All the facts and interesting trivia about the Irish county of Tyrone!
Irish Name: Tir Eoghain
Nickname: The Red Hand County
Area: 1260 Sq Miles
County Town: Omagh
GAA Colours: White and Red
Famous People with Tyrone roots: Hugh O'Neill, Philomena Begley, Tom Clarke, Paul Brady, Darren Clarke, Flann O'Brien, Brian Friel, Peter Canavan, Mickey Harte
Common Surnames in Tyrone: Loughran, McGurk, Grimes, Monahan, Heagney, Skeffington, O'Neill, Harte, Clarke, McCusker, Quinn, Mullan, Kelly, Donnelly, Gallagher, McKenna, Campbell and Hughes
A Brief History
Tyrone is one of the country's most beautiful inland counties. The largest county in the North it is overflowing with a variety of scenery from the majestic Sperrin Mountains that reach 2,000 foot to the gentle hills and river valleys of the plains. This sprawling hilly county is replete with ancient forests and unspoilt scenery but also boasts busy market towns like Omagh and Dungannon.
One of the main attractions located in the Omagh area is the Ulster-American Folk Park. Four miles north of Omagh, the Folk Park initially began by the donation of a cottage by the Mellon family in 1818. The park is an outdoor museum that tells the story of emigration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many of these emigrants went on to achieve great things and several of the signatories of the US Constitution were from Tyrone.
Dun Uladh, "Fort of Ulster", is the provincial headquarters of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and serves as a centre for those who wish to develop a deeper awareness of Ireland's ancient cultural heritage. From early in the year the centre plays host to Irish dance and music acts of all types.
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1. Newtownstewart Castle, Newtownstewart, Omagh
The power of the O’Neill chieftains in Tyrone came to an end in 1607. Defeated in battle by English forces and fearful for their future, Hugh O’Neill and his allies fled Ireland in what has become known as the Flight of the Earls.
2. Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
Immerse yourself in the story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Experience the adventure that takes you from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share.
3. Beaghmore Stone Circles
A lovely peaceful place to visit for an afternoon to get away from it all. Had a nice picnic here, with only a few other tourists stopping by now and again.
Check out more photos here, or jump into County Tyrone via Google Earth, below:
*Originally published in 2016. Updated in May 2023.