Ulsterbus is a public transport operator in Northern Ireland and operates bus services outside Belfast. It is part of Translink, which includes Northern Ireland Railways and Metro Belfast Ulsterbus is responsible for most of the province-wide bus services in Northern Ireland, it operates 1,100 buses. Ulsterbus is charged with transporting over 65,000 children per day to school; every July and August, around 250 vehicles are de-taxed. This is. Ulsterbus is now in the process of modernising its fleet for better accessibility for disabled people. On 26 June 2006, Translink announced that the Leyland Leopard, synonymous with Ulsterbus, will be phased out of service; these are being replaced amongst others. Goldline Northern Ireland Express, is the name given to the inter-city bus services operated by Ulsterbus; the Belfast-Derry service was relaunched as the Maiden City Flyer with eight new coaches in 1990, has seen major expansion over the years: Belfast-Derry went from a thrice daily service in 1990 to half-hourly now, many services have been expanded and introduced.
Goldline services are operated from Belfast to major destinations in Northern Ireland, plus the Goldline Express Services X1/X2 to Dublin. This service is worked jointly with Bus Éireann service X1. There are a number of cross-channel services to Britain, operated in partnership with National Express under the Eurolines banner. For many years, Derry's internal bus network was operated as Ulsterbus's Derry City Services, it was relaunched as Ulsterbus Foyle on 4 September 2006 following a review and expansion of the city's bus routes and replacement of many of the cities older buses. In the same way that Translink Metro was used to modernise routes in Belfast the Ulsterbus Foyle network now offers 13 set routes across the city into the popular suburban areas of the city, it was hoped that the new service would make transportation in Northern Ireland's second city a lot easier and would encourage people to make use of Derry's public transport system. The Ulsterbus Foyle network offers fifteen bus corridors to and from the city centre into suburban areas.
There are sub-variants of cross-city buses which do not stop in the city centre. A free Rail Link bus connects Waterside Railway Station. All routes have a return journey, except FY8. Regional, cross border and national services depart from Foyle Street Bus Depot. Airport link services are operated by private company "Airporter", which offer links from its base in the Culmore Road to Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport. Ulsterbus Foyle was rebranded as Foyle Metro in September 2017, with the buses branded in a deep red livery. Ulsterbus operates express services from Derry. Ulsterbus operate the "University Link" service between the two main campuses of Northern Ireland's largest universities, Queens University of Belfast, University of Ulster at the Jordanstown campus. Ulsterbus offer a private and contract hire service, with any type of bus in the current fleet available for hire. On a local basis, depots will allocate buses accordingly, but in the Belfast area dedicated'Ulsterbus Tours' buses operate.
Duties include Eurolines duties 920, 921, & 923. The 921 is operated by three dedicated Irizar Centurys purchased in 2010; these are based in Stranraer. Ulsterbus lost the 920 Belfast/ Stranraer to London service to Bruce of salburgh in September this year Overall the tour pool operates about 30 buses for use on Day Tours, Eurolines work and private hire; the vast majority of these are based in Glengall St. Ulsterbus operate "day tours" to other parts of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, they have a private hire service, in regular use by fans of the Scottish Premier League sides Rangers F. C. and Celtic F. C. going from Northern Ireland to Scotland. Translink Ulsterbus NI Bus Irish Transport Trust Ulsterbus Photos Ulsterbus Tours Translink
County Tyrone is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties on the island of Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture. Adjoined to the south-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,155 km2 and has a population of about 177,986; the county derives its name and general geographic location from Tyrone, a Gaelic kingdom under the O'Neill dynasty which existed until the 17th century. The name Tyrone is derived from Irish Tír Eoghain, meaning'land of Eoghan', the name given to the conquests made by the Cenél nEógain from the provinces of Airgíalla and Ulaid, it was anglicised as Tirowen or Tyrowen, which are closer to the Irish pronunciation. Tyrone stretched as far north as Lough Foyle, comprised part of modern-day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle; the majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610–1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on natural resources located there.
Tyrone was the traditional stronghold of the various O'Neill clans and families, the strongest of the Gaelic Irish families in Ulster, surviving into the seventeenth century. The ancient principality of Tír Eoghain, the inheritance of the O'Neills, included the whole of the present counties of Tyrone and Londonderry, the four baronies of West Inishowen, East Inishowen, Raphoe North and Raphoe South in County Donegal. In 1608 during O'Doherty's Rebellion areas of the country were plundered and burnt by the forces of Sir Cahir O'Doherty following his destruction of Derry. However, O'Doherty's men avoided the estates of the fled Earl of Tyrone around Dungannon, fearing Tyrone's anger if he returned from his exile. With an area of 3,155 square kilometres, Tyrone is the largest county in Northern Ireland; the flat peatlands of East Tyrone border the shoreline of the largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh, rising across to the more mountainous terrain in the west of the county, the area surrounding the Sperrin Mountains, the highest point being Sawel Mountain at a height of 678 m.
The length of the county, from the mouth of the River Blackwater at Lough Neagh to the western point near Carrickaduff hill is 55 miles. The breadth, from the southern corner, southeast of Fivemiletown, to the northeastern corner near Meenard Mountain is 37.5 miles. Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland. Tyrone is connected by land to the county of Fermanagh to the southwest. Across Lough Neagh to the east, it borders County Antrim, it is the eighth largest of Ireland's thirty-two counties by tenth largest by population. It is the second largest of Ulster's nine traditional counties by area and fourth largest by population, it is one of four counties in Northern Ireland which has a majority of the population from a Catholic community background, according to the 2011 census. In 1900 County Tyrone had a population of 197,719, while in 2011 it was 177,986. Omagh Cookstown Dungannon Strabane Coalisland Castlederg Ardboe Carrickmore Dromore Fintona Fivemiletown Killyclogher Moy Newtownstewart Sion Mills Baronies Clogher Dungannon Lower Dungannon Middle Dungannon Upper Omagh East Omagh West Strabane Lower Strabane UpperParishes Townlands There is the possibility of the line being reopened to Dungannon railway station from Portadown.
The major sports in Tyrone are association football, rugby union and cricket. Gaelic football is more played than hurling in Tyrone; the Tyrone GAA football side has had considerable success since 2000, winning three All Ireland titles. They have won fifteen Ulster titles and two National League titles. Association football has a large following in Tyrone. Omagh Town F. C. were members of the Irish Football League. Dungannon Swifts F. C. compete in the NIFL Premiership - the top division. Other teams include NIFL Championship side Dergview F. C.. Rugby union is popular in the county. Dungannon RFC plays in the All-Ireland League. Other teams include Omagh RFC, Clogher Valley RFC, Cookstown RFC and Strabane RFC. International Cricket is played on the Bready Cricket Club Ground, owned by Bready Cricket Club, it is Ireland's fourth venue for International Cricket hosting its first International Cricket match when Ireland played against Scotland in a series of T20I matches in June 2015. It was selected. Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland High Sheriff of Tyrone List of civil parishes of County Tyrone List of places in County Tyrone List of townlands in County Tyrone Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone Ulster American Folk Park The Moorlough Shore Joost, Augusteijn.
The Memoirs of John M. Regan, a Catholic Officer in the RIC and RUC, 1909–48. Co. Tyrone. ISBN 978-1-84682-069-4. McNeill, I.. The Flora of County Tyrone. National Museums of
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the Lords were members of bishops. The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Chichester House, the Blue Coat School, a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green; the main purpose of parliament was to approve taxes that were levied by and for the Dublin Castle administration. Those who would pay the bulk of taxation, the clergy and landowners comprised the members. Only the "English of Ireland" were represented until the first Gaelic lords summoned during the 16th-century Tudor reconquest. Under Poynings' Law of 1495, all Acts of Parliament had to be pre-approved by the Irish Privy Council and English Privy Council.
Parliament supported the Irish Reformation and Catholics were excluded from membership and voting in penal times. The Constitution of 1782 amended Poynings' Law to allow the Irish Parliament to initiate legislation. In 1793 Catholics were re-enfranchised; the Acts of Union 1800 merged the Kingdom of Ireland and Kingdom of Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The parliament was merged with that of Great Britain. After the 12th-century Norman invasion of Ireland, administration of the Anglo-Norman Lordship of Ireland was modelled on that of the Kingdom of England. Magna Carta was extended in 1217 in the Great Charter of Ireland; as in England, parliament evolved out of the Magnum Concilium "great council" summoned by the king's viceroy, attended by the council and prelates. Membership was based on fealty to the king, the preservation of the king's peace, so the fluctuating number of autonomous Irish Gaelic kings were outside of the system; the earliest known parliament met at Kilkea Castle near Castledermot, County Kildare on 18 June 1264, with only prelates and magnates attending.
Elected representatives are first attested in 1297 and continually from the 14th century. In 1297, counties were first represented by elected knights of the shire. In 1299, towns were represented. From the 14th century a distinction from the English parliament was that deliberations on church funding were held in Parliament rather than in Convocation; the separation of the individually summoned lords from the elected commons had developed by the fifteenth century. The clerical proctors elected by the lower clergy of each diocese formed a separate house or estate in until 1537, when they were expelled for their opposition to the Irish Reformation; the 14th and 15th centuries saw shrinking numbers of those loyal to the crown, the growing power of landed families, the increasing inability to carry out judicial rulings, that all reduced the crown's presence in Ireland. Alongside this reduced control grew a "Gaelic resurgence", political as well as cultural. In turn this resulted in considerable numbers of the Hiberno-Norman Old English nobility joining the independent Gaelic nobles in asserting their feudal independence.
The crown's power shrank to a small fortified enclave around Dublin known as the Pale. The Parliament thereafter became the forum for the Pale community until the 16th century. Unable to implement and exercise the authority of the Parliament or the Crown's rule outside of this environ, under the attack of raids by the Gaelic Irish and independent Hiberno-Norman nobles, the Palesmen themselves encouraged the Kings of England to take a more direct role in the affairs of Ireland. Geographic distance, the lack of attention by the Crown because of the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses, the larger power of the Gaelic clans, all reduced the effectiveness of the Irish Parliament, thus worried that the Irish Parliament was being overawed by powerful landed families in Ireland like the Earl of Kildare into passing laws that pursued the agendas of the different dynastic factions in the country, in 1494, the Parliament encouraged the passing of Poynings' Law which subordinated Irish Parliament to the English one.
The role of the Parliament changed after 1541, when Henry VIII declared the Kingdom of Ireland and embarked on the Tudor conquest of Ireland. Despite an era which featured royal concentration of power and decreasing feudal power throughout the rest of Europe, King Henry VIII over-ruled earlier court rulings putting families and lands under attainder and recognised the privileges of the Gaelic nobles, thereby expanding the crown's de jure authority. In return for recognising the crown's authority under the new Kingdom of Ireland, the Gaelic-Anglo-Irish lords had their position legalised and were entitled to attend the Irish Parliament as equals under the policy of surrender and regrant; the Reformation in Ireland introduced in stages by the Tudor monarchs did not take hold in most of the country, did not affect the operation of parliament until after the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis of 1570. In 1537, the Irish Parliament approved both the Act of Supremacy, acknowledging Henry VIII as head of the Church and the dissolution of the monasteries.
A druid was a member of the high-ranking professional class in ancient Celtic cultures. Best remembered as religious leaders, they were legal authorities, lorekeepers, medical professionals, political advisors. While the druids are reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form, thus they left no written accounts of themselves, they are however attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans and the Greeks. The earliest known references to the druids date to the fourth century BCE and the oldest detailed description comes from Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, they were described by Greco-Roman writers such as Cicero and Pliny the Elder. Following the Roman invasion of Gaul, the druid orders were suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st century CE emperors Tiberius and Claudius, had disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century. In about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus, saying that he was "... better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king, a bishop and a complete sage."
The druids also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the "Táin Bó Cúailnge", where they are portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, a movement known as Neo-Druidism. Many popular notions about druids, based on misconceptions of 18th century scholars, have been superseded by more recent study; the modern English word druid derives from the Latin druidēs, considered by ancient Roman writers to come from the native Celtic Gaulish word for these figures. Other Roman texts employ the form druidae, while the same term was used by Greek ethnographers as δρυΐδης. Although no extant Romano-Celtic inscription is known to contain the form, the word is cognate with the insular Celtic words, Old Irish druí ‘druid, sorcerer’, Old Cornish druw, Middle Welsh dryw ‘seer. Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s meaning "oak-knower".
The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru- and *weid- "to see". The sense of "oak-knower" or "oak-seer" is supported by Pliny the Elder, who in his Natural History considered the word to contain the Greek noun drýs, "oak-tree" and the Greek suffix -idēs. Both Old Irish druí and Middle Welsh dryw could refer to the wren connected with an association of that bird with augury in Irish and Welsh tradition. Sources by ancient and medieval writers provide an idea of the religious duties and social roles involved in being a druid; the Greco-Roman and the vernacular Irish sources agree that the druids played an important part in pagan Celtic society. In his description, Julius Caesar claimed that they were one of the two most important social groups in the region and were responsible for organizing worship and sacrifices and judicial procedure in Gaulish and Irish societies, he claimed that they were exempt from military service and from the payment of taxes, had the power to excommunicate people from religious festivals, making them social outcasts.
Two other classical writers, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo wrote about the role of druids in Gallic society, claiming that the druids were held in such respect that if they intervened between two armies they could stop the battle. Pomponius Mela is the first author who says that the druids' instruction was secret and took place in caves and forests. Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, Caesar remarked that it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study. What was taught to druid novices anywhere is conjecture: of the druids' oral literature, not one certifiably ancient verse is known to have survived in translation. All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, the Gauls had a written language in which they used Greek characters. In this he draws on earlier writers. Greek and Roman writers made reference to the druids as practitioners of human sacrifice. According to Caesar, those, found guilty of theft or other criminal offences were considered preferable for use as sacrificial victims, but when criminals were in short supply, innocents would be acceptable.
A form of sacrifice recorded by Caesar was the burning alive of victims in a large wooden effigy, now known as a wicker man. A differing account came from the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, which claimed that sacrifices to the deities Teutates and Taranis were by drowning and burning, respectively. Diodorus Siculus asserts that a sacrifice acceptable to the Celtic gods had to be attended by a druid, for they were the intermediaries between the people and the divinities, he remarked upon the importance of prophets in druidic ritual: "These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power... and in important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest.
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive, it sits at Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast. The Assembly is in a period of suspension, after it collapsed in January 2017 due to policy disagreements within the leadership and the resignation of Martin McGuinness following the RHI scandal. Subsequent discussions to restore the Assembly have been unsuccessful; the Assembly is a unicameral, democratically elected body comprising 90 members known as Members of the Legislative Assembly. Members are elected under the single transferable vote form of proportional representation In turn, the Assembly selects most of the ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive using the principle of power-sharing under the D'Hondt method to ensure that Northern Ireland's largest voting blocs and Irish nationalists, both participate in governing the region.
The Assembly's standing orders allow for certain contentious motions to require a cross-community vote. The Assembly is one of two "mutually inter-dependent" institutions created under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the other being the North/South Ministerial Council with the Republic of Ireland; the Agreement aimed to end Northern Ireland's violent 30-year Troubles. The first Assembly election was held in June 1998. Disagreements between the main unionist and nationalist parties have stalled the formation of an Executive and the commencement of the Assembly on several occasions, forcing the Northern Ireland Office of the UK Government to suspend the institutions; the longest suspension lasted for the entirety of the Assembly's second term, from 14 October 2002 until 7 May 2007, during which time the Assembly's powers reverted to the Northern Ireland Office. Negotiations during this period of direct rule resulted in the St Andrews Agreement in November 2006, following a third election in March 2007, full power was restored to the devolved institutions on 8 May 2007.
This third Assembly was the first to complete a full term, saw powers in relation to policing and justice transferred to its second Executive on 12 April 2010. A breakdown of trust brought down the Assembly and Executive on 26 January 2017, a fresh election was held on 2 March. Negotiations mediated by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland missed the three-week deadline provided in law for the formation of an Executive; the passing of an extended legal deadline of 29 June left decisions on funding allocations in the hands of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, a budget for the ongoing 2017–18 financial year began its passage through the UK Parliament on 13 November. From 7 June 1921 until 30 March 1972, the devolved legislature for Northern Ireland was the Parliament of Northern Ireland, which always had an Ulster Unionist Party majority and always elected a UUP government; the Parliament was suspended on 30 March 1972 and formally abolished in 1973 under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973.
Shortly after this first parliament was abolished, attempts began to restore devolution on a new basis that would see power shared between Irish nationalists and unionists. To this end a new parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, was established in 1973. However, this body was brought down by the Ulster Workers' Council strike and was abolished in 1974. In 1982 another Northern Ireland Assembly was established at Stormont as a body to scrutinise the actions of the Secretary of State, the British minister with responsibility for Northern Ireland, it received little support from Irish nationalists and was dissolved in 1986. The current incarnation of the Northern Ireland Assembly was first elected on 25 June 1998 and first met on 1 July 1998. However, it only existed in "shadow" form until 2 December 1999 when full powers were devolved to the Assembly. Since the Assembly has operated intermittently and has been suspended on five occasions: 11 February – 30 May 2000 10 August 2001 22 September 2001 14 October 2002 – 7 May 2007 9 January 2017 – presentAttempts to secure its operation on a permanent basis had been frustrated by disagreements between the two main unionist parties and Sinn Féin, the largest nationalist party.
Unionists refused to participate in the Good Friday Agreement's institutions alongside Sinn Féin until they were assured that the IRA had discontinued its activities, decommissioned its arms and disbanded. The 2002-2007 suspension occurred after unionists withdrew from the Northern Ireland Executive after Sinn Féin's offices at Stormont were raided by the police, who were investigating allegations of intelligence gathering on behalf of the IRA by members of the party's support staff; the Assembly suspended, dissolved on 28 April 2003 as scheduled, but the elections due the following month were postponed by the United Kingdom government and were not held until November that year. On 8 December 2005, three Belfast men at the centre of the alleged IRA spying incident were acquitted of all charges; the prosecution offered no evidence "in the public interest". Afterwards Denis Donaldson, one of those arrested, said that the charges "should never have been brought" as the police action was "political".
On 17 December 2005, Donaldson publicly confirmed that he had been a spy for British intelligence since the early 1980s. Mr Don
County Fermanagh is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. The county covers an area of 1,691 km² and has a population of 61,805 as of 2011. Enniskillen is largest in both size and population. Fermanagh is one of four counties of Northern Ireland to have a majority of its population from a Catholic background, according to the 2011 census. Unusually for an area of Northern Ireland, there are few Presbyterians in Fermanagh. Most of the Protestants are members of the Church of Ireland and there is a Methodist community. Fermanagh is by far the smallest of Northern's Ireland's six counties in terms of population, with just over one-third of the population of Northern Ireland's next smallest county, Armagh, it is ranked 25th in Ireland by size. Fermanagh 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; the county town, Enniskillen, is the largest settlement in Fermanagh, situated in the middle of the county.
It is rural, with a population density of 36.1 people per km2, is situated in the basin of the River Erne. It is dominated by two connected lakes: Upper and Lower Lough Erne, including water, spans an area of 1,851 km², it is 120 km from Belfast and 160 km from Dublin. Under Köppen climate classification, Fermanagh experiences a maritime temperate oceanic climate with cold winters, mild humid summers, a lack of temperature extremes. Fermanagh accounts for 13.2% of the land mass of Northern Ireland and 30% of Fermanagh is covered with lakes and waterways. With 24,000 hectares of forest cover, or 14% of total land area, Fermanagh is well above both the UK and Irish national averages. Due to its expansive lakelands and scenic rural countryside, much of the county is set to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the county is situated over a sequence of prominent faults the Killadeas – Seskinore Fault, the Tempo – Sixmilecross Fault, the Belcoo Fault and the Clogher Valley Fault which cross-cuts Lough Erne.
To the north of Lough Erne, the oldest rocks in the county are found. These are red beds that were formed 550 million years ago. In eastern Fermanagh there are extensive sandstones that were laid down during the Devonian, 400 million years ago. Much of the rest of the county's bedrock geology dates from the Carboniferous, 354 to 298 million years ago; these rocks are marine muds and limestones, which have produced extensive cave systems such as the Shannon Cave, the Marble Arch Caves and the Caves of the Tullybrack and Belmore hills. These carboniferous shales aggregate across several counties in the northwest of Ireland - known colloquially as the Lough Allen basin - and are estimated to contain 9.4 trillion cubic metres of natural gas, equivalent to 1.5 billion barrels of oil. The county has three prominent upland areas, the expansive West Fermanagh Scarplands to the southwest of Lough Erne, which rise to some 350m, the Sliabh Beagh hills to the east on the Monaghan border, the Breifne mountain range along Fermanagh's southern border, which contain Cuilcagh, the county's highest point, at 665m.
The Menapii are the only known Celtic tribe named on Ptolemy’s 150 AD map of Ireland, where they located their first colony- Menapia – on the Leinster coast circa 216 BC. They settled around Lough Erne, becoming known as the Fir Manach, giving their name to Fermanagh and Monaghan. Mongán mac Fiachnai, a 7th-century King of Ulster, is the protagonist of several legends linking him with Manannán mac Lir, they spread across Ireland. The Annals of Ulster which cover medieval Ireland between AD 431 to AD 1540 were written at Belle Isle on Lough Erne near Lisbellaw. Fermanagh was a stronghold of the Maguire clan and Donn Carrach Maguire 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 Knockninny and Magheraboy were allotted to Scottish undertakers, those of Clankelly and Lurg to English undertakers and those of Clanawley and Tyrkennedy, to servitors and natives.
The chief families to benefit under the new settlement were the families of Cole, Butler and Dunbar. 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 brought under civil government; the closure of all the lines of Great Northern Railway within County Fermanagh in 1957 left the county as the first non-island county in the UK without a railway service. With the creation of Northern Ireland's district councils, Fermanagh District Council the only one of the 26 that contained all of the county from which it derived its name. After the re-organisation of local government in 2015, Fermanagh was still the only county wholly within one council area, namely Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, albeit that it constituted only a part of that entity. For the purposes of elections to the UK Parliament, the territory of Fermanagh is part of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone Parliamentary Constituency; this constituency is renowned for high levels of voting and for electing Provisional IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands as a member of parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by
Ringforts, ring forts or ring fortresses are circular fortified settlements that were built during the Bronze age up to about the year 1000. They are found in Northern Europe in Ireland. There are many in South Wales and in Cornwall, where they are called rounds. Ringforts may be made of stone or earth. Earthen ringforts would have been marked by a circular rampart with a stakewall. Both stone and earthen ringforts would have had at least one building inside. In Irish language sources they are known by a number of names: ráth, caiseal, cathair and dún; the ráth and lios was an earthen ringfort. The caiseal and cathair was a stone ringfort; the term dún was used for any stronghold of importance, which may or may not be ring-shaped. In Ireland, over 40,000 sites have been identified as ringforts and it is thought that at least 50,000 ringforts existed on the island, they are common throughout the country, with a mean density of just over one ringfort within any area of 2 km2. It is that many have been destroyed by farming and urbanisation.
However, many hitherto unknown ringforts have been found thanks to early Ordnance Survey maps, aerial photography, the archaeological work that has accompanied road-building. In Cornwall and south Wales, enclosed settlements share many characteristics with their Irish counterparts, including the circular shape and souterrains, their continuing occupation into the early medieval period. Few Cornish examples have been archaeologically excavated, with the exception of Trethurgy Rounds. Hillforts are known from Scandinavia, of which nineteen can be found on the Swedish island of Öland alone; these hillforts are not to be confused with Viking ring fortresses, of which seven are known from Denmark and southern Sweden, all from around 980 in the Viking Age. The Viking forts all share a strikingly similar design and are collectively referred to as Trelleborgs, after the first excavated fortress of that type in 1936. All the Viking ring fortresses are believed to have been built within a short timeframe, during the reign of Harold Bluetooth, but for yet unknown military purposes.
They might have served as boot camps for Sweyn Forkbeard's men before his invasion of England in 1013. The debate on chronology is a result of the huge number of ringforts and the failure of any other form of settlement site to survive to modern times in any great quantity from the period before the Early Christian period or from Gaelic Ireland after the Anglo-Norman arrival. Three general theories mark the debate on the chronology of Irish ringforts. According to the authoritative New History of Ireland, "archaeologists are agreed that the vast bulk of them are the farm enclosures of the well-to-do of early medieval Ireland"; the theories that the ringfort either pre- or post-dates the Early Middle Ages in Ireland, are both based on the same premise, as is highlighted here by Tadhg O'Keefe in relation to the latter argument. The a priori case for attributing some ringforts to the Later Middle Ages... is based on the absence of any other settlement form of appropriate date in those landscapes.
In other words, if the Gaelic-Irish did not live in ringforts, where did they live? The conjecture that ringforts can be seen to have evolved from and be part of an Iron Age tradition has been expanded by Darren Limbert; this hypothesis is based on a number of re-interpretations of the available evidence, as well as concern over the available evidence. As only a small portion of ringforts have undergone total excavation, the fact that these excavations have not taken place on anything like a national level, the evidence is insufficient to place all ringforts and the origins of them within the Early Christian period. Limbert argues instead, that the ringfort should be seen in the context of a variety of similar developments in Britain and the European Continent in Iberia and Gaul. While conceding that most ringforts were built in the Early Christian period, he suggests a link between the arrival of Eóganachta dynasty in Munster c. 400 AD, the introduction of ringforts. In support of this he notes that: "The other major Eoganachta ringforts of Ballycatten and Garryduff, despite limited stratigraphic discernment, have produced artefacts of ambiguously early origins.
Their defensive nature... supports an intrusion of a Celtic warrior caste..." The similarity with South Welsh'raths' and Cornish'rounds' suggests a degree of cultural interaction between Western British and Irish populations, however differences in dates of occupation mean this cannot be confirmed. On the island of Öland, nineteen ringforts have been identified, including Eketorp, a site, excavated and that one may visit. Excavations are ongoing at Sandby borg, the site of a massacre in the 5th century A. D, it is possible that the Hill