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COUNTY ARMAGH (named after its county town, Armagh
Armagh
) is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
. Adjoined to the southern shore of Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
, the county covers an area of 1,326 km² and has a population of about 174,792. County Armagh
Armagh
is known as the "Orchard County" because of its many apple orchards. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland , as well as part of the historic province of Ulster
Ulster
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 Geography and features

* 2.1 Climate

* 3 History

* 3.1 The Troubles

* 4 Administration

* 5 Settlements

* 5.1 Large towns * 5.2 Medium towns * 5.3 Small towns * 5.4 Intermediate settlements * 5.5 Villages * 5.6 Small villages or hamlets

* 6 Subdivisions * 7 Transport * 8 Inland waterways * 9 Sport * 10 People associated with County Armagh
Armagh
* 11 Places of interest * 12 Surnames * 13 Gallery * 14 See also * 15 References * 16 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The name "Armagh" derives from the Irish word _Ard_ meaning "height" (or high place) and _ Macha
Macha
_. Macha
Macha
is mentioned in _The Book of the Taking of Ireland _, and is also said to have been responsible for the construction of the hill site of Emain Macha
Macha
(now Navan Fort near Armagh
Armagh
City ) to serve as the capital of the Ulaid kings (who give their name to Ulster
Ulster
), also thought to be Macha's _height_.

GEOGRAPHY AND FEATURES

From its highest point at Slieve Gullion
Slieve Gullion
, in the south of the County, Armagh's land falls away from its rugged south with Carrigatuke, Lislea and Camlough mountains, to rolling drumlin country in the middle and west of the county and finally flatlands in the north where rolling flats and small hills reach sea level at Lough Neagh . An orchard near Drummannon

County Armagh's boundary with Louth is marked by the rugged Ring of Gullion rising in the south of the county whilst much of its boundary with Monaghan and Down goes unnoticed with seamless continuance of drumlins and small lakes. The River Blackwater marks the border with County Tyrone
County Tyrone
and Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
otherwise marks out the County's northern boundary.

There are also a number of uninhabited islands in the county's section of Lough Neagh: Coney Island Flat, Croaghan Flat, Padian, Phil Roe's Flat and the Shallow Flat.

CLIMATE

Despite lying in the east of Ireland, Armagh
Armagh
enjoys an oceanic climate strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream with damp mild winters, and temperate, wet summers. Overall temperatures rarely drop below freezing during daylight hours, though frost is not infrequent in the months November to February. Snow rarely lies for longer than a few hours even in the elevated south-east of the County. Summers are mild and wet and although with sunshine often interspersed with showers, daylight lasts for almost 18 hours during high-summer.

CLIMATE DATA FOR COUNTY ARMAGH

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °F 45 45.7 49.5 54 59.4 63.9 67.3 66.6 61.9 55 49.1 45.7 55.2

AVERAGE LOW °F 35.1 35.1 37.2 39 43.3 48.4 52.5 52 48 44.1 38.3 36.3 42.4

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES 3.142 2.264 2.555 2.181 2.142 2.193 2.059 2.831 2.642 3.193 2.839 3.283 29.898

AVERAGE HIGH °C 7 7.6 9.7 12.2 15.2 17.7 19.6 19.2 16.6 13 9.5 7.6 12.9

AVERAGE LOW °C 1.7 1.7 2.9 4 6.3 9.1 11.4 11 9 6.7 3.5 2.4 5.8

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM 79.8 57.5 64.9 55.4 54.4 55.7 52.3 71.9 67.1 81.1 72.1 83.4 759.4

Source:

HISTORY

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1653 5,904 —

1659 6,748 +14.3%

1821 197,427 +2825.7%

1831 220,134 +11.5%

1841 232,393 +5.6%

1851 196,084 −15.6%

1861 190,086 −3.1%

1871 179,260 −5.7%

1881 163,177 −9.0%

1891 143,289 −12.2%

1901 125,392 −12.5%

1911 120,291 −4.1%

1926 110,070 −8.5%

1937 108,815 −1.1%

1951 114,154 +4.9%

1961 117,594 +3.0%

1966 125,164 +6.4%

1971 133,969 +7.0%

1981 133,230 −0.6%

1991 141,585 +6.3%

2001 162,957 +15.1%

2011 174,792 +7.3%

Ancient Armagh
Armagh
was the territory of the Ulaid (also known as Voluntii, Ultonians, Ulidians, Ulstermen) before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch , whose capital was Emain Macha
Macha
(or Navan Fort) near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha
Macha
. The Red Branch play an important role in the Ulster
Ulster
Cycle , as well as the Cattle Raid of Cooley . However, they were eventually driven out of the area by the Three Collas, who invaded in the 4th century and held power until the 12th. The Clan Colla ruled the area known as Airghialla or Oriel for these 800 years.

The chief Irish septs of the county were descendants of the Collas, the O'Hanlons and MacCanns, and the Uí Néill , the O'Neills of Fews. Armagh
Armagh
was divided into several baronies: Armagh
Armagh
was held by the O'Rogans, Lower Fews was held by O'Neill of the Fews, and Upper Fews were under governance of the O'Larkins, who were later displaced by the MacCanns. Oneilland East was the territory of the O'Garveys, who were also displaced by the MacCanns. Oneilland West, like Oneilland East, was once O'Neill territory, until it was then held by the MacCanns, who were Lords of Clanbrassil. Upper and Lower Orior were O'Hanlon territory. Tiranny was ruled by Ronaghan. Miscellaneous tracts of land were ruled by O'Kelaghan. The area around the base of Slieve Guillion near Newry
Newry
also became home to a large number of the McGuinness clan as they were dispossessed of hereditary lands held in the County Down.

Armagh
Armagh
was the seat of St. Patrick
St. Patrick
, and the Catholic Church continues to be his see. County Armagh
Armagh
is presently one of four counties of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
to have a majority of the population from a Catholic background, according to the 2011 census .

THE TROUBLES

The southern part of the County has been a stronghold of support for the IRA , earning it the nickname "Bandit Country" though this is widely regarded as an untrue media label that has resulted in the vilification and demonisation of the local community. South Armagh
Armagh
is predominantly nationalist , with most of the population being opposed to any form of British presence, especially that of a military nature. See Provisional IRA South Armagh
Armagh
Brigade for further information.

On 10 March 2009, the CIRA claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of a PSNI officer in Craigavon
Craigavon
, County Armagh—the first police fatality in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
since 1998. The officer was fatally shot by a sniper as he and a colleague investigated "suspicious activity" at a house nearby when a window was smashed by youths causing the occupant to phone the police. The PSNI officers responded to the emergency call, giving a CIRA sniper the chance to shoot and kill officer Stephen Carroll.

ADMINISTRATION

County Armagh
Armagh
is no longer used as an administrative district for local Government purposes; however, it remains officially used for purposes such as a Lieutenancy area – the county retains a lord lieutenant who acts as representative of the British Monarch in the County.

County Armagh
Armagh
ceased to serve as a local government unit in 1973. Currently the county is covered for local government purposes by four district councils , namely Armagh
Armagh
City and District Council , most of Craigavon
Craigavon
Borough Council , approximately the western third of Newry and Mourne District Council and a part of Dungannon
Dungannon
and South Tyrone Borough Council , centred around Peatlands Park .

With the proposed reform of local government in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
in 2011, County Armagh
Armagh
would have comprised part of two new council areas, Armagh
Armagh
City and Bann District, and Newry
Newry
City and Down; however, that reform has not proceeded to date.

Armagh
Armagh
ceased to serve as an electoral constituency in 1983, but remains the core of the Newry
Newry
and Armagh
Armagh
constituency represented at Westminster and the Newry
Newry
and Armagh
Armagh
constituency represented in the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Assembly . County Armagh
Armagh
also remains as a district for legal and property purposes; however, its baronies no longer have any administrative use.

The -XZ suffix is currently used on vehicle registration plates for vehicles registered in County Armagh.

SETTLEMENTS

Main article: List of places in County Armagh
Armagh

LARGE TOWNS

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

* Newry
Newry
(though part of the settlement is in County Down
County Down
)

* Craigavon
Craigavon
, includes:

* Lurgan
Lurgan
* Portadown
Portadown

MEDIUM TOWNS

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

* Armagh
Armagh
(has city status)

SMALL TOWNS

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

* none

INTERMEDIATE SETTLEMENTS

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

* Bessbrook * Keady * Richhill * Tandragee
Tandragee

VILLAGES

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

* Crossmaglen
Crossmaglen
* Markethill
Markethill
* Mullavilly / Laurelvale * Poyntzpass (a part of the settlement is in County Down
County Down
)

SMALL VILLAGES OR HAMLETS

(population of fewer than 1,000 at 2001 Census)

* Acton * Annaghmore * Annahugh * Aughanduff * Ardress * Ballymacnab
Ballymacnab
* Bannfoot * Belleeks * Blackwatertown * Bleary * Broomhill * Camlough * Clonmore * Charlemont * Cladymore * Creggan * Cullaville * Cullyhanna * Darkley * Derryadd * Derryhale * Derrymacash * Derrymore * Derrynoose * Derrytrasna * Dorsey * Dromintee * Drumnacanvy * Edenaveys * Forkill * Hamiltonsbawn
Hamiltonsbawn
* Jonesborough * Killean * Killylea * Kilmore * Lislea * Lisnadill * Loughgall
Loughgall
* Loughgilly * Madden * Maghery * Meigh
Meigh
* Middletown * Milford * Mountnorris * Mullaghbawn * Mullaghbrack * Mullaghglass * Newtownhamilton * Scotch Street * Silverbridge * Tartaraghan * Tynan * Whitecross

SUBDIVISIONS

BARONIES The Baronies of County Armagh
Armagh
(1900) Main article: Baronies of Ireland

* Armagh
Armagh
* Fews Lower * Fews Upper * Oneilland East * Oneilland West * Orior Lower * Orior Upper * Tiranny

PARISHES Main article: List of civil parishes of County Armagh
Armagh

TOWNLANDS Main article: List of townlands in County Armagh
Armagh

TRANSPORT

The M1 near Lurgan
Lurgan
Portadown
Portadown
railway station

County Armagh
Armagh
is traversed by two major highways – the M1 linking Belfast
Belfast
to Dungannon
Dungannon
crosses the north of the county whilst the A1/N1 from Belfast
Belfast
to Dublin
Dublin
runs in the far south east. Armagh
Armagh
has numerous local roads connecting settlements in the county.

Armagh
Armagh
once had a well-developed railway network with connections to, among others, Armagh
Armagh
City , Culloville , Goraghwood , Markethill
Markethill
, Vernersbridge , Tynan (see History of rail transport in Ireland ) but today only Newry
Newry
(Bessbrook) , Portadown
Portadown
, Poyntzpass , Scarva , and Lurgan
Lurgan
are served by rail.

There is a possible railway re-opening from Portadown
Portadown
railway station to Armagh
Armagh
railway station in the future. Government Minister for the Department for Regional Development , Danny Kennedy MLA indicates railway restoration plans of the line from Portadown
Portadown
to Armagh
Armagh
.

Ulsterbus provides the most extensive public transport system within the county, including frequent bus transfers daily from most towns to Belfast. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Railways / Iarnród Éireann 's Enterprise service provides connections to Dublin
Dublin
in little over an hour and Belfast
Belfast
in little over forty minutes, several times daily.

INLAND WATERWAYS

County Armagh
Armagh
is traversed by the Ulster
Ulster
Canal and the Newry
Newry
Canal which are not fully open to navigation.

SPORT

In association football, the NIFL Premiership , which operates as the top division, has two teams in the county: Glenavon F.C. and Portadown F.C. , with Annagh United , Armagh
Armagh
City F.C. , Dollingstown F.C. , Loughgall
Loughgall
F.C. and Lurgan
Lurgan
Celtic F.C. competing in the NIFL Championship , which operates as levels two and three.

The Armagh
Armagh
County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or ARMAGH GAA organises Gaelic games in the county.

PEOPLE ASSOCIATED WITH COUNTY ARMAGH

_See main article_: People from County Armagh
Armagh

* Frank Aiken (1898–1983), born in County Armagh, Irish Republican , Irish Minister for External Affairs , Tánaiste * Les Binks born in County Armagh. World famous rock virtuoso drummer with Judas Priest. * Saint Benignus of Armagh
Armagh
, (d. 467), first rector of the Cathedral School of Armagh
Armagh
and Bishop of Armagh * Brian Boru (941–1014), buried in Armagh
Armagh
City, victor of Clontarf , High King of Ireland * George Buchanan Armstrong (1822–1871), born in County Armagh, developed new system of sorting mail on trains in the United States * Sir Robert Hart (1835–1911), born in County Armagh, second Inspector-General of China's Imperial Maritime Customs Service (IMCS) from 1863 to 1911 * Arthur Hunter Palmer (1819–1898), born in County Armagh, 5th Premier of Queensland * Samuel Knox (1756–1832), born in County Armagh, Presbyterian clergyman, school principal, and author. * Tommy Makem (1932-2007), born in County Armagh, singer, musician, and songwriter, often called "The Bard of Armagh". * Seamus Mallon (1936– ), born in County Armagh, first deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
* Colin Morgan (1986– ), born in County Armagh, actor * Paul Muldoon (1951- ), born in County Armagh, poet, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize
T. S. Eliot Prize
* Tomás Ó Fiaich (1923–1990), born in County Armagh, Cardinal (Catholicism) , Catholic Archbishop of Armagh
Armagh
and Primate of All Ireland 1977–90 * Eunan O\'Neill (1982), born in County Armagh, journalist, _Russia Today _ * Sir William Olpherts (1822–1902), born in County Armagh, soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross * Ian Paisley (1926– 2014), born in County Armagh, clergyman, politician , second First Minister of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
* Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
(fifth century), first Bishop of Armagh * Connor Phillips (1981- ), born in County Armagh, radio, television presenter and DJ * George William Russell 'Æ' (1867–1919), born in County Armagh, author, critic and painter * Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (1759–1822), educated in The Royal School, Armagh. British Foreign Secretary , Secretary for War , Leader of the United Kingdom House of Commons and Chief Secretary for Ireland * Colin Turkington (1982), born in Portadown, County Armagh, professional racing driver and 2009 British Touring Car champion . * James Ussher
James Ussher
(1581–1656), Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland 1625–1656 * Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley (1760–1842), educated in The Royal School, Armagh. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Governor General of India

PLACES OF INTEREST

* Armagh
Armagh
Observatory , founded in 1790 ">

View of Slieve Gullion
Slieve Gullion
*

The Enterprise near Newry
Newry
*

South Armagh
Armagh
Countryside *

Forkhill
Forkhill
Mountain *

Emain Macha
Macha
*

Moyry Castle *

Killnasaggart Stone, 700 A.D. *

St. Patrick\'s Anglican Cathedral , est. 445 *

Armagh
Armagh
City *

The small town of Markethill
Markethill
*

Clare Glen Forest, Tandragee
Tandragee
*

Approach to Crossmaglen
Crossmaglen
*

The Knock Bridge near Portadown
Portadown
on the Newry
Newry
Canal *

Gosford Castle ,outside of Markethill
Markethill

SEE ALSO

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to COUNTY ARMAGH _.

* Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
(County Armagh) * List of Irish counties by area * List of Irish counties by population
List of Irish counties by population
* Lord Lieutenant of Armagh
Armagh
* High Sheriff of Armagh
Armagh

REFERENCES

* ^ Census figures are no longer released detailing returns for Counties but rather Parliamentary Constituency, Local Government District, Electoral Ward and Output Area. This figure is based on a tally of all persons resident in the wards comprising County Armagh
Armagh
on 29 April 2001, i.e. all electoral wards of the Newry
Newry
& Armagh Parliamentary Constituency (minus St. Mary's, St. Patrick's and Windsor Hill from County Down) combined with the 17 wards in the Upper Bann Parliamentary Constituency from County Armagh
Armagh
(i.e. Derrytrasna, Birches, Bleary, Drumgask, Taghnevan, Court, Annagh, Brownstown, Ballybay, Ballyoran, Corcrain, Edenderry, Killycomain, Kernan, Drumgor, Mourneview, Church, Knocknashane, Parklane, Woodville, Drumnamoe, and Tavanagh). "Area Profiles". _Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service_. Retrieved 8 August 2008. * ^ Tourism Ireland: 2007 Yearly Report in Ulster
Ulster
Scots Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2006 Annual Report in Ulster Scots Archived 27 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ County Armagh, Land Area * ^ Your Place And Mine – Armagh * ^ "Met Office". Retrieved 4 October 2008. * ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865. * ^ Census for post 1821 figures. Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ http://www.histpop.org Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ NISRA – Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine .. Nisranew.nisra.gov.uk (27 September 2010). Retrieved on 23 July 2013. * ^ 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. * ^ Mokyr, Joel ; O Grada, Cormac (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 . * ^ "Myth of Bandit Country". Armagh: Iarchimi Ard Mhacha Theas. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014. * ^ "Continuity IRA shot dead officer". London: BBC News. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009. * ^ "Continuity IRA claims PSNI murder". RTÉ News and Current Affairs . 10 March 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009. * ^ See the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
(Lieutenancy) Order 1975 (SI 1975 No. 156) * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ "Statistical classification of settlements". _NI Neighbourhood Information Service_. Retrieved 23 February 2009. * ^ The Ulster
Ulster
Gazette. 16 May 2013 * ^ "Kennedy has hopes for Armagh
Armagh
line restoration – Portadown Times". Retrieved 21 August 2013. * ^ _Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896_. Marquis Who's Who. 1963. * ^ _Ibid_. * ^ Most Common Surnames in Armagh

* Neil Lennon-former captain of Glasgow Celtic F.C. (Autobiography: Man and Bhoy)

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikivoyage has a travel guide for COUNTY ARMAGH _.

* County

.