is a town
in County Londonderry
, Northern Ireland
. It had a population of 8,372 people in the 2001 Census
. It is the biggest town in the south of County Londonderry and is the social, economic and political hub of the area. Magherafelt District Council
is based in the town.
Magherafelt is a Plantation
town built around a central Diamond, which forms the heart of the town. However, the origins of the town predate the Plantation and go back to 1425. During the Northern Irish Troubles
in the late twentieth century eleven people were killed in or near Magherafelt in connection with the conflict. Nine of these were killed by the IRA
although of these nine, three were themselves members of the IRA, accidentally killed by their own bomb.
Magherafelt has several sporting teams, consisting of O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt GAC, the Rainey Old Boys Rugby Club, and Magherafelt Sky Blues FC Football club.
Magherafelt is home to some of the best known marching bands in Ulster. Dunamoney Loyalist Flute Band formed in 1930 are currently the largest band in Magherafelt. Other bands include Ballymoughan Purple Guards, Aughagaskin Flute Band and Magherafelt Pipe Band.
Magherafelt is classified as a Small Town by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 8,372 people living in Magherafelt. Of these:
- 27.1% were aged under 16 years and 13.7% were aged 60 and over
- 48.7% of the population were male and 51.3% were female
- 56.2% were from a Catholic background and 41.8% were from a Protestant background
- 3.4% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
- Peter Doherty - former footballer and manager of Northern Ireland
- William McCrea (born August 6, 1948) - He was member of Parliament for Mid Ulster from 1983 but lost this seat to Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness at the 1997 election. He took South Antrim at a by-election in 2000 but failed to retain this seat at the 2001 election. In the 2005 election he regained the seat. He has been a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Mid Ulster. At the 2007 election, he was elected as Assembly Member for South Antrim. He is also the minister of Magherafelt Free Presbyterian Church and has made numerous gospel albums.
- Barry Gillis - Current Derry Gaelic football.
- Laura Pyper is an Actress. She is most well known for her role on the Sky One supernatural drama series Hex as the time travelling witch 'Ella Dee'. She starred in several movies such as Reign of Fire and Headrush and guest starred on several TV shows such as Holby City and The IT Crowd. She is a former pupil of Rainey Endowed School.
- Dean Shiels - a Football player for Hibernian and Northern Ireland.
- Joe Keenan - Current Derry Gaelic football.
- James Savage - a well-known "Face" within the Northern Ireland football "Casual" scene.
- Gerry McFlynn - a Current Soccer player for Sydney FC was born in Magherafelt but raised in Swatragh. A former Northern Ireland Under 21 player.
- Sir James Sterritt was born on May 15 1914 at Carrigans, Co Donegal, the son of a land auctioneer. His family were staunchly Presbyterian. The family moved to Magherafelt when he was a child, after the Irish Civil War. Jim attended Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt. He then joined the Metropolitan Police in 1935 at Paddington. During the Second World War, he served with the Royal Marines in the Far East, rising to captain. Returning to the Met, he was promoted sergeant in 1947 and by 1955 was a chief inspector. He was a Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1972 until 1975. On his retirement from the Met in 1975, Sterritt was appointed KCVO.
- Brendan Quinn - a veteran Country & Western singer.
- Paul Charles - has managed the careers of some of Ireland's most famous musicians. Paul's company, Asgard agency, handles a wide range of acts including Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Mary Black, Hot House Flowers, Jackson Browne and Tom Waits. Paul has combined two of his greatest loves - music and crime fiction - to produce a series of best-selling novels. He was managing his first band, The Blues by Five, at the tender age of 15 in his hometown of Magherafelt. He left for London in 1969.
- Thomas Niblock - Television Sports Presenter for BBC Newsline.
Fake Licence - Punk Band