Irvinestown is the hub of North Fermanagh, providing a wide range of shops, bars and facilities for the wider area. The town has a population of approximately 2200 and is growing steadily. Originally founded in 1618 by Sir Gerald Lowther and named Lowtherstown, the town later passed to the Irvine’s of Dumfries and changed name accordingly.
In the Plantation tradition, the town is built around an extremely wide main street which still hosts a vibrant market through the year and, famously, a large 10 day summer festival and carnival. This is called as the ‘Lady of The Lake Festival’ and begins annually on the first Friday following the 12th of July. This is the largest cross-community Festival to be held in Northern Ireland and is named after the mythical figure which is said to appear gliding over the waters of Lower Lough Erne, wearing a flowing blue gown and carrying a bunch of flowers. The Lady is said to be an omen of good times to come…
The town boasts a famous connection through Mrs Delaney, wife of Patrick Delaney, Rector of Irvinestown and later Bishop of Down. Mrs Delaney was a key figure on the London Literary scene prior to her marriage, mixing with Pope, Burke, Walpole and Swift in the 18th Century. Her biography provides a famous record of both the literary scene and Anglo-Irish gentrified life at the time.
Irvinestown today is known for its equestrian connections, with the Necarne Castle Equestrian School located nearby. Most visitors to the town will find themselves drawn to Mahon’s Hotel at some point to savour both the atmosphere and the hospitality, which Irvinestown has to offer. The hotel hosts an annual fishing competition in the first week of May that has grown to become internationally recognised as one of the most prestigious angling competitions in the world. A large prize fund and guaranteed quality angling attract the top anglers in the world to compete.
Mahon’s is far from the only place where good quality food, drink and entertainment can be found. Irvinestown is home to the usual complement of friendly and unique local restaurants and hostelries, each of which demands to be sampled at some length!
Pubs & Restaurants, Irvinestown
Sissy McGintys – Main Street, Irvinestown – 028 6862 1241
The Oak Restaurant – Drumarky, Irvinestown – 028 6862 8030
Molly’s – Main Street, Irvinestown – 028 6862 8777
Woodhill Hunting Lodge – Derrynanny, Irvinestown – 028 6862 1863
Ace Taxis – Forthill Park, Irvinestown – 028 6862 8284
Erne Cabs – Cherryhill, Irvinestown – 028 6862 8889
Kozie Kabs – 2 Castle St, Enniskillen – 028 6632 6232
Speedy Cabs – 10 Ross Close, Enniskillen – 028 6632 7327
Star Taxis – 2 Castle Street, Enniskillen – 028 6632 3232