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Strabane
Strabane
(/strəˈbæn/ strə-BAN; from Irish: An Srath Bán, meaning "the white strath"),[2] historically spelt Straban, is a town in West Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It was the headquarters of the former Strabane
Strabane
District Council. Strabane
Strabane
has a population of around 18,000. It is the second-largest town in Tyrone, after Omagh. It lies on the east bank of the River Foyle and is roughly equidistant from Omagh, Derry
Derry
City and Letterkenny. The River Foyle
River Foyle
marks the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. On the other side of the river (across Lifford
Lifford
Bridge) is the smaller town of Lifford, which is the county town of County Donegal. The Mourne flows through the centre of the town, and meets the Finn to form the Foyle River.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Seventeenth century 1.2 Recent history 1.3 The Troubles

2 Transport

2.1 Railways 2.2 Canal

3 Demographics 4 Politics 5 Culture

5.1 Sport 5.2 Irish language 5.3 Music and arts

6 Education 7 Places of interest 8 Other 9 Notable people 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

History[edit]

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Seventeenth century[edit] In the 1600s the town was settled by Scottish families, an action that preceded the Plantation of Ulster. In 1608 during O'Doherty's Rebellion most of the inhabitants fled to the safety of Lifford following Sir Cahir O'Doherty's Burning of Derry, as it was feared that Strabane
Strabane
would be his next target. Recent history[edit] In the 20th century, Strabane
Strabane
garnered the dubious distinction of the highest unemployment rate in the Industrial World, during the height of The Troubles. It is one of the most economically deprived towns in the United Kingdom. Huge economic damage occurred in 1987 when much of the town centre flooded.[3] In August 2005, a Channel 4
Channel 4
television programme presented by property experts Kirstie Allsopp
Kirstie Allsopp
and Phil Spencer, named Strabane
Strabane
the eighth-worst place to live in the UK, largely because of unemployment.[4] Strabane
Strabane
had been moved out of the top 20 in the 2007 edition.[5] As a result, the Strabane
Strabane
Community Unemployed Group,[6] headquartered in 13a Newtown Street (BT82 8DN), was founded to find solutions to long-term unemployment and combat the causes for unemployment. Sister Mary Carmel Fanning, a retired Catholic
Catholic
girls school principal who had been awarded the MBE for her services to education in 1997,[7] became a director of the Group the following year. The Troubles[edit] Main article: The Troubles
The Troubles
in Strabane

Main Street, Strabane

Strabane
Strabane
suffered extensive damage during the Troubles, from the early 1970s and continuing throughout much of the 1990s, with bombings and shootings commonplace: Irish Republican paramilitary groups, mainly the Provisional Irish Republican Army, regularly attacked the town's British army
British army
and Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC) bases. Strabane
Strabane
was once the most bombed town in Europe per size and was the most bombed town in Northern Ireland.[citation needed] Many civilians and members of the security forces were killed or injured in the area over the course of the Troubles. Many British Army regiments from England, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
served in Strabane
Strabane
at various times during the Troubles in the Barracks at the locally named "Camel's hump". As a result of the Good Friday Agreement, there is no longer any British Army presence in the town. Strabane
Strabane
became involved in the Ulster Project International, sending Catholic
Catholic
and Protestant teenagers to the United States
United States
for prejudice-reduction work.[8] Transport[edit] Railways[edit]

The Lifford
Lifford
Bridge, linking Lifford
Lifford
in the Republic and Strabane
Strabane
in the North

Abercorn Square, Strabane

The Irish gauge
Irish gauge
5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Londonderry and Enniskillen
Enniskillen
Railway (L&ER) reached Strabane
Strabane
in 1847,[9] Omagh in 1852[10] and Enniskillen
Enniskillen
in 1854.[10] The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) took over the L&ER in 1883.[11] The Finn Valley Railway (FV) opened from Strabane
Strabane
to Stranorlar
Stranorlar
in 1863.[10][12] The FV was originally Irish gauge
Irish gauge
but in 1892 it merged with the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge West Donegal
Donegal
Railway (WD) to form the Donegal
Donegal
Railway[13] and was reduced to the same narrow gauge for through running. The Donegal
Donegal
Railway opened its own line to Derry
Derry
in 1900.[9] In 1906 the GNR and Northern Counties Committee jointly took over the Donegal
Donegal
Railway, making it the County Donegal
Donegal
Railways Joint Committee.[13] The 3 ft (914 mm) gauge Strabane
Strabane
and Letterkenny
Letterkenny
Railway opened in 1909[9] and was worked by the Joint Committee.[13] The narrow gauge lines made Strabane
Strabane
one of the most important railway connections for County Donegal. The partition of Ireland in 1922 turned the boundary with County Donegal
Donegal
into an international frontier. This changed trade patterns to the railways' detriment and placed border posts on the Joint Committee's FV and S&L lines and on the GNR line to Derry.[9] Stops for customs inspections greatly delayed trains and disrupted timekeeping. Over the next few years customs agreements between the two states enabled GNR trains between Strabane
Strabane
and Derry
Derry
to pass through the Free State without inspection unless they were scheduled to serve local stations on the west bank of the Foyle, and for goods on all railways to be carried between different parts of the Free State to pass through Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
under customs bond. The Joint Committee's Strabane- Derry
Derry
line was closed in 1954, followed by the remainder of the narrow gauge system in 1960.[14] In 1958 the Ulster Transport Authority took over the remaining GNR lines on the Northern Ireland side of the border. In accordance with The Benson Report submitted to the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Government in 1963, the UTA closed the former GNR line through Strabane
Strabane
to Derry
Derry
in 1965.[14][15] Little trace remains of Strabane's railways except for one old railway building that survives in the town. The nearest railway is operated by Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Railways and runs from Londonderry railway station via Coleraine
Coleraine
to Belfast Central railway station
Belfast Central railway station
and Belfast Great Victoria Street railway station. The strategically important Belfast- Derry
Derry
railway line is to be upgraded to facilitate more frequent trains and improvements to the permanent way such as track and signalling to enable faster services.[citation needed] Canal[edit]

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In 1792, the 4 miles (6.4 km) Strabane Canal
Strabane Canal
was built from the tidal waters of Lough Foyle
Lough Foyle
at Leck, to Strabane. It fell into disuse in 1962. In June 2006 the Strabane
Strabane
Lifford
Lifford
Development Commission awarded a £1.3m cross-border waterways restoration contract. The project was launched by President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in Lifford
Lifford
and involves the restoration of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of canal and two locks to working order. Work was due to start on the Lough Foyle
Lough Foyle
side of the canal in the summer of 2006. This work was begun but was done to a very poor standard to the extent that the water in the canal is now very dangerous. It was reported in the Strabane
Strabane
Weekly News that a dog went into the canal but fell ill and died as a consequence.[when?] Demographics[edit] Strabane
Strabane
is classified as a medium town by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)[16] (i.e. with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day, 29 April 2001, there were 13,456 people living in Strabane. By mid-2008 the town's population has grown to over 17,000. Of these:

99.3% classed their ethnic group as white 93.3% were from a Catholic
Catholic
background and 6.1% were from a Protestant background 5.7% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed, of these 43.1% were long-term unemployed. 15.6% of people aged 16–59 were claiming incapacity benefit 27.6% were aged under 16 years and 13.7% were aged 60 and over 51.1% of the population were male and 48.9% were female.

Politics[edit] As of 2015, Strabane
Strabane
and Derry
Derry
councils joined together, and have a strong nationalist majority. At the local elections in May 2011, members of Strabane District Council
Strabane District Council
were elected from the following political parties: 8 Sinn Féin, 4 Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP), 1 Social Democratic and Labour Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
(SDLP), 1 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and 2 Independent Nationalist. The council chairperson and vice-chairperson for 2013-14 are Ruairí McHugh and Michelle McMackin (both of Sinn Féin). The Strabane District Council
Strabane District Council
area covers an area of 861.6 km² and according to the 2001 Census, the council area had a total population of 38,250. Since 1997 Strabane
Strabane
has been part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
parliamentary constituency of West Tyrone, held since 2001 by Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty. From 1983 to 1997 it was part of the Foyle constituency, held during that time by the then-SDLP leader John Hume.[citation needed] Culture[edit] Sport[edit]

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The local Gaelic football
Gaelic football
team, Strabane
Strabane
Sigersons, and the hurling team, Strabane
Strabane
Seamrogaí, are ever expanding. Owen Roe O'Neill's GAC, Leckpatrick, can also claim part of Strabane
Strabane
with the North part of the town following under their parish umbrella. The Sigerson Cup, the all-Ireland colleges cup for Gaelic football, is named after a native of the town, Dr George Sigerson. Strabane Cricket Club and Fox Lodge Cricket Club are members of the North West Senior League. Strabane also boasts several local football teams that play in various leagues. The most senior is Strabane Athletic F.C. of the Northern Ireland Intermediate League.[citation needed] Strabane
Strabane
Golf Course[17] is an 18-hole parkland course set in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains, 1 mile south of the town. Strabane also has a large number of road runners. The local 10k race which is run in July is well supported by local athletes as well as those from farther afield. Strabane
Strabane
also hosts the Tyrone Titans, a new franchise in the historic IAFL.[citation needed] Irish language[edit] Strabane
Strabane
has an Irish-medium nursery, Naíscoil an tSratha Báin, which was founded in 1994,[18] and a Gaelscoil
Gaelscoil
(primary school).[19] Other Irish language
Irish language
groups including the Craobh Mhic an Chrosáin branch of Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge
and Gaelphobal, an umbrella group for Irish language
Irish language
organisations, are active in the Strabane District.[citation needed] Music and arts[edit]

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The sculpture known locally as The Tinnies on the outskirts of Strabane, beside the roundabout near the Lifford
Lifford
turn-off

CRAIC (Cultural Revival Among Interested Communities) a cross-border, cross-community group provides music lessons to both adults and children on a voluntary basis in the local Irish language
Irish language
Gaelscoil. The Barret School of Irish Dancing has produced some of Ireland's best Irish dancers, and the local theatre group, The Puddle Alley Players, has won several awards over the years in amateur dramatic competitions. In 2007, the Alley Arts and Conference Centre opened to the general public, offering a 270-seat theatre, art gallery, tourist information centre and cafe-bar. The Alley has won numerous awards since opening, including Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Building of the Year 2008, Allianz Arts and Business Award 2009 and The Green Apple Award 2008. The venue has hosted the All Ireland Confined Drama Finals (2008) and is the current home of the North West Music Festival, The Stage Write Schools Drama Festival, Sounds Like Summer Music Festival, Strabane
Strabane
Drama Festival, and the Johnny Crampsie Music Festival.[citation needed] Strabane
Strabane
boasted two brass bands: St Joseph's Brass Band and Strabane Concert Brass. Recently these bands have amalgamated to form Strabane Brass Band featuring members from both bands. Strabane
Strabane
plays host to a Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day
Parade each year. One of Strabane's most notable features are five 20 ft (6.1 m) steel structures on the banks of the river: two dancers and a fiddle player on the Lifford
Lifford
side, a flute player on the Strabane
Strabane
side and a drummer in the middle. Designed by Maurice Harron,[20] they were placed close the site of the former British Army base at the Tyrone- Donegal
Donegal
border. The sculptures were originally called "Let The Dance Begin" but have since become known affectionately as "The Tinneys".[why?][clarification needed][21] Education[edit]

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic
Catholic
church.

Christ Church (Church of Ireland) in Strabane

Education in Strabane
Strabane
is provided by a mixture of infant, primary and secondary schools. The central location of the town allows parents the choice of schools in Derry, Omagh
Omagh
and Donegal. As of 2005, Strabane Grammar School had a 100% achievement rate of grades A-C at GCSE level and a 67% rate of three or more grades A-C at A level.[22] A state-of-the-art secondary school will be opening in 2009. The school will be joined by Strabane
Strabane
High School, to make a single larger second level school.[citation needed] Education over the age of sixteen is provided by The North West Institute of Further and Higher Education.[23] The Institute also offers a wide range of vocational and adult education courses. Places of interest[edit] The National Trust owns a Strabane
Strabane
shop in which John Dunlap
John Dunlap
learnt the printing trade. Dunlap went on to print the United States Declaration of Independence. The house has been visited by several famous people, including former US President Bill Clinton. It is located at the end of the Main Street.Which is now a classic cafe.[citation needed] Dergalt, the ancestral home of Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, is near Strabane.[24] On 8 May 2008 it was severely damaged by a fire.[25] In 2014, two Palestinian murals were painted in the town, one in the Ballycolman estate and one in the Head of the town. one mural in particular received international media attention, this was during the Israeli assault on Gaza. The murals were painted during a large pro-Palestinian campaign in which Strabane
Strabane
seen white line pickets, camps and protests.[citation needed] Other[edit] Strabane
Strabane
is twinned with Zeulenroda-Triebes
Zeulenroda-Triebes
in the state of Thuringia, Germany.[citation needed] Notable people[edit]

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Paul Brady, singer songwriter Robert Welch, photographer and conchologist Ryan Dolan, singer for Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Flann O'Brien, best known pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan, 20th century Irish satirist and humourist. He also wrote under the pseudonym Myles na gCopaleen William Burke, 19th century serial killer, from Urney, a Strabane townland Sir Guy Carleton, Governor of the Province of Quebec
Governor of the Province of Quebec
& Governor General of British North America Declan Curry, BBC One
BBC One
correspondent Brian Dooher
Brian Dooher
and Stephen O'Neill, members of the 2003, 2005 and 2008 All-Ireland winning Tyrone Gaelic football
Gaelic football
teams.[citation needed] Dooher captained the victorious team in 2005 and 2008. O'Neill was the top-scorer of the 2005 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. Andrew Frederick Gault
Andrew Frederick Gault
(1833–1903), merchant, industrialist, and philanthropist known as the Cotton King of Canada. Matthew Hamilton Gault, financier and politician at Montreal; brother of A. F. Gault and uncle of Andrew Gault Pearse McAuley, IRA member jailed for the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe[26] Hugo Duncan, popular entertainer, known as "the wee man from Strabane", "Uncle Hugo", and "Dandy Man Duncan" John Dunlap, printer of the United States
United States
Declaration of Independence Annie Maunder (née Russell), astronomer Rory Patterson, Football striker currently playing for Derry
Derry
City F.C in the Irish League of Ireland. Dr George Sigerson, Gaelic activist; namesake of the Sigerson Cup H.G. Simms, Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council
Shanghai Municipal Council
(1922–23) The Freshmen, one of four Irish showbands featured on a special set of commemorative stamps issued in September Matthew Holmes, New Zealand runholder and politician

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Strabane.

List of towns in Northern Ireland List of villages in Northern Ireland

References[edit]

^ "Snapshot: The magazine of Strabane
Strabane
District Council" (PDF). Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ Room, Adrian (2003), Placenames of the world, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, p. 344, ISBN 0-7864-1814-1  ^ "Flood disaster recalled - 25 years on". Derry
Derry
Journal. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2017.  ^ "The Best and Worst Places to Live in Britain". Channel4.com. Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ " Town
Town
shrugs off dismal TV label". BBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2010.  ^ "Sister Carmel Fanning". Directorstats.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2017.  ^ https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/54794/supplement/17 ^ " Ulster Project International". Ulsterproject.org. Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ a b c d Hajducki, S. Maxwell (1974). A Railway Atlas of Ireland. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. map 3. ISBN 0-7153-5167-2.  ^ a b c Hajducki, 1974, map 7 ^ Patterson, Edward M. (1962). The County Donegal
County Donegal
Railways. Dawlish: David & Charles. pp. 10–11.  ^ Hajducki, 1974, map 6 ^ a b c Hajducki, 1974, page xi ^ a b Hajducki, 1974, map 39 ^ Baker, Michael H.C. (1972). Irish Railways since 1916. London, UK: Ian Allan. pp. 153, 207. ISBN 0-7110-0282-7.  ^ "Home Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency". Nisra.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-08.  ^ Strabane
Strabane
Golf Course website, strabanegolfclub.co.uk; accessed 7 July 2015. ^ "Naíscoil an tSratha Báin". Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ "History of Gaelscoil
Gaelscoil
Uí Dhochartaigh". Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ "Maurice Harron-Artist-sculptor". Mauriceharron.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ "The Tinneys". Very Derry. Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ "Response to Location Location Location programme". 25 July 2005. Retrieved 11 January 2010.  ^ "Department for Employment and Learning". Delni.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ "World Travel Destinations, Culture and History Guide". Geographia. 3 October 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ "BBC News". BBC News. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2015.  ^ "Jail breaker on police killing charge". BBC News. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS) Strabane
Strabane
District Council Strabane
Strabane
History Society

v t e

Towns in Northern Ireland

List of towns by population

Large

Antrim Ballymena Bangor Carrickfergus Coleraine Enniskillen Larne Lisburn Lurgan Newry Newtownabbey Newtownards Omagh Portadown

Medium

Armagh Banbridge Cookstown Craigavon Downpatrick Dundonald Dungannon Holywood Limavady Strabane

Small

Ballycastle Ballyclare Ballymoney Ballynahinch Carryduff Coalisland Comber Donaghadee Dromore Kilkeel Magherafelt Newcastle Portrush Portstewart Randalstown Warrenpoint

Italics denote settlements that are classed as towns but also have city status

v t e

Places in County Tyrone

List of places in County Tyrone

Towns

Coalisland Cookstown Dungannon Omagh Strabane

Villages and townlands

Altamuskin Altishane Altmore Ardboe Ardstraw Artigarvan Augher Aughnacloy Ballygawley Ballymagorry Ballymully Glebe Benburb Beragh Blackwatertown Brackaville Bready Brockagh Caledon Cappagh Carnteel Carrickmore Castlecaulfield Castlederg Clady Clanabogan Clogher Coagh Cranagh Creggan Derrycrin Derrylaughan Derrytresk Donaghmore Dooish Douglas Bridge Dromore Drumkee Drumnakilly Drumquin Dunnamanagh Dunnamore Edenderry Eglish Erganagh Eskra Evish Fintona Fivemiletown Galbally Garvaghey Garvetagh Gillygooly Glebe Glenmornan Gortaclare Gortin Granville Greencastle Kildress Killay Killen Killeter Killyclogher Killyman Kilskeery Knockmoyle Landahaussy Liscloon Loughmacrory Magheramason Moortown Mountfield Moy Moygashel Moylagh Mullaghmore Newmills Newtownstewart Plumbridge Pomeroy Rock Rousky Sandholes Seskinore Shanmaghery Sion Mills Sixmilecross Spamount Stewartstown Tamnamore Tattyreagh Trillick Tullyhogue Tullywiggan Victoria Bridge Washing Bay

Landforms

Ballysaggart Lough Beaghmore Black Bog Drum Manor Forest Park Glenelly Mountains of Pomeroy Sperrins Tullyhogue
Tullyhogue
Fort

Baronies

Clogher Dungannon
Dungannon
Lower Dungannon
Dungannon
Middle Dungannon
Dungannon
Upper Omagh
Omagh
East Omagh
Omagh
West Strabane
Strabane
Lower Strabane
Strabane
Upper

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