Tyrone

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Tyrone was the largest of the six counties of Northern Ireland before the local government reorganization of 1973. The border with Londonderry to the north ran across the Sperrin Mountains; to the west was Donegal in the Irish Republic, Fermanagh to the south-west, Monaghan and Armagh to the south-east. Omagh, near the centre of the county, is the chief town: it suffered severely in a bomb attack in 1998, in which 26 people were killed. Strabane, Dungannon, and Cookstown are local centres. The diocese of Clogher in the south dates from the 12th cent.: the Church of Ireland cathedral was built in 1744 and is dedicated to St Macartan. Clogher is also a Roman catholic diocese, though the cathedral is in Monaghan. The main occupations are in farming, fishing, and tourism. Since the 17th cent. the county has had a mixed religious population and in 1921 the county council was dissolved after declaring allegiance to the Irish Free State. For Westminster parliamentary purposes the south is united with Fermanagh. At the general elections of 2001 and 2005, West Tyrone, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and Mid Ulster all returned Sinn Fein MPs.

J. A. Cannon

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Tyrone Largest of the six counties of Northern Ireland, in the sw of the country. The county town is Omagh. Mainly hilly with the Sperrin Mountains in the n, and Bessy Bell and Mary Gray in the s, the region is drained by the Blackwater and Mourne rivers. Cereals and root crops are grown and dairy cattle are raised. Industries: linen, whiskey, processed food. Area: 3263sq km (1260sq mi). Pop. (1996) 161,800.

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Tyrone, former county, Northern Ireland. In 1973 it was divided into the districts of Strabane, Omagh, Dungannon, and part of the Cookstown district.