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St Columbkille Roman Catholic church, Carrickmore.

Carrickmore (from Irish: an Charraig Mhór, meaning "the big rock"[1]) is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It lies in the centre of the county on a raised site colloquially called "The Rock"; between Cookstown, Dungannon and Omagh. It is situated in the historic barony of Omagh East and the civil parish of Termonmaguirk.[2] It had a population of 612 in the 2001 Census. In the 2011 Census 2,330 people lived in the Termon Ward, which covers the Carrickmore and Creggan areas.


The current settlement can trace its origins back thousands of years to the pre-Christian era. The area is steeped in history and legend, many tales connected with Saint Colmcille and the village, including the saint's well, chair and bed which are still in existence. A wide range of historic monuments can be found in the Carrickmore area, including cairns, stone circles, standing stones and raths..

The Dean Brian Maguirc College, a second level education school, is named for Dean Brian McGurk who was Vicar-General to St Oliver Plunkett during the Penal Times and died in Armagh Gaol, aged 91.[3]

Carrickmore holds the annual Tyrone County Commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising and a remembrance ceremony for all republicans killed in The Troubles since 1969.

Two historical figures from the Clan na Gael and Irish Republican Brotherhood hailed from the Carrickmore area: Joseph McGarrity who helped fund the 1916 Easter Rising and Patrick McCartan.

Carrickmore is the ancestral home of Kurt Cobain, rock star and front man of the band Nirvana. Samuel and Letitia Cobain left the townland of Inishatieve for America in the 1800s first moving to Canada and then settling in Washington. Kurt Cobain was a fifth generation descendent from the emigrants.[4]

Places of interest[edit]

  • Mullinalap Monastic Settlement: This early Christian settlement is located on the site of an older Celtic settlement. Pilgrims from across Ireland and Europe came to this site to seek spiritual renewal and cures from ailments as water from a well at the site was reputed to have healing power. Saint Colmcille founded a monastery here in 550AD. Situated on the hill beside St Colmcille's Roman Catholic Church, Creggan Road.[5]
  • Dunmisk Fort: It is assumed to be one of the few industrial centres of Ireland during prehistoric times. The site is hugely significant in that it is the first evidence for glass-making to be published for Early Christian Ireland. It shows that both glass-making and glass-working occurred, and therefore that not all glass was imported. Evidence was found there during an archaeology survey in the 1980s. It was also discovered that the site was home to a complex monastic settlement and a cemetery of over 400 graves. Accessed from the main Galbally to Carrickmore Road (Inishatieve Road).[6]
  • Creggandevesky Court Tomb: Built between 5000 and 6000 years ago in the late Stone Age, the chamber served as a tomb, and the courtyard to accommodate a ritual. Objects were often buried with the deceased, as the first neolithic people of this time believed in life after death. Accessed from the Loughmallon road, four miles from Carrickmore.[7]
  • Patrician Hall: A Community, culture, arts and multi-purpose venue in the centre of the village. It was renowned across Ireland as one of the top venues for Showbands in the 1960s and 1970s. Van Morrison, Roy Orbison, Liam Neeson, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Dolores Keane and many other international personalities have appeared. It also hosts the annual Mid-Ulster Drama Festival every March as well as other festivals and events throughout the year[8]
  • The National Graves Monument: A memorial to republicans killed during the Anglo-Irish conflict. It is located at the junction of Main Street and Legnashamer Road, close to the town centre.[9]
  • Bernish Glen: Located on the edge of the Parish of Termonmaguirc in the townland of Tursallagh this geological feature is an impressive landmark on the local countryside. Named after the renowned local highwayman Shane Bernagh Donnelly it was then made famous by Poet WF Marshall. The area is well known for its bilberries - known locally as 'blaeberries' or 'fraughan' - which would be picked annually at the Blaeberry Sunday festival on the last Sunday in July.[10]
  • Tree of Fortune (from Irish: Crann na deis, meaning "tree of chance or opportunity"): An old tree located beneath Mullinalap Monastic Settlement. There are several variations on this story with local custom saying that beneath it is a portal to the otherworld e.g. Mag Mell. Oral tradition has it that the Fear Dubh or dark man (i.e. malevolent spirit) would appear at the site and play a betting game with mortals, if they won their wishes would be granted, if they lost then their souls were his for eternity. The spirit was eventually banished by the Tuatha Dé Danann led by Lugh forcing it into the portal and sealing the entrance by planting a tree on top of it. Lugh was said to declare the area a sanctuary from the spirit and it is believed this is how the locality received the name Termon or Tearmann. It is said the tree is now guarded by the Aos Sí, the descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann. It was believed that each time the tree dies the entrance can reopen and the Fear Dubh may return to play its game. A local brewery is named after the tree.[11]
  • High Cross The cross to celebrate Jubilee 2000, a Roman Catholic celebration in the year 2000. It sits in an area known as Fód na Marbh (sod of the dead) beside St Columbkilles R.C. Church. Made of stone and standing 24 feet high it features carved scenes from the lives of Irish saints. It has a 21st-century depiction of the historic moment when Pope John Paul II inserted a prayer of reconciliation into the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March 2000. Some of the cross’s other motifs and panels include: The Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, The Assumption of Our Lady, Christ preaching the Beatitudes, the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, the three patrons of Ireland – Ss. Patrick, Brigid and Columcille, St Oliver Plunkett, St Teresa of the Child Jesus, St Malachy, an emigrant boat, the sacraments and family life, the Archbishop of Armagh’s coat of arms and the motif of the papal visit to Ireland in 1979.[12]
  • Quinns Corner: On the corner of Main Street and Creggan Road, this elevated platform in the centre of the village (formerly a Hotel and latterly a Public House) was the setting for speeches given by many famous nationalists and republicans, including Michael Davitt, Éamon de Valera, Tomás Mac Giolla, Liam Kelly and Bernadette Devlin. It is also the place the local sporting teams return to after winning contests.[13]
  • The Nally Stand: During the redevelopment of GAA headquarters at Croke Park in Dublin, one of the stands surrounding the pitch was transported to Carrickmore and is now situated in the GAA ground were spectators can sit and watch a match. The Nally Stand in Carrickmore also has a museum charting the history of Patrick Nally, as well as the history of Carrickmore club and the community.[14]
  • Carrickmore Airfield: Small airfield on the edge of Carrickmore offering flying lessons and pleasure flights over the local countryside. Run by the local C-More Flying club, it hosts annual fun days for the community which include 'Fly-In's' by aircraft from all over Ireland and Britain including the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter.[15]


Carrickmore is served by Ulsterbus route 86, which runs between Dungannon and Omagh via Dungannon, Donaghmore, Pomeroy, Carrickmore, Drumnakilly and Omagh.

The Portadown, Dungannon and Omagh Junction Railway opened Carrickmore railway station on 2 September 1861. The Ulster Transport Authority closed the station on 5 October 1959 and the line on 15 February 1965.[16]


The townlands that make up the area of Carrickmore border on the parishes of Ballygawley, Beragh, Galbally, Kildress, Kileeshil, Pomeroy. Carrickmore also shares the parish of Termonmagurk with Loughmacrory and Creggan. Carrickmore has the smallest townland in Ireland known as Old Church Yard.


Carrickmore St. Colmcille's, Gaelic Football club and Éire Óg Hurling and Camogie Club are the two main sporting organization's in the village. Carrickmore also has a proud tradition of boxing in the area and has had many All Ireland Champions. There are also local walking, running, cycling and Special needs sporting clubs.


Main areas of employment are engineering, construction, quarrying, I.T. and farming. The larger surrounding towns of Cookstown, Dungannon and Omagh also provide other forms of employment.

2001 Census[edit]

Carrickmore is classified as a town by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with a population between 500 and 1,000). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 612 people living in Carrickmore. Of these:

  • 28.3% were aged under 16 and 14.9% were aged 60 and over
  • 47.1% of the population were male and 52.9% were female
  • 98.0% were from a Catholic background and 1.5% were from a Protestant background
  • 5.2% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Carrickmore Townland[edit]

The townland of Carrickmore is situated in the historic barony of Omagh East and the civil parish of Termonmaguirk and covers an area of 915 acres.[17]

The population of the townland declined during the 19th century:[18][19]

Year 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 258 234 240 230 219 178
Houses 54 47 44 43 40 38

In 1891 the town of Carrickmore (formerly Termon Rock) stood in the townland of Carrickmore, with an estimated area of 11 acres.[20]

The townland contains two Scheduled Historic Monuments: Graveyard: Relignaman or Relicknaman and Graveyard: Relignalaniv.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Carrickmore". Place Names NI. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Carrickmore". IreAtlas Townland Database. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  3. ^ Carrickmore, Dean Maguirc College. "Dean Maguirc College Carrickmore > Temp Offline". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Termon Maguirc Prish, Carrickmore, Loughmacrory and Creggan - History". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ Henderson, J., & Ivens, R. (1992). Dunmisk and glass-making in Early Christian Ireland. Antiquity, 66(250), 52-64. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00081035
  7. ^ "Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork : School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  8. ^ "The Patrician - Carrickmore". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Victims: Memorials: Tyrone Garden of Remembrance (Carrickmore)". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Omagh District Council Area : Northern Ireland Place-Name Project, QUB" (PDF).\accessdate=2017-08-01. 2007-12-04.
  11. ^ "Pokertree Brewing Company - A Devil Of A Brew". 20 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Paul Arthur (1974) The People's Democracy 1968-73 - Extracts". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Old stand, new venue: Croke Park's famous Nally Stand takes up new residence in Tyrone". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Carrickmore station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  17. ^ "Townlands of County Tyrone". IreAtlas Townland Database. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Census of Ireland 1851". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Scheduled Historic Monuments (to 15 October 2012)" (PDF). NI Environment Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°36′N 7°03′W / 54.600°N 7.050°W / 54.600; -7.050