Fermanagh

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Fermanagh, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland until the local government reorganization of 1973, borders on the Irish Republic. Enniskillen, the chief town, is in the centre of the county. In the north of the county is Lower Lough Erne, to the south Upper Lough Erne. Enniskillen was a protestant settlement in the early 17th cent. and sustained a siege in 1689 which took much of the pressure off the Jacobite attack on Londonderry. There is a Church of Ireland cathedral, dedicated to St Macartan, and dating from 1841. The area depends upon tourism, cattle, and fishing, with a little light industry. It has a mixed religious population. When Northern Ireland was set up in 1921 the Fermanagh County Council declared its allegiance to the Irish Free State and was dissolved. For parliamentary purposes, Fermanagh is joined with south Tyrone: at the 2005 election, the seat was held by Sinn Fein with an enchanced majority.

J. A. Cannon

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Fermanagh (fərmăn´ə), district (1991 pop. 50,250), 656 sq mi (1,699 sq km), SW Northern Ireland. Enniskillen is the major town, but the district council meets at Ardhowen. The Erne River, which widens into the extensive and beautiful Lough Erne, divides Fermanagh into two roughly equal parts. A hilly terrain, rising to more than 2,000 ft (610 m) in the south, is devoted largely to grazing. Farming (potatoes, beef and dairy cattle) is important to the local economy. Pottery (see Belleek ware) and linen are made, and some limestone and sandstone are quarried. Fermanagh is a popular tourist area.

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Fermanagh District in sw Northern Ireland; the county town is Enniskillen. During the 17th century, English people settled here as part of the Plantation of Ulster. The district is hilly in the ne and sw. Area: 1876sq km (724sq mi). Pop. (1997) 57,000.