is a small village
in County Armagh
, Northern Ireland
. In the 2001 Census
it had a population of 648 people. It lies within the Newry and Mourne District Council
The village lies in the south west of County Armagh, in scenic, hilly country which is locally known as ’The Fews’. Fews is derived from the Irish for woods and there are copses sporadically dotted around the hillsides. The village is built around the narrow Main Street. Newtownhamilton also hosts a weekly cattle market.
The Irish language
version of the name Newtownhamilton is An Baile Úr
, literally translating as 'The New Town' (An
=New). Occasionally, the town is referred to by the full Irish language title, Baile Úr Uí Urmoltaigh
(=The New Town of Hamilton). The local district council is Newry & Mourne District Council who recently have erected town-end welcome signs in Irish and in English. Interestingly the bilingual version of the sign (which reads Fáilte go dtí An Baile Úr / Welcome to Newtownhamilton) has been erected at the town end points on Newry Road and Dundalk Road, both in the perceived nationalist areas of Newtownhamilton, while the other town end sign is in English only and has been erected on Armagh Road, a perceived unionist area of the village. It is not known if this is official council policy.
The village takes its name from Alexander Hamilton , a descendant of the John Hamilton from Scotland who founded Hamiltonsbawn in 1619. The parish was created in 1773 out of the neighbouring parish of Creggan.
In May 1920, Frank Aiken
led 200 IRA men in an attack on the Royal Irish Constabulary
barracks in Newtownhamilton, forcing the police to surrender and then burning the building and seizing the arms contained within.
For more information see The Troubles in Newtownhamilton
, which includes a list of incidents in Newtownhamilton during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities.
Whilst the British Army presence is being reduced it was recently announced that the local police station will be upgraded to full-time status.
Newtownhamilton is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 648 people living in Newtownhamilton. Of these:
- 25.5% were aged under 16 years and 17.0% were aged 60 and over
- 47.1% of the population were male and 52.9% were female
- 71.8% were from a Catholic background and 28.2% were from a Protestant background
- 7.2% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service