club is one of the oldest 18-hole courses in Northern Ireland, being founded in 1890. Six new greens were recently designed by Patrick Merrigan.

Hare coursing and greyhound racing[edit]

The local Hare Coursing Club has been in existence since the 1920s but the sport was popular in the area long before the formation of the club. With Hare Coursing currently suspended in Northern Ireland the Dungannon club organises meetings in the Republic of Ireland. Greyhound racing was a popular sport in Dungannon from the 1940s until the Oaks Park Greyhound Stadium finally closed in January 2003. Large crowds attended the weekly meetings on Wednesdays and Fridays with visitors travelling from as far away as Coalisland to enjoy the races.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rathgannon is the translation used by Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council. Dungannon, as in English, is also used by the North/South Ministerial Council.
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ Belfast Telegraph, 19 October 2007
  4. ^ 'Dungannon' from Britannica 2001 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM, 1999–2000.
  5. ^ http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/cgi-bin/dyndeaths.pl
  6. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict – 1968". Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN). Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "NI migrant population triples in decade, says study". BBC News. 26 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Politicians unite to condemn ‘racist’ sign in Moygashel", Tyrone Courier, 8 January 2014; accessed 7 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Loyalists blamed as racist attacks on migrants double in Ulster", The Guardian, 30 May 2006.
  10. ^ "Census of Ireland 1851". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Discover Northern Ireland – Dungannon Park
  13. ^ Dungannon Park – Tourist attraction in Dungannon district
  14. ^ "Townlands of County Tyrone". IreAtlas Townland Database. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Northern Ireland Placenames Project". Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "OSI Dungannon". Ordnance Survey Ireland. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  17. ^ St. Patrick's College/Academy website; accessed 1 May 2014.
  18. ^ Timetable: Dungannon, Square – Dungannon. Translink
  19. ^ a b Hajducki, S. Maxwell (1974). A Railway Atlas of Ireland. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. map 8. ISBN 0-7153-5167-2. 
  20. ^ FitzGerald, J.D. (1995). The Derry Road. Colourpoint Transport. Gortrush: Colourpoint Press. ISBN 1-898392-09-9. 
  21. ^ Hajducki, op. cit., page xiii
  22. ^ a b c Hajducki, op. cit., map 39
  23. ^ Baker, Michael H.C. (1972). Irish Railways since 1916. London, UK: Ian Allan. pp. 155, 209. ISBN 0711002827. 
  24. ^ Kris Meeke profile, krismeeke.com; accessed 1 May 2014.
  25. ^ Dungannon Cricket Online, dungannoncricketonline; accessed 6 July 2014.

External links[edit]