Armagh was the smallest of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It borders the Irish Republic to the south, Co. Down to the east, Tyrone and Lough Neagh to the north and north-west. The chief town is Armagh which has been an archbishopric since the 12th cent.: there is also a Roman catholic archbishopric. Portadown and Lurgan in the north are of local importance. The northern parts of the county grow fruit and there is farming and light industry. The catholic population is strong in the south and in 1921 Armagh council protested against the creation of Northern Ireland and was dissolved. Armagh forms a parliamentary constituency with Newry and in 2005 was taken by Sinn Fein with a comfortable majority.
J. A. Cannon
Armagh City and county in se Northern Ireland, between Lough Neagh and the border with the Republic. Armagh became an ecclesiastical centre in the 5th century (founded, in legend, by St Patrick) and is now the seat of Roman Catholic and Protestant archbishops. It was settled by Protestants in the 16th century. The county is low-lying in the n and hilly in the s. Much of the land is used for farming and the town acts as a market for agricultural produce. Lurgan and Portadown are centres for textiles and various light industries. Area: 676sq km (261sq mi). Pop. (county, 1991) 67,128; (town, 1991) 14,625.
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