Lurgan, town (1991 pop. 21,905), Co. Ulster, central Northern Ireland, near Lough Neagh. A textile center since the 17th cent., Lurgan is also a market hub with factories that produce machinery. The town was founded in the early 17th cent. by settlers from England; its castle dates from that period. The poet George William Russell was born in Lurgan.
Lurgan is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland with a population of approximately 25,000. Lurgan is situated in the Craigavon Borough Council area, to the south of Lough Neagh in the centre of Northern Ireland. The town is approximately 19 miles (30 km) southwest of Belfast and is linked by both the M1 motorway and a railway line to the capital.

Lurgan is characteristic of many Plantation of Ulster settlements, with its straight, wide planned streets and rows of cottages. Lurgan Park, located a few hundred yards from the main street is the largest urban park in Northern Ireland and includes a sizable lake, and an original Coalbrookdale fountain. The park is overlooked by Brownlow House, a magnificent 19th century Elizabethan-style manor house. Lurgan Park is home to annual summer events such as the Lurgan Agricultural Show, the Lurgan Park Rally, noted as the largest annual motor sport event in Northern Ireland and a stage in the Circuit of Ireland Rally.


Earlier names of Lurgan include "Lorgain Chlann Bhreasail" (Lurgan of Clanbrassil), "Lorgain Bhaile Mhic Cana" (Long low ridge of McCann's townland — Lurgan Bally McCann) and Lurgivallivacket (the long hill of the McCann's place). The McCann sept (clan) were Lords of Clanbrassil, prior to the Plantation of Ulster period in the early 17th century. The McCanns were septs of the O'Neills.

In around 1610, during the Plantation period, the lands of Lurgan were given to the English lord William Brownlow and his family. In 1641 William Brownlow, his wife and family were taken prisoner and brought to Armagh and then to Dungannon, in County Tyrone. The land was then passed to the McCanns, and also the O'Hanlons. In 1642 Brownlow and his family were released by the forces of Lord Conway, who was operating in the Dungannon area. The family built up the linen industry and it is said that the greatest manufacture of linen was carried on in the town in the late 17th century.

The Troubles

Lurgan and the associated towns of Portadown and Craigavon make up what is known as the "murder triangle". For more information see The Troubles in Lurgan, which includes a list of incidents in Lurgan during the Troubles that caused two or more fatalities.Outside of Belfast, Lurgan was considered a Provisional IRA stronghold. It surpassed all areas outside of Belfast for incidents during the troubles.


Lurgan is home to the following sports clubs:

Lurgan has two 18-hole golf courses, an artificial ski slope and an equestrian centre for show jumping. Arguably the most famous sporting character from Lurgan is Master McGrath, a greyhound who was bought in Lurgan by the Brownlow family and won the Waterloo Cup three times in 1868, 1870 and 1871. He is remembered all over the town, including in its Coat of Arms. A statue of him was unveiled at Craigavon Civic Centre in 1993, over 120 years after his last glory in 1871. A festival is also held yearly in his honour. A well known pub was also named after Master McGrath, although it has been renamed in recent years.


  • Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill - Soldier and diplomat.
  • James McCabe b.1748 in Lurgan to a clockmaking family. Famous Georgian clock & watchmaker who established his business in London in 1775. Died Stoke Newington, London, 6th October 1811.
  • Len Ganley MBE - Well known and respected world championship snooker referee. Returned home in 1999 after retiring from the sport, and is currently coaching children snooker in the local community.
  • Right Reverend Dr. Michael Jackson - Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher.
  • Sammy Jones - Former professional footballer. Made over 100 appearances for Blackpool and received one cap for the Irish national team.
  • Neil Lennon - Former captain of the Northern Ireland football team. Former captain of the Glasgow Celtic football team. Currently back at Celtic working in a coaching role at the club.
  • George William Russell (April 10, 1867July 17, 1935) - Wrote under the pseudonym Æ, was an Anglo-Irish supporter of the Nationalist movement in Ireland, a critic, poet, and painter. He was also a mystical writer, and centre of a group of followers of theosophy in Dublin, for many years. AE was born in William Street, Lurgan.
  • William Frederick McFadzean born October 9, 1895 - died July 1, 1916. Died when he threw himself on a box of primed grenades prior to the Battle of the Somme.
  • Rosemary Nelson - Human Rights Solicitor killed by a loyalist car bomb in 1998.



See also

  • Speir's school Some details of the Laird of Braidstane's Scotch Colony of 1606.


External links

  • Lurgan Forward - Lurgan Town Centre Management Company.
  • Portadown News - a satirical look at life in Northern Ireland, and in particular in Lurgan.

See also

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