All the interesting facts and trivia about the Irish county of Tyrone!
Irish name: Eoghain Shot
Nickname: The county of the red hand
Area: 1260 square miles
Chief 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 short story
Tyrone is one of the most beautiful inland counties in the country. The largest county in the North, it boasts a variety of landscapes from the majestic Sperrin Mountains that reach 2,000 feet to the gentle hills and river valleys of the plains. This vast, hilly county is full of ancient woodland and unspoilt countryside, but also has bustling market towns like Omagh and Dungannon.
One of the major attractions located in the Omagh region is the Ulster-American Folk Park. Four miles north of Omagh, Folk Park began with the gift of a cottage by the Mellon family in 1818. The park is an open-air museum telling the story of emigration in the 18th and 19th centuries . Many of these emigrants achieved great things, and several of the signers of the American Constitution were from Tyrone.
Dun Uladh, “Fort of Ulster”, is the provincial headquarters of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and serves as a center for those wishing to develop a deeper awareness of Ireland’s ancient cultural heritage. From the beginning of the year, the center hosts performances of Irish dance and music of all types.
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1. Newtownstewart Castle, Newtownstewart, Omagh
The power of the O’Neill chiefs in Tyrone ended in 1607. Defeated in battle by English forces and fearing for their future, Hugh O’Neill and his allies fled Ireland into what became known as the Flight of the Earls.
2. Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
Immerse yourself in Irish emigration history at the museum that brings it to life. Experience the adventure that takes you from the cottages of Ulster, aboard a life-size emigrant sailboat, to the log cabins of the American frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show off, stories 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. We had a nice picnic here, with only a few other tourists stopping by from time to time.
Check out more photos here, or dive into County Tyrone via Google Earth, below:
*Originally published 2016. Updated May 2022.