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Coalisland heading south.jpg
View from the north of the town
Coalisland is located in Northern Ireland
Coalisland shown within Northern Ireland
Population 5,700 (2011 Census)
• Belfast 35 miles (56 km)
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT71
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°32′31″N 6°41′38″W / 54.542°N 6.694°W / 54.542; -6.694Coordinates: 54°32′31″N 6°41′38″W / 54.542°N 6.694°W / 54.542; -6.694

Coalisland is a small town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, with a population of 5,700 in 2011. Four miles from Lough Neagh, it was formerly a centre for coal mining.


On 24 August 1968, the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ), the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), and other groups, held the first civil rights march in Northern Ireland, from Coalisland to Dungannon. The rally was officially banned, but took place and passed off without incident. The publicity surrounding the march encouraged other protesting groups to form branches of the NICRA.[2]

The Troubles[edit]

The town has traditionally been viewed as an IRA stronghold throughout the Twentieth Century, with deep and enduring links to republicanism in the vicinity. From 1969 to 2001, a total of 20 people were shot in or near Coalisland during the Troubles. The British Army killed a total of eight people, seven of whom were Provisional Irish Republican Army members and one a Catholic civilian,[3] and the IRA in turn killed five British soldiers, three Royal Ulster Constabulary policemen, one ex-Ulster Defence Regiment soldier, and two Catholic civilians, all in separate incidents. The Ulster Volunteer Force was responsible for the murder of a Catholic civilian in the nearby town of Aughamullan.[4]



The town was served by a canal (the Coalisland Canal or Tyrone Navigation), although this is now derelict. A campaign for its restoration is underway.


Coalisland railway station was opened on 28 July 1897, closed for passenger traffic on 16 January 1956 and for goods traffic on 5 October 1959, finally closing altogether on 1 April 1965. There are no remains of the railway other than the bridge on the Derry Road and an old goods shed and grown over platforms.[5]


Daily bus services operated by Ulsterbus go through the town every 15–60 minutes:

80 DungannonCookstown via Coalisland

80A Dungannon–Coalisland

80B Dungannon–Coalisland via Newmills

80C DungannonKillen

80D Stewartsown Carpark via Brocagh

Arts and Culture[edit]

The Craic Theatre and Arts Centre is a performing arts venue built on the site of an old weaving factory. Each year it provides opportunities and entertainment for people of the area, through its in-house company Craic Players. It has a youth theatre programme for children and young people aged 4 – 18. It also offers professional touring companies the opportunity to stage shows, concerts and workshops.[6]




19th century population[edit]

The population of the village increased during the 19th century:[7][8][9][10]

Year 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 451 627 661 598 677 785
Houses 103 120 143 135 159 191

21st century population[edit]

Coalisland is classified by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) as a small town (i.e. with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 4,917 people living in Coalisland. Of these:

  • 29.6% were aged under 16 years and 12.4% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.2% of the population were male and 51.8% were female
  • 95.8% were from a Catholic background and 3.8% were from a Protestant background
  • 4.6% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
  • 0.0% of people were of a Jewish background.



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict - 1968". Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN). Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Relatives for Justice". [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet) - List of Deaths". [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Coalisland station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Craic Theatre & Arts Centre". Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Census of Ireland 1851". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Census of Ireland 1851". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 

External links[edit]