Ulster 
N. Ireland by region Co. Armagh

Cathedral

Sunset

Cross

Map of Co. Armagh
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The Towns

  
Armagh
  Craigavon

  Keady
  Lurgan
  Portadown
 


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County Armagh, historically, was the ecclesiastical centre of Ireland for some 1,500 years. Derived from the Irish 'Ard Mhacha' referring to the legendary Queen Mhacha, who is said to have built Fort Navan (Emain Macha). Evidence of sacred sites and burial grounds are abundant in the region. Once the ancient seat of Kings, Navan, to the west of Armagh town, was the earliest capital of Ulster. It is a site of unparalleled importance, which reflects over 7,500 years of evolution. The Irish King, Brian Boru, is buried in Armagh cathedral.

Covering an area of 484 square miles, County Armagh has a varied landscape from the mountainous Ring of Gullion in the south to the rich apple-growing region near the town of Armagh. The remaining drumlin country of gentle rolling hills meets the County boundary at Lough Neagh and the River Blackwater to the north.

Visitors to County Armagh can enjoy a wide range of activities all year round. Known as the 'Orchard County', Armagh celebrates its apple growing prowess with the breathtaking Apple Blossom Festival in May. The Ring of Gullion in South Armagh is steeped in Celtic mythology where traditions of Irish music, storytelling and ceildhes are part of everyday life.

Lough Neagh and the river systems in Armagh offer superb fishing and water sport facilities. The informative Lough Neagh Discovery Centre is part of a recreational development including walking trails and bird lookouts. The fascinating Newry Canal, on the border with County Down, runs from Lough Neagh to Carlingford Lough in County Louth. Golf; horse riding, cycling and a walk through Gosford Forest Park contribute to the excellent outdoor attractions in County Armagh.

The popular game of road bowls is only played in rural Armagh and County Cork. Spectators keep a keen eye on the metal bowl as it hurtles down country lanes at high speed.

Towns in County Armagh

The largest town in the County is Armagh. Other significant townships are Lurgan, Portadown, Craigavon and Keady. The population of County Armagh is estimated at 141.585.

Business Information

County Armagh has a tradition in agriculture. Beef, dairy, poultry and apple growing form the base of Armagh's agri- businesses of meat processing, dairy food production and a thriving apple industry. Being the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, Armagh is a popular tourist destination for those interested in Irish history and culture. Visitors to Armagh come from around the world, providing the county with healthy tourist industry. Other sectors in County Armagh include precision, agricultural and specialist refrigeration engineering and glass manufacturing. IT is am emerging industry for the business sector, based around back office e-commerce and call centres. Armagh District Council and Craigavon Borough Council jointly administer County Armagh.

Helpful contact details for business enquiries
Armagh City and District Council
Tel: (44) 01861 529600
Craigavon Borough Council Tel: (44) 01762 341199
Armagh Business Centre Ltd. Tel: (44) 01861 525050
LEDU Southern Regional Office Tel: (44) 01693 62955 
Armagh Chamber of Commerce and Trade Tel: (44) 01861 511113
Sources of finance applicable to business start up, development and acquisition, and related agencies, are as follows

Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
www.nics.gov.uk

Tel: (44) 01232 529900
Industrial Development Board
www.idbni.co.uk
 Tel: (44) 01232 233233
LEDU Head Office
www.ledu-ni.gov.uk
 Tel: (44) 01232 491031
Bank of Ireland Head Office NI  Tel: (44) 01232 246901
Ulster Bank Business Banking  Tel: (44) 01232 897777
Northern Bank Business Programme Tel: (44) 01232 245277
Northern Bank Business Programme Tel: (44) 01232 245277
 
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment supports economic development in Northern Ireland. On their website at www.nics.gov.uk is a multitude of helpful information and links where and how to find business development assistance. The subsidiary body of the Industrial Development Board is responsible for inward investment into Northern Ireland and funding assistance for indigenous manufacturing and tradable services businesses with over 50 employees. LEDU, The Small Business Agency, assists local businesses with up to 50 employees. They have regional offices across the North. Local Enterprise Agencies support and work with the LEDU programmes. A list of local agencies is available from the LEDU Head Office.
 
Travel (see also town guides)

Armagh is in the south of Northern Ireland with the main connecting train line between Dublin and Belfast passing through the county. Ulsterbus operate a comprehensive service across Armagh with links to Londonderry, Enniskillen and Belfast. The nearest airports are Belfast City and Belfast International. Translink also provide its Goldline Service in County Armagh. Belfast Port is the closest ferry point with services to Scotland, Liverpool and the Isle of Man.

Airports

Belfast City Airport
www.belfastcityairport.com

Tel: (44) 01232 457745

Belfast International Airport
www.bial.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01849 422888

Ferry  
Stena Line
www.stenaline.com

Tel: (44) 01232 747747


P&O European
www.poef.com



Tel: (44) 01574 872147

Norse Irish Ferries
www.norse.irish.ferries.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01232 779090
   
Bus  
Ulsterbus
www.translink.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01861 522266
 
Tourism, Leisure and Accommodation
Please see town guides
 
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