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A Historical Haven in County Fermanagh

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, the charming village of Irvinestown stands as a living testament to the region’s rich heritage, serene beauty, and vibrant community. With a history that dates back centuries, Irvinestown offers visitors a chance to explore the heart of rural Northern Ireland and embrace the cultural tapestry of this enchanting corner of the world.

Ancient Origins

Irvinestown’s history is deeply rooted in the annals of time, with traces of ancient settlements and historical events that have shaped the village’s character. Its name, derived from the Irish “Baile Ui Dhraighneain,” reflects its historical significance as the town of the O’Drainans, a prominent clan in the area.

St. Molaise’s Church

The village is home to St. Molaise’s Church, a place of worship with historical significance and striking architecture. The church, built in the early 19th century, is a reminder of Irvinestown’s spiritual roots and a reflection of the village’s historical heritage.

Community and Culture

Despite its relatively small size, Irvinestown boasts a strong sense of community and camaraderie. The locals, known for their warm hospitality, often frequent the village’s traditional pubs, where visitors are welcomed with open arms. The inviting atmosphere encourages travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture and engage with the community.

Outdoor Pursuits

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Irvinestown provides a gateway to explore the natural beauty of County Fermanagh. The nearby Castle Archdale Country Park, situated on the shores of Lough Erne, offers walking trails, birdwatching, and opportunities for picnics in the peaceful countryside. Lough Erne itself provides a serene backdrop for boating, fishing, and lakeside strolls.

Historical Significance

Irvinestown is also known for its historical significance during the Williamite War. The village played a role in the conflict, and the memory of these events is preserved in the local history.

In Conclusion

Irvinestown, a hidden gem in County Fermanagh, captures the essence of rural Northern Ireland. Its rich history, natural beauty, and welcoming community make it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat and a deep connection with nature and heritage. Whether you’re interested in exploring the surrounding countryside, immersing yourself in local culture, or simply savoring the tranquility of the village, Irvinestown offers an authentic Irish experience that lingers in the memory. It’s a place where time seems to slow down, and the beauty of the Irish countryside takes center stage, inviting visitors to relax and discover the magic of rural Northern Ireland.


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!

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