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County Fermanagh

County Fermanagh (from Irish: Fear Manach meaning "men of Manach") is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north of the island of Ireland.

The only county in Northern Ireland not adjoining Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 1,691 km squeard, with a population of approximately 57,527, with Enniskillen its county town. It is also one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, lying within the historical province of Ulster.

As Fermanagh is situated mostly in the basin of the River Erne, it is often referred to as Ireland's Lake District, together with neighbouring County Cavan. The county is approximately 120 km (75 miles) from Belfast and 160 km (99 miles) from Dublin.

The county borders County Tyrone to the north-east, County Monaghan to the south-east, County Cavan to the south-west, County Leitrim to the west and County Donegal to the north-west.

History

Fermanagh was made into a county by statute of Elizabeth I, but it was not until the time of the Plantation of Ulster that it was finally brought under civil government.

Fermanagh was a stronghold of the Maguire clan and Donn Carrach Maguire (died 1302) was the first of the chiefs of the Maguire dynasty. However on the confiscation of lands relating to Hugh Maguire, Fermanagh was divided in similar manner to the other five escheated counties among Scottish and English undertakers and native Irish.

The baronies of Knockinny and Maghenaboy were allotted to Scottish undertakers, those of Clankelly, Magherastephana and Lurg to English undertakers and those of Clanawley, Coole, and Tyrkennedy, to servitors and natives. The chief families to benefit under the new settlement were the families of Cole, Blennerhasset, Butler, Hume, and Dunbar.

It is one of four counties of Northern Ireland presently to have a majority of the population from a Catholic background, according to the 2001 census.

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