Enniskillen from the air (2005)
|Enniskillen shown within Northern Ireland|
|Irish grid reference|
|• Belfast||88 miles (142 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BT74, BT92-94|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Enniskillen (//, from Irish Inis Ceithleann, meaning "Ceithlenn's island" [ˈɪnʲɪʃ ˈcɛlʲən̪ˠ]) is a town and civil parish in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is located almost exactly in the centre of the county, between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,599 at the 2001 census. It was the seat of local government for the former Fermanagh District Council, and is the county town of Fermanagh as well as its largest town.
- 1 History
- 2 Demography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Places of interest
- 5 International events
- 6 Notable natives and residents
- 7 Education
- 8 Transport
- 9 Twinning
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The town's name comes from the Irish: Inis Ceithleann. This refers to Cethlenn, a figure in Irish mythology who may have been a goddess. Local legend has it that Cethlenn was wounded in battle by an arrow and attempted to swim across the River Erne, which surrounds the island, but she never reached the other side so the island was named in reference to her. It has been anglicised many ways over the centuries – Iniskellen, Iniskellin, Iniskillin, Iniskillen, Inishkellen, Inishkellin, Inishkillin, Inishkillen and so on.
The town's oldest building is Enniskillen Castle, built by Hugh (Maguire) the Hospitable who died in 1428. An earthwork, the Skonce on the shore of Lough Erne, may be the remains of an earlier motte. The castle was the stronghold of the junior branch of the Maguires. The first watergate was built around 1580 by Cú Chonnacht Maguire, though subsequent lowering of the level of the lough has left it without water. The strategic position of the castle made its capture important for the English in 1593, to support their plans for the control of Ulster; this was achieved by a Captain Dowdall in February 1594. Maguire then laid siege to it, and defeated a relieving force at the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits at Drumane Bridge on the Arney River. Although the defenders were relieved, Maguire gained possession of the castle from 1595 to 1598 and it was not finally captured by the English until 1607.
This was part of a wider campaign to bring the province of Ulster under English control; the final capture of Enniskillen Castle in 1607 was followed by the Plantation of Ulster, during which the lands of the native Irish were seized and handed over to planters loyal to the English Crown. The Maguires were supplanted by William Cole, originally from Devon, who was appointed by James I to build an English settlement there.
Captain Cole was installed as Constable and strengthened the castle wall and built a "fair house" on the old foundation as the centrepoint of the county town. The first Protestant parish church was erected on the hilltop in 1627. The Royal Free School of Fermanagh was moved onto the island in 1643. The first bridges were drawbridges; permanent bridges were not installed before 1688.
By 1689 the town had grown significantly. During the conflict which resulted from the ousting of King James II by his Protestant rival, William III, Enniskillen and Derry were the focus of Williamite resistance in Ireland, including the nearby Battle of Newtownbutler.
Enniskillen and Derry were the two garrisons in Ulster that were not wholly loyal to James II, and it was the last town to fall before the siege of Derry. As a direct result of this conflict, Enniskillen developed not only as a market town but also as a garrison, which became home to two regiments.
The current site of Fermanagh College (now part of the South West College) was the former Enniskillen Gaol. Many people were tried and hanged here in the square during the times of public execution. Part of the old Gaol is still used by the college.
Enniskillen is the site of the foundation of two British Army regiments:
The town's name (with the archaic spelling) continues to form part of the title to The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment).
The Chieftains sing a song that mentions Enniskillen titled "North Amerikay".
Jim Kerr of Simple Minds was so moved by the results of the Enniskillen bombing in 1987 that he wrote new words to the traditional folk song "She Moved Through The Fair" and the group recorded it with the name "Belfast Child". The recording reached No. 1 in the UK Charts, Ireland and several other countries in 1989. The single was taken from the album Street Fighting Years; the single version was also published with the title "Ballad of the Streets". The video to the song was shot in black and white and displays poignant footage of children and the destruction of the bombing. Similarly, U2 held a concert the same day of the bombing, which was being filmed for a movie. During a performance of their song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", singer Bono passionately condemned the bombing, stating "fuck the revolution" in his mid-song speech. The footage is included in U2's rockumentary Rattle and Hum.
The Irish language novel Mo Dhá Mhicí by Séamus Mac Annaidh is set in Enniskillen.
Enniskillen is classified as a "medium town" by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On census day (29 April 2001) there were 13,599 people living in Enniskillen.
- 23.2% were aged under 16 years and 17.4% were aged 60 and over
- 48.1% of the population were male and 51.9% were female
- 61.5% were from a Catholic background and 36.3% were from a Protestant background
- 5.2% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
- 98.8% of people were from a white ethnic background.
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
As throughout Britain and Ireland, Enniskillen experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Lough Navar Forest, about 8 1⁄2 mi (14 km) northwest of Enniskillen. Data has also more recently been collected from Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport, under 4 mi (6 km) north of the town centre, which should in time give a more accurate representation of the climate of the Enniskillen area.
The absolute maximum temperature is 29.8 °C (85.6 °F), recorded during July 2006. In an 'average' year, the warmest day is 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) and only 2.4 days a year should rise to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above. The respective absolute maximum for St Angelo is 29.4 °C (84.9 °F)
The absolute minimum temperature is −12.9 °C (8.8 °F), recorded during January 1984. In an 'average' year, the coldest night should fall to −8.2 °C (17.2 °F). Lough Navar is a frosty location, with some 76 air frosts recorded in a typical year. It is likely Enniskillen town centre is significantly less frosty than this. The absolute minimum at St Angelo is −14.5 °C (5.9 °F), reported during the record cold month of December 2010.
The warmest month on record at St Angelo was August 1995 with a mean temperature of 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) (mean maximum 23.3 °C (73.9 °F), mean minimum 12.9 °C (55.2 °F), while the coldest month was December 2010, with a mean temperature of −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) (mean maximum 2.9 °C (37.2 °F), mean minimum −5.9 °C (21.4 °F).
Rainfall is high, averaging over 1500 mm. 212 days of the year report at least 1 mm of precipitation, ranging from 15 days during April, May and June, to 20 days in October, November, December, January and March.
|Climate data for Lough Navar Forest 126m asl 1971–2000, extremes 1960– (Weather station 8.5 miles (14 km) North West of Enniskillen)|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.0
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4
|Average low °C (°F)||0.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−12.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||163.38
|Source #1: YR.NO
|Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute|
Places of interest
- Ardhowen Theatre
- Castle Coole
- Mount Lourdes Grammar School
- Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School
- Cole's Monument
- Enniskillen Castle
- Portora Royal School
- St Macartin's Cathedral
- The Clinton Centre
- St. Michael's College (Enniskillen)
- The Round O
- The Lakeland Forum
- The Amphibious Flying Club
- Lakeland Seaplane Tours Ltd
Enniskillen was chosen as the venue for the 39th G8 summit held on 17 and 18 June 2013. The gathering was the biggest international diplomatic gathering held in Northern Ireland. Among G8 leaders who attended were British Prime Minister David Cameron, United States President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In recent years Enniskillen has hosted an array of international events, most notably stages of the World Waterski World Cup, annually from 2005 to 2007 at the Broadmeadow. Despite its success, Enniskillen was not chosen as a World Cup Stop for 2008.
A professional wakeboarding competition, 'Wakejam', hosted by Erne Wakeboard Club (EWC), took place between 27 and 29 July 2007. Top riders from around the world, as well as local riders, took part.
Enniskillen Airport hosted Heli Challenge: The Premier Helicopter Championship in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Heli Challenge is a competition which tests the skill of some of the best helicopter pilots from across the British Isles.
May 2009 saw the first International Seaplane Festival take place at the Share Centre in Lisnakea, as part of the Fermanagh Seaplane Festival, 10 Seaplanes from across Europe arrived to celebrate the beauty of the Fermanagh Loughs. The day before the festival a number of planes landed in the town of Enniskillen.
In 2011 The Fermanagh Seaplane Festival returned, located at the original World War II Catalina base in RAF Killadeas on Lower Lough Erne. The Festival attracted two World War II Catalina's and went on to capture global media exposure(Confirmed 4.5million plus viewers) via a TV show called 'Dig WWII', hosted by presenter Dan Snow.
For the past two years, Enniskillen has played host to the Ireland Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting, an event that draws motorcyclists from across the country and across Europe. The 2010 HU Ireland meeting raised £506 for Motorcycle Outreach, through the sale of raffle tickets and the generous donation of prizes.
Notable natives and residents
- Gordon Ferris, Northern Irish former heavyweight boxer who was both Irish and British champion in the early 1980s
- James Gamble, co-founder of Procter & Gamble
- Samuel Beckett, playwright, educated at Portora Royal School; the annual Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival is held at the island town in honour of the playwright
- Eric Bell, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Declan Burns, Irish kayaking athlete, three-time Irish Olympic representative and former World Superstars runner-up
- Roy Carroll, goalkeeper who plays for linfield F.C. and who has been capped by Northern Ireland
- Harry Chatton, football player, from the 1920s and 1930s, who was a dual international for both the IFA and FAI Irish international teams
- Jim Cleary, former Glentoran footballer and member of Northern Ireland's 1982 World Cup squad
- Edward Cooney, evangelist and early leader of the Cooneyite and Go-Preacher sects, educated at Portora Royal School
- Adrian Dunbar, actor, born and brought up in Enniskillen
- William Emerson, football player who won 11 caps for Ireland between 1919 and 1923
- Claire Falconer, actress and painter
- Nial Fulton, film and television producer, educated at Portora Royal School
- Neil Hannon, lead singer/composer of the pop band The Divine Comedy, educated at Portora Royal School, though born in Derry
- Henry Hartigan, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Frank Hoy, professional wrestler, was born in the town
- Frederick Irwin, (Lieutenant-Colonel) (1788 – 31 March 1860) was acting Governor of Western Australia from 1847 to 1848
- Edward Kernan, a Roman Catholic bishop
- Robert Kerr, Olympic 100m gold medalist in the 1908 Olympics for Canada
- Kyle Lafferty, striker, professional football player for Norwich City F.C. and Northern Ireland international
- Charles Lawson, most notable for playing Jim McDonald in Coronation Street
- Andrew Little, professional football player for Preston North End F.C. and Northern Ireland international
- Henry Francis Lyte, hymn composer, most notably of "Abide With Me", educated at Portora Royal School
- David McCann, author of children's books
- Michael McGovern, Northern Ireland international goalkeeper, currently with Norwich City F.C.
- James McGuire, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Fearghal McKinney, journalist, former UTV broadcaster and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
- Nigel McLoughlin, poet, editor of Iota poetry journal and Professor of Creativity and Poetics, University of Gloucestershire
- Ciarán McMenamin, television actor
- Gavin Noble, Irish international triathlete
- George Nurse, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Frank Ormsby, poet
- Seán Quinn, entrepreneur and formerly Ireland's richest man (originally from Derrylin)
- David Robinson, photographer and publisher, educated at Portora Royal School
- Dick Rowley, football player who won six caps for Ireland between 1929 and 1931
- William Scott, artist
- Mick Softley singer and songwriter for Bob Dylan and Donovan, currently lives in the town
- Joan Trimble, pianist and composer
- Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, brought up at the family's estate at Ely Lodge
- Oscar Wilde, satirist and playwright, educated at Portora Royal School
- Gordon Wilson, peace campaigner and Irish senator
- Ron Wilson, a news anchor with Network Ten in Australia
There are numerous schools and colleges in and around the Enniskillen area, from primary level to secondary level, including some further education colleges such as the technical college.
- Erne Integrated Primary school
- Model primary school
- Holy Trinity Primary School
- Jones Memorial Primary School
- Mullnaskea Primary School
- Erne Integrated College
- Devenish College (a collaboration of Enniskillen High School and the Duke of Westminster College in Kesh and, as of September 2013, Lisnaskea High School )
- Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School
- Portora Royal School
- Mount Lourdes Enniskillen; convent girls grammar school
- St Michael's College; boys grammar school
- St Fanchea's College
- St Joseph's College
- Enniskillen Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)
- Enniskillen Campus South West College
Rail – historic
Railway lines from Enniskillen railway station linked the town with Derry from 1854, Dundalk from 1861, Bundoran from 1868 and Sligo from 1882. By 1883 the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) absorbed all the lines except the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway, which remained independent throughout its existence. In October 1957 the Government of Northern Ireland closed the GNR line, which made it impossible for the SL&NCR continue and forced it also to close.
Rail – current
The nearest railway station to Enniskillen is Sligo station which is served by trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. The Dublin-Sligo railway line has a two hourly service run by Irish Rail Official site – Timetables, bookings and operations The connecting bus from Sligo via Manorhamilton to Enniskillen is route 66 operated by Bus Éireann.
Enniskillen has an extensive bus service; both Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann serve Fermanagh through the bus station in Enniskillen. Leydons Coaches operate route 930 linking Enniskillen to Swanlinbar, Bawnboy, Ballyconnell, Belturbet and Cavan. LakesCity route 950 provides a number of journeys each day to Dublin, Cavan and Donegal. The Ulsterbus Route 261 departs from Belfast Europa Station to Enniskillen Bus Station. The Bus Éireann Route 30 runs between Dublin Airport/Dublin City and Enniskillen Bus Station.
Enniskillen has a World War II-era airport, Enniskillen/St Angelo Airport. The airport had scheduled flights in the past, but now serves mainly private traffic.
Enniskillen is twinned with Bielefeld, Germany. Enniskillen was originally twinned with Brackwede – a Bielefeld suburb – where the Inniskilling Dragoon Guards were stationed at the end of World War II; however, this suburb was incorporated into Stadt Bielefeld in 1973, the city with which Enniskillen is now officially twinned.
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- Fermanagh District Council :: Home. Fermanagh.gov.uk. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
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- Leydons Coaches. Leydons Coaches (11 February 2013). Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
- http://lakescity.ie/ LakesCity. Retrieved on 18 October 2013.
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