Portadown

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Portadown is a town in County Armagh
County Armagh
-History:Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha...

, Northern Ireland. The town sits on the River Bann
River Bann
The River Bann is the longest river in Northern Ireland, the total length being 80 miles . The river winds its way from the south east corner of Northern Ireland to the north west coast, pausing in the middle to widen into the enormous Lough Neagh...

 in the north of the county, about 23 miles (37 km) south-west of Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

. It is in the Craigavon Borough Council
Craigavon Borough Council
Craigavon Borough Council is a local council in counties Armagh, Down and Antrim, in Northern Ireland. The headquarters of the council is in Craigavon, on the shores of Lough Neagh, a new town built between Lurgan and Portadown. The council area includes the large towns of Lurgan and Portadown, as...

 area and had a population of about 22,000 at the 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

.

Although Portadown can trace its origins to the early 17th century, it was not until the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 and the arrival of the railway that it became a major town. Portadown is known as "the hub of the North", due to it being a major railway junction in the past; where the Great Northern Railway's
Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
The Great Northern Railway was an Irish gauge railway company in Ireland.The Great Northern was formed in 1876 by a merger of the Irish North Western Railway , Northern Railway of Ireland, and Ulster Railway. The Ulster Railway was the GNRI's oldest constituent, having opened between Belfast and...

 line diverged for Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Dublin, Armagh
Armagh
Armagh is a large settlement in Northern Ireland, and the county town of County Armagh. It is a site of historical importance for both Celtic paganism and Christianity and is the seat, for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland, of the Archbishop of Armagh...

 and Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

.

In the 1990s, Portadown was drawn to the attention of the world's media by the "Drumcree standoff
Drumcree conflict
The Drumcree conflict or Drumcree standoff is an ongoing dispute over a yearly parade in the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The dispute is between the Orange Order and local residents. The residents are currently represented by the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition ; before 1995 they were...

". This is the latest part of a long-running dispute over parading
Parades in Northern Ireland
Parades are an important part of Northern Irish culture. Although the majority of parades are held ostensibly by Protestant, unionist or Ulster loyalist groups, nationalist, republican and non-political groups also parade. Parading is often considered to be an assertion of a group's control over a...

 that began in the 19th century and has led to numerous riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

s and deaths.

History


Early history and Plantation of Ulster


Little is known of the area now called Portadown prior to 1610 except that the area was sparsely populated by Irish Gaels
Gaelic Ireland
Gaelic Ireland is the name given to the period when a Gaelic political order existed in Ireland. The order continued to exist after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans until about 1607 AD...

. The dominant local clan
Clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

n was the Mac Cana (McCanns), known as the "Masters of Clann-Breasil" (Clanbrasil), who had been in the area since the 13th century. The Mac Cana were a sept of the Uí Néill
Uí Néill
The Uí Néill are Irish and Scottish dynasties who claim descent from Niall Noigiallach , an historical King of Tara who died about 405....

 (Ó Neills). The stronghold referred to in the Irish name Port an Dúnáin was likely the stronghold of the Mac Cana.

From 1594 until 1603, the Uí Néill and an alliance of other clanns fought a Nine Years' War
Nine Years' War (Ireland)
The Nine Years' War or Tyrone's Rebellion took place in Ireland from 1594 to 1603. It was fought between the forces of Gaelic Irish chieftains Hugh O'Neill of Tír Eoghain, Hugh Roe O'Donnell of Tír Chonaill and their allies, against English rule in Ireland. The war was fought in all parts of the...

 against the English conquest of Ireland. This ended in defeat for the Irish clanns, and much of their land was seized by the English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

. In 1608, James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 began the Plantation of Ulster
Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation of Ulster—a province of Ireland—by people from Great Britain. Private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while official plantation controlled by King James I of England and VI of Scotland began in 1609...

 – the organised colonisation
Colonisation
Colonization occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect", originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the...

 of this land by settlers from Great Britain.

In 1610, the lands of Portadown were granted to a William Powell. In 1611, he sold his grant of land to a Reverend Richard Rolleston, who in turn sold it in two portions to Richard Cope and Michael Obins. Obins built a large tower house
Tower house
A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation.-History:Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountain or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strategic points with reduced forces...

 and bawn
Bawn
A bawn is the defensive wall surrounding an Irish tower house. It is the anglicised version of the Irish word badhún meaning "cattle-stronghold" or "cattle-enclosure". The Irish word for "cow" is bó and its plural is ba...

 and settled about twenty English tenants on the land around it. This was in the area of the present-day People's Park. Today this park is bounded on either side by Obins Street and Castle Street, both of which are reminders of "Obin's Castle".

In 1631, Obins was granted a licence for a "fair and market" which led to the building of the first bridge across the River Bann shortly thereafter.

Irish rebellion of 1641


During the Irish Rebellion of 1641
Irish Rebellion of 1641
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule...

, Obins Castle was captured by a force of dispossessed Irish led by the McCanns (Mac Cana), the Magennises (Mac Aonghusa) and the Ó Neills. In November 1641, Irish rebels forced almost 100 captured English colonists off the Bann bridge and they either drowned or were shot. This became known as the "Portadown Massacre
Portadown Massacre
The Portadown Massacre took place in November 1641 at what is now Portadown, County Armagh. Up to 100 mostly English Protestants were killed in the River Bann by a group of armed Irishmen...

".

The Irish Confederate
Confederate Ireland
Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny"...

 troops abandoned the tower house during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Cromwell landed in Ireland with his New Model Army on behalf of England's Rump Parliament in 1649...

, and Hamlet Obins (who had survived its capture) repossessed it in 1652. It was then passed to his son Anthony Obins.

Industrialisation


In 1741, Anthony Obins was involved with the development of the Newry Canal
Newry Canal
The Newry Canal, located in Northern Ireland, was built to link the Tyrone coalfields to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry.-History:...

. He was succeeded by Michael Obins in 1750. It was he who set up a linen market in Portadown in 1762 and this laid the foundations of Portadown's major industry.
Michael Obins died in 1798 and left a son, Michael Eyre Obins, to succeed him. In 1814, Eyre Obins took holy orders and sold the estate to the Sparrow family of Tandragee. George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester
George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester
George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester, etc. , known as Viscount Mandeville from 1799 to 1843, was a British peer and Tory Member of Parliament....

 (known as Viscount Mandeville) married Millicent Sparrow in 1822 and came into possession of the estate. This family's legacy to the town includes street names such as Montagu Street, Millicent Crescent and Mandeville Street, as well as buildings such as the Fergus Hall (formerly the Duke's School and Church Street PS), and the Carlton Home (the Duke's former townhouse, latterly a maternity hospital/nurses accommodation and now private apartments).

The Blacker family, descended from Danes who entered Ireland in the 9th century, founded an estate at Carrick, on the Portadown–Gilford
Gilford
Gilford is a village in County Down, Northern Ireland. The village sits on the River Bann between the towns of Banbridge, Tandragee and Portadown. It covers the townlands of Loughans, Ballymacanallen and Drumaran. It had a population of 1,573 people in the 2001 Census...

 road. The land had been bought by Colonel Valentine Blacker
Valentine Blacker
Valentine Blacker CB , was a lieutenant colonel in the Honourable East India Company and later Surveyor General of India....

 from Sir Anthony Cope of Loughgall
Loughgall
Loughgall is a small village and townland in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 285 people.Loughgall was named after a small nearby loch. The village is at the heart of the apple-growing industry and is surrounded by orchards. Along the village's main street...

. It became known as Carrickblacker, and is now the site of Portadown Golf Club. One of the notables in the Blacker family, Colonel William Blacker
William Blacker
Lieutenant-Colonel William Blacker was an Irish British Army officer and Member of the Royal Irish Academy.-Life and career:...

, High Sheriff of Armagh took part in the "Battle of the Diamond
Battle of the Diamond
The Battle of the Diamond was a violent confrontation between the Catholic Defenders and a Protestant faction including Peep o' Day Boys, Orange Boys and local tenant farmers that took place on 21 September 1795 near Loughgall, County Armagh, Ireland. The Protestants were the victors, killing...

" and was a founding member of the Orange Order. This, and subsequent events like the setting up of a 'provisional' Grand Lodge in the town after the 'voluntary' dissolution of the Order in 1825, led to the town being known as 'The Orange Citadel' and becoming infamous as a center of sectarian strife for two centuries. Many of the Blacker family were soldiers or churchmen. The family estate was purchased in 1937 by Portadown Golf Club, who demolished Carrickblacker House in 1988 to make way for a new clubhouse.

World War II



A large prisoner-of-war camp
Prisoner-of-war camp
A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of combatants captured by their enemy in time of war, and is similar to an internment camp which is used for civilian populations. A prisoner of war is generally a soldier, sailor, or airman who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or...

 or POW camp was built at Portadown during World War II. It was at the site of a former sports facility on what was then the western edge of town. This area is now covered by housing from Fitzroy Street and the Brownstown Estates. The camp housed (mostly) German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 POWs. For a time these POWs were guarded by Welsh
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 servicemen who had been transferred from Germany (known as "Bluecaps") and who were billeted at St Patrick's Hall in Thomas Street. Many of the Welsh soldiers chose to be demobilized
Demobilization of the British Armed Forces after World War II
thumb|right|upright|A page from the official demobilization handbook, Release and Resettlement, which allowed British servicemen to calculate their 'release group number.'...

 to Portadown as they had formed relationships there and this accounts for some of the Welsh surnames in the town.

In 2005, a public air raid shelter was uncovered during excavation works near the riverbank just outside the town centre. One of ten built by the council during World War II, it is the only one now remaining and a rare example of public air raid shelters in Northern Ireland.

The Troubles


In 1969, Northern Ireland was plunged into an ethno-political conflict known as the Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

. This led to violence between Northern Ireland's nationalist
Irish nationalism
Irish nationalism manifests itself in political and social movements and in sentiment inspired by a love for Irish culture, language and history, and as a sense of pride in Ireland and in the Irish people...

/republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 community (who mainly self-identified as Irish and/or Catholic) and its unionist
Unionism in Ireland
Unionism in Ireland is an ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain...

/loyalist
Ulster loyalism
Ulster loyalism is an ideology that is opposed to a united Ireland. It can mean either support for upholding Northern Ireland's status as a constituent part of the United Kingdom , support for Northern Ireland independence, or support for loyalist paramilitaries...

 community (who mainly self-identified as British and/or Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

). Portadown had long been a mainly unionist town and before the conflict began, the two communities had lived alongside one another. However, as the violence worsened, the town underwent major population shifts. The result was segregation – the northwestern part of the town became almost wholly Catholic and nationalist, while the rest of the town became almost wholly Protestant and unionist. A separation barrier
Separation barrier
A separation barrier is a wall or fence constructed to limit the movement of people across a certain line or border, or to separate two populations. These structures vary in placement with regard to international borders and topography...

 (or "peace line
Peace lines
The peace lines or peace walls are a series of separation barriers in Northern Ireland that separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. They have been built at urban interface areas in Belfast, Derry, Portadown and elsewhere...

") was built along Corcrain Road and it remains to this day.

The Troubles also intensified the long-running Drumcree parade dispute
Drumcree conflict
The Drumcree conflict or Drumcree standoff is an ongoing dispute over a yearly parade in the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The dispute is between the Orange Order and local residents. The residents are currently represented by the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition ; before 1995 they were...

. There were 43 killings in Portadown in relation to this dispute and to the Troubles in general.

Community leaders in Portadown have been involved with the Ulster Project
Ulster Project
The Ulster Project was started in 1975 by Rev. Kerry Waterstone, a Church of Ireland priest in Tullamore, County Offally, in order to provide a safe place in America for teenagers in Northern Ireland to discuss the climate of "The Troubles" that was facing them at home...

 since it began in 1975. The project involves teenagers from both of Northern Ireland's main communities. The goal is to foster goodwill and friendship between them. Each year, a group of teenagers are chosen to travel to the United States, where they stay with an American family for a few weeks.

Geography



Portadown sits in a relatively flat part of Ireland, near the southern shore of Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh, sometimes Loch Neagh, is a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. Its name comes .-Geography:With an area of , it is the largest lake in the British Isles and ranks among the forty largest lakes of Europe. Located twenty miles to the west of Belfast, it is approximately twenty...

. There are two small wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

 areas on the outskirts of the town; one at Selshion in the west and another at Annagh in the south. The Ballybay River flows into the town from the west before joining the River Bann.

The River Bann


Most of the town is built on the western side of the River Bann
River Bann
The River Bann is the longest river in Northern Ireland, the total length being 80 miles . The river winds its way from the south east corner of Northern Ireland to the north west coast, pausing in the middle to widen into the enormous Lough Neagh...

, and owes much of its prosperity to the river. It was the construction of the Newry Canal
Newry Canal
The Newry Canal, located in Northern Ireland, was built to link the Tyrone coalfields to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry.-History:...

 (linking Carlingford Lough with Lough Neagh) in 1740, coupled with the growth of the railway in the 19th century, which put Portadown at the hub of transport routes.

There are three bridges across the river at Portadown. Bridge Street and Northway are both road bridges and there is a railway bridge beside the Northway. The 'Bann Bridge' on Bridge Street is the oldest. The story of this bridge is unusual in that it was built without a river running underneath it. After building was complete, the course of the River Bann was diverted by some 100 yards to straighten a meander
Meander
A meander in general is a bend in a sinuous watercourse. A meander is formed when the moving water in a stream erodes the outer banks and widens its valley. A stream of any volume may assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the...

. The old riverbed was then built upon. An archeological dig in the area of the old riverbed uncovered the bones of some of those drowned in the 1641 massacre
Portadown Massacre
The Portadown Massacre took place in November 1641 at what is now Portadown, County Armagh. Up to 100 mostly English Protestants were killed in the River Bann by a group of armed Irishmen...

. The current bridge has been widened twice since it was built.

Townlands


Like the rest of Ireland, the Portadown area has long been divided into townland
Townland
A townland or bally is a small geographical division of land used in Ireland. The townland system is of Gaelic origin—most townlands are believed to pre-date the Norman invasion and most have names derived from the Irish language...

s, whose names mostly come from the Irish language
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

. Portadown sprang up along a road (High Street/Market Street) that marked the boundary between two of these – Tavanagh and Corcrain. Over time, the surrounding townlands have been built upon and they have given their names to many roads and housing estates. The following is a list of townlands within Portadown's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

:

West bank of the River Bann (parish of Drumcree):
  • Annagh
  • Ballyoran (from Baile Uaráin meaning "townland of the spring")
  • Baltylum (from Bailte Loma meaning "bare townlands")
  • Clounagh or Clownagh (from Cluain Each meaning "horses meadow")
  • Corcrain (from Corr Chrainn meaning "round hill of the tree")
  • Garvaghy (from Garbh Achadh meaning "rough field")
  • Mahon or Maghon (from Maigh Ghamhan meaning "plain of the calves")
  • Selshion (from Soilseán meaning "brightness" – possibly referring to fires or fire beacon
    Beacon
    A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

    s)
  • Tavanagh (from Tamhnach meaning "grassland")


East bank of the River Bann (parish of Seagoe):
  • Ballyhannon (from Baile Uí hAinchain meaning "Ó hAinchain's townland")
  • Bocombra (formerly Bocomra, from Buaic Iomaire meaning "top of the ridge" or Both Chomair meaning "hut at the confluence")
  • Edenderry (from Éadan Doire meaning "hill-brow of the oak grove")
  • Kernan (formerly Kerhanan, from Caorthannan meaning "place of rowan
    Rowan
    The rowans or mountain-ashes are shrubs or small trees in genus Sorbus of family Rosaceae. They are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in the mountains of western China and the Himalaya, where numerous apomictic microspecies...

    s")
  • Killycomain or Killicomain (from Coill Uí Chomáin meaning "Ó Comáin's woodland")
  • Levaghery (from Leathmhachaire meaning "half plain")
  • Lisnisky (from Lios an Uisce meaning "ringfort
    Ringfort
    Ringforts are circular fortified settlements that were mostly built during the Iron Age , although some were built as late as the Early Middle Ages . They are found in Northern Europe, especially in Ireland...

     of the water") – the fields in Lisnisky separate Portadown from Craigavon
  • Seagoe Upper (from Suidhe Gabha meaning "sitting place of the smith")

Climate



Demography


For census purposes, Portadown is not treated as a separate entity by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Instead, it is combined with Craigavon
Craigavon
Craigavon is a settlement in north County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It was a planned settlement that was begun in 1965 and named after Northern Ireland's first Prime Minister — James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon. It was intended to be a linear city incorporating Lurgan and Portadown, but this plan...

, Lurgan
Lurgan
Lurgan is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town is near the southern shore of Lough Neagh and in the north-eastern corner of the county. Part of the Craigavon Borough Council area, Lurgan is about 18 miles south-west of Belfast and is linked to the city by both the M1 motorway...

 and Bleary
Bleary
Bleary is a small village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is close to the County Armagh border; near Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown. In the 2001 Census its population was counted as part of Craigavon...

 to form the "Craigavon Urban Area". A fairly accurate population count can be arrived at by combining the data of the electoral wards that make up Portadown. These wards are Annagh, Ballybay, Ballyoran, Brownstown, Corcrain, Edenderry, Killycomain and Tavanagh.

On the day of the last census (29 April 2001)
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 the combined population of these wards was 22,203.

Governance


Portadown is part of the Upper Bann constituency for elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...

 and Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

. The boundaries of the Assembly constituency
Upper Bann (Assembly constituency)
Upper Bann is a constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.The seat was first used for a Northern Ireland-only election for the Northern Ireland Forum in 1996...

 and Parliament constituency
Upper Bann (UK Parliament constituency)
Upper Bann is a Parliamentary Constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current Member of Parliament for Upper Bann is David Simpson.-Boundaries:...

 are identical. This has long been a safe unionist seat.

Portadown came under the governance of Portadown Borough Council following the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
The Local Government Act 1898 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that established a system of local government in Ireland similar to that already created for England, Wales and Scotland by legislation in 1888 and 1889...

. This was abolished with the Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971
The Local Government Act 1971 was an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, passed in 1971 to replace the previous system of local authorities established by the Local Government Act 1898...

 and the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972
Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972
The Local Government Act 1972 was an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland that constituted district councils to administer the twenty-six local government districts created by the Local Government Act 1971, and abolished the existing local authorities in Northern Ireland.-District...

. Henceforth, the town has been under the jurisdiction of the larger Craigavon Borough Council
Craigavon Borough Council
Craigavon Borough Council is a local council in counties Armagh, Down and Antrim, in Northern Ireland. The headquarters of the council is in Craigavon, on the shores of Lough Neagh, a new town built between Lurgan and Portadown. The council area includes the large towns of Lurgan and Portadown, as...

. Councillors are elected to the council every four years by proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

.

Religious sites


Portadown sits on the boundary between two parishes
Civil parish
In England, a civil parish is a territorial designation and, where they are found, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties...

. This boundary is the River Bann. The part of the town on the west of the Bann is in Drumcree parish, while the part of the town on the east of the Bann is in Seagoe parish.

Protestant churches


A Methodist Chapel was built in 1790. The site of this church has moved several times and it now stands in Thomas Street where it was rebuilt in 1860.

In 1826, Saint Martin's Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 was built, and later renamed Saint Mark's. Before this, Church of Ireland members attended either Drumcree Parish Church
Drumcree Church
Drumcree Parish Church, officially The Church of the Ascension, is the parish church of Drumcree Church of Ireland parish. The church is within the townland of Drumcree, roughly 1.5 miles to the northeast of Portadown, County Armagh....

 or Seagoe Parish Church. This church has a tall clock tower and stands in a commanding position at the centre of the town. Another Church of Ireland church is Saint Columba's on the Loughgall Road which was built in 1970.

There are two Presbyterian
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland , is the largest Presbyterian denomination in Ireland, and the largest Protestant denomination in Northern Ireland...

 churches, First Portadown (aka Edenderry) Presbyterian Church (1822) and Armagh Road Presbyterian Church (1859). These two churches hit the headlines in recent years, with Armagh Road appointing its first woman minister (the Rev Christina Bradley) and the Edenderry minister (the Rev Stafford Carson) refusing to allow her to occupy his pulpit for a sermon because she is a woman. The sermon in question was a yearly joint Christmas service between the two congregations, which dates back at least 60 years. The issue remains unresolved within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland's General Assembly. Mr Carson was Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, June 2009 – June 2010.

There are also Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 meeting halls on Thomas Street and Killicomaine Road; an Elim
Elim Pentecostal Church
The Elim Pentecostal Church is a UK-based Pentecostal Christian denomination.-History:George Jeffreys , a Welshman, founded the Elim Pentecostal Church in Monaghan, Ireland in 1915. Jeffreys was an evangelist with a Welsh Congregational church background. He was converted at age 15 during the...

 church on Clonavon Avenue; a Quaker
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 meeting hall on Portmore Street; a Free Presbyterian
Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
The Free Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian denomination founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley in 1951. Most of its members live in Northern Ireland...

 church in Levaghery and meeting hall on Fitzroy Street. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (though not Protestant) has a chapel on Brownstown road.




Catholic churches


Saint John the Baptist's Church was built in the townland of Ballyoran in 1783. The original church sat in the middle of what is now a large graveyard. A second Catholic church, Saint Patrick's, was built on William Street in 1835.

In the 1970s, Saint John's was taken down brick-by-brick, moved and rebuilt at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is situated in Cultra, Northern Ireland, about east of the city of Belfast. It comprises two separate museums, the Folk Museum and the Transport Museum...

 in Cultra
Cultra
Cultra is a residential suburban area adjacent to Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, part of Greater Belfast. It is also the name of an electoral ward of North Down Borough Council. It is comfortably one of Northern Ireland's most affluent areas...

, County Down
County Down
-Cities:*Belfast *Newry -Large towns:*Dundonald*Newtownards*Bangor-Medium towns:...

. A new Saint John's church was built close to where the original stood; it sits where the Garvaghy Road meets the Dungannon Road.




Transport



A combination of road, canal and rail links all converging on Portadown gave it the nickname "Hub of the North" and this created employment through mass industry as well as helping the traditional agronomy of the area. The Newry Canal
Newry Canal
The Newry Canal, located in Northern Ireland, was built to link the Tyrone coalfields to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry.-History:...

, opened in 1742, linked Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough is a glacial fjord or sea inlet that forms part of the border between Northern Ireland to the north and the Republic of Ireland to the south. On its northern shore is County Down and on its southern shore is County Louth...

 and the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

 with Lough Neagh. It joined the River Bann a couple of miles to the southeast of Portadown. The canal opened up waterborne trade and left Portadown ideally situated to take full advantage of the trading routes. However, the canal went into decline with the growth of the railway network and it closed to commercial traffic in the 1930s.

With the establishment of the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
The Great Northern Railway was an Irish gauge railway company in Ireland.The Great Northern was formed in 1876 by a merger of the Irish North Western Railway , Northern Railway of Ireland, and Ulster Railway. The Ulster Railway was the GNRI's oldest constituent, having opened between Belfast and...

 the overland trading routes were extended and delivery times shortened. The town's first railway station opened in 1842 in Edenderry. At Portadown the line went in four directions – one went northeast toward Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, one northwest toward Dungannon
Dungannon
Dungannon is a medium-sized town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the third-largest town in the county and a population of 11,139 people was recorded in the 2001 Census. In August 2006, Dungannon won Ulster In Bloom's Best Kept Town Award for the fifth time...

, one southwest to Armagh
Armagh
Armagh is a large settlement in Northern Ireland, and the county town of County Armagh. It is a site of historical importance for both Celtic paganism and Christianity and is the seat, for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland, of the Archbishop of Armagh...

 and one southeast toward Newry
Newry
Newry is a city in Northern Ireland. The River Clanrye, which runs through the city, formed the historic border between County Armagh and County Down. It is from Belfast and from Dublin. Newry had a population of 27,433 at the 2001 Census, while Newry and Mourne Council Area had a population...

 and onward to Dublin. Today only the Belfast–Dublin line remains. Repair yards were opened in 1925 and these large concrete buildings dominated the skyline on the west of the town centre. In 1970 the current station
Portadown railway station
Portadown railway station serves Portadown in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The original Portadown station was sited half a mile east of the present station and opened on 12 September 1842, replacing a temporary station at Seagow that had opened the preceding year. The Portadown station was...

  opened. The old Edenderry station, on the other side of the river, was demolished.

The Northway bypass
Bypass
Bypass may refer to:* Bypass , in effects units, a switch that allows sound* Bypass , in computing, circumventing security features in hacking, or taking a different approach to an issue in troubleshooting* Bypass * Bypass surgery...

 road opened around this time, linking Portadown more directly with the "new town" of Craigavon
Craigavon
Craigavon is a settlement in north County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It was a planned settlement that was begun in 1965 and named after Northern Ireland's first Prime Minister — James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon. It was intended to be a linear city incorporating Lurgan and Portadown, but this plan...

. This meant building a new road bridge across the river. The road runs parallel with the railway line for most of its length.

Economy


Portadown has a manufacturing sector that has grown beyond its roots in linen
Linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

 production to include carpet-weaving, baking and engineering.

There are a number of companies that have been a major part of Portadown's history:
  • Irwin's Bakery
    Irwin's Bakery
    Irwin’s is Northern Ireland’s largest independent bakery and supplies a wide range of traditional Irish breads to supermarkets throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland...

     was established in 1912 by William David Irwin, grandfather of the existing joint managing directors, as a grocery retailer. The town centre bakery at Woodhouse Street was moved to larger premises at Carn in 1994, and the High Street Mall shopping centre now stands in place of the old bakery. Today Irwin's bakery is the largest independent bakery in Northern Ireland.
  • Wade (Ireland) Ltd. Wade Ceramics had a substantial plant in Portadown between 1946 and 1989 in Watson Street, Edenderry, adjacent to the Victorian Railway Station which was closed in the 1970s.
  • Ulster Carpets Ltd were established in the town in 1938 and was the major employer through most of the 1950s to the 1980s producing woolen Axminster
    Axminster
    Axminster is a market town and civil parish on the eastern border of Devon in England. The town is built on a hill overlooking the River Axe which heads towards the English Channel at Axmouth, and is in the East Devon local government district. It has a population of 5,626. The market is still...

    .
  • Henry Denny & Sons (NI) Ltd. meat processors were originally established in Obins Street, but moved to Corcrain after being acquired by the Kerry Group in 1982.


Other industries have vanished from the town such as; whisky distilling and brewing, cider making by Grews in Portmore Street, milling of animal feed by Clows and Calvins in Castle Street, iron and brass manufacturing from Portadown Foundry and other smaller firms, ham/bacon curing by McCammons and Sprotts. Several nurseries were established in the town, most notably Samuel McGredy & Son Ltd., and James Walsh Ltd., these too have gone. There were also a number of small industries related to farming and agriculture, like packing and distribution of eggs, butter, poultry and apples. But these firms have been replaced by large scale employers like Moypark, who process chickens on a modern industrial scale and employ around 600 in the town, as well as Almac, a pharmaceutical firm that employs around 1,000.

Linen manufacturing


Much of the town's industry in the 19th and 20th century was centred around the linen trade. The 1881 edition of Slater's Directory (a comprehensive listing of Irish towns) gives the following as manufacturing employers in Portadown at that time:
  • Acheson J. & J. & Co. Bannview Weaving Factory
  • Bessbrook Spinning Co. Limited, Bridge Street & at Bessbrook
  • Castle Island Linen Co. Castle Island Factory ; & at Belfast
  • Cowdy Anthony & Sons, Thomas Street
  • Gribbin Edward & Sons, Market Street & at Belfast
  • Harden Acheson, Limited, Meadow Lane & at Belfast
  • Lutton A. J. & Son, Edenderry & at Belfast
  • Moneypenny & Watson, Cornascrebe
  • Montgomery John, Derryvore
  • Reid Robert & Son, Tarson Hall
  • Robb Hamilton, Edenderry
  • Sefton J. R. & Co. Edenderry and at Belfast
  • Sinton Thomas, Thomas Street and at Laurelvale and Tanderagee
  • Turtle W. J. Bridge Street
  • Watson, Armstrong & Co. Edenderry Factory and at Belfast


Some of these linen mills survived as manufacturers and major employers into the 1960s, such as Robbs and Achesons but all eventually closed as the demand for Irish Linen fell due to the manufacture of cheaper, man made, fabrics.

Street nicknames


Many of Portadown's streets have widely used but unofficial nicknames, some of which date back from the town's early days. These are:
Official name Nickname Etymology
Watson Street Was known as Railway St. As the main station was at the bottom of the street.
Annagh Hill Bucket Row Water had to be drawn from a pump well into 1960s.
Lurgan Road Guinea Row The weekly rent was twenty one shilling
Shilling
The shilling is a unit of currency used in some current and former British Commonwealth countries. The word shilling comes from scilling, an accounting term that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times where it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. The word is thought to derive...

s.
Armagh Road Rheumatism Row The houses were always said to be damp due to flooding from a nearby river
Obin Street The Tunnel The pedestrian underpass leading to it and the fact that the road was excavated underneath a railway bridge.
Fowlers Entry The Orange Cage Strong association with Orangemen
Orangemen
Orangemen can refer:*Historically, to supporters of King William III of Orange.*To members of the modern Orange Institution - a Protestant fraternal organisation.*To the former name of male sports teams of Syracuse University, now called the Orange....

.
William Street Chapel Street Site of a Roman Catholic church
Charles Street Charlie's Walls Site of a boundary wall built by Charles Wakefield around his 'Corcrain Villa'.
Woodhouse Street Dungannon Street It led to Dungannon.
Garvaghy Road The Walk Formed part of the route Orangemen took on their annual "walk" to Drumcree Church.

Events


Country Comes to Town is a flagship festival held on the third week of September since 1998. Its future is uncertain due to funding difficulties.

Landmarks


Portadown Town Hall, in Edward Street, was once the seat of the town's local government until reform of local government in 1972. It is an 1890 Victorian building that has been extensively refurbished and offers an in-house theatre and conference facilities.

Millenium Court Arts Centre contains two galleries allowing local artists to exhibit their work.

Ardress House is a 17th-century farmhouse that was remodelled in Georgian times and is today owned by the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

. It is open to the public offering guided tours, local walks, and recreations of farmyard life.

The Newry Canal Way is a fully accessible restored canal towpath now usable as a bicycle route between Newry Town Hall and the Bann Bridge in Portadown. The Canal was the first summit level canal in Britain and Ireland and has 14 locks between its entrance at Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh. One of the attractions on the Newry Canal Way is Moneypenny's Lock, a site that includes an 18th century lock-keeper's house, stables and bothy
Bothy
A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate. Bothies are to be found in remote, mountainous areas of Scotland, northern England, Ireland, and Wales....

. This provided accommodation for workers on the canal and their horses in the days when the canal was part of the industrial transport network. Today it is administered jointly by the Museum Services and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre at Oxford Island.

McConville's Hotel/Public House on Mandeville/West Street dates back to 1865 but moved in 1900 to its current corner location. The pub is fully preserved with original wooden snugs inside, etched glass windows at ground floor level, original gas light fittings which now run on bottled gas and an iron door canopy and lantern. Local legend has it that some of the Russian Oak fittings in the bar were made to the same design as those used on the Titanic.

Located just outside the town off the Dungannon Road is the only fully restored Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation operating in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down....

 Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 Nuclear Monitoring Bunker in Northern Ireland. Opened in 1958 it, plus a further 57 other bunkers spread throughout Northern Ireland, would have been used to monitor and report the effects of a Nuclear Attack. The bunker was restored and opened as a museum in 2010 by members of the Royal Observer Corps Association.

Deceased people


Harris Boyle
Harris Boyle
Harris Boyle was a Ulster Defence Regiment soldier and a high-ranking member of the Ulster Volunteer Force , a Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary organisation. Boyle was implicated in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings which left a total of 33 people dead...

 (1953–1975) was a high-ranking Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) member who was blown up when he and another member planted a bomb onto the Miami Showband's
Miami Showband killings
The Miami Showband killings was a paramilitary attack at Buskhill, County Down, Northern Ireland, in the early morning of 31 July 1975. It left five people dead at the hands of Ulster Volunteer Force gunmen, including three members of The Miami Showband...

 minibus.

Sir Robert Hart (1835–1911) was a British consular official in China, who served from 1863–1911 as the second Inspector-General of China's Imperial Maritime Custom Service
Chinese Maritime Customs Service
The Chinese Maritime Customs Service was a Chinese governmental tax collection agency and information service from its founding in 1854 until its bifurcation in 1949 into services operating in the Republic of China on Taiwan, and in the People's Republic of China...

 (IMCS).
Marion Greeves
Marion Greeves
Marion Janet Cadbury Greeves, MBE was the first one of only two female members of the Senate of Northern Ireland, having been elected to serve as an independent member on 20 June 1950, retiring on 10 June 1969....

 MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (1894–1979) was the first of only two female members of the Senate of Northern Ireland
Senate of Northern Ireland
The Senate of Northern Ireland was the upper house of the Parliament of Northern Ireland created by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. It was abolished with the passing of the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973.-Powers:...

. She served as an independent from June 1950 until June 1969.

George Gilmore
George Gilmore
George Gilmore was a Protestant Irish Republican Army leader during the 1920s and 1930s. During his period of influence the Republican movement moved significantly to the left...

 (1898–1985) was a Protestant Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1934 he left the IRA and helped to set up the Republican Congress
Republican Congress
The Republican Congress was an Irish republican political organisation founded in 1934, when left-wing republicans left the Irish Republican Army. The Congress was led by such IRA veterans as Peadar O'Donnell, Frank Ryan and George Gilmore. It was a socialist organisation and was dedicated to a...

 and the Connolly Column
Connolly Column
The Connolly Column was the name given to the Irish volunteers who fought for the Second Spanish Republic in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. They were named after James Connolly, the executed leader of the Irish Citizen Army...

. Thereafter, Gilmore remained a significant left wing figure within the republican movement.

Eric Mervyn Lindsay
Eric Mervyn Lindsay
Eric Mervyn Lindsay was an Irish astronomer.He was born at The Grange near Portadown, County Armagh in Ireland to Richard and Susan Lindsay. He was educated in Dublin at the King's Hospital School, then attended Queen's University, Belfast where he earned his B.Sc. in 1928 and a M.Sc. in 1929...

 OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (1907–1974) was an astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

 who was instrumental in setting up Armagh Plantetarium. He was also responsible for persuading the Irish government and Harvard University to found a telescope at Boyden Station in South Africa for the purpose of charting the southern skies. He has a crater on the moon named after him.

Alexander Walker
Alexander Walker (critic)
Alexander Walker was a film critic, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. He worked for the Birmingham Post in the 1950s, before becoming film critic of the London Evening Standard in 1960, a role he held until his death in 2003...

 (1930–2003) was a film critic who worked for the Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
The Birmingham Post newspaper was originally published under the name Daily Post in Birmingham, England, in 1857 by John Frederick Feeney. It was the largest selling broadsheet in the West Midlands, though it faced little if any competition in this category. It changed to tabloid size in 2008...

in the 1950s and the London Evening Standard from 1960 until his death. He was a highly influential figure within the film industry and also wrote a number of books on the topic.

Billy Wright
Billy Wright (loyalist)
William Stephen "Billy" Wright was a prominent Ulster loyalist during the period of violent religious/political conflict known as "The Troubles". He joined the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1975 and became commander of its Mid-Ulster Brigade in the early 1990s...

 (1960–1997) was a loyalist
Ulster loyalism
Ulster loyalism is an ideology that is opposed to a united Ireland. It can mean either support for upholding Northern Ireland's status as a constituent part of the United Kingdom , support for Northern Ireland independence, or support for loyalist paramilitaries...

 paramilitary leader who spent much of his life in Portadown. He led the Mid Ulster Brigade of the UVF before founding a breakaway group called the Loyalist Volunteer Force
Loyalist Volunteer Force
The Loyalist Volunteer Force is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed by Billy Wright in 1996 when he and the Portadown unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force's Mid-Ulster Brigade was stood down by the UVF leadership. He had been the commander of the Mid-Ulster Brigade. The...

 (LVF) in 1996. He was assassinated by the Irish National Liberation Army
Irish National Liberation Army
The Irish National Liberation Army or INLA is an Irish republican socialist paramilitary group that was formed on 8 December 1974. Its goal is to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and create a socialist united Ireland....

 (INLA).

Living people


Gloria Hunniford
Gloria Hunniford
Gloria Hunniford is a Northern Irish TV and radio presenter, and formerly a singer.-Biography:...

 (born 1940) is a TV and radio presenter and formerly a singer. She is the mother of Caron Keating
Caron Keating
Caron Louisa Keating was a Northern Irish television presenter on British and Northern Irish television.-Early life and education:...

, who died of breast cancer in 2004.

Victor Sloan
Victor Sloan
Victor Sloan MBE is an Irish photographer and artist.Victor Sloan studied at the Royal School, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone and Belfast and Leeds Colleges of Art, England. He lives and works in Portadown, County Armagh in Northern Ireland...

 MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 1945) is a photographer and artist who lives and works in Portadown. Employing primarily the medium of photography, he manipulates his negatives and reworks his prints with paints, inks, toners and dyes. In addition to photography, he also uses video, and printmaking techniques.

David Simpson (born 1959) is the Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

 (DUP) Member of Parliament for Upper Bann.

Breandán Mac Cionnaith
Brendan McKenna
Brendan McKenna is an Irish politician and a prominent residents' group leader. He is the General Secretary of éirígí, a socialist republican party, and was previously an adviser to Sinn Féin members of the Northern Ireland Assembly...

 (aka Brendan McKenna) is an Irish republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 politician and spokesman of the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition
Drumcree conflict
The Drumcree conflict or Drumcree standoff is an ongoing dispute over a yearly parade in the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The dispute is between the Orange Order and local residents. The residents are currently represented by the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition ; before 1995 they were...

. He was a Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 political advisor until 2007 and became General Secretary of éirígí
Éirígí
-External links:*...

 in 2009.

Les Binks
Les Binks
James Leslie Binks , is a Northern Irish heavy metal drummer, who is most notable for having been the drummer for Judas Priest.-History:...

 is a drummer who is best known for having been the drummer of Judas Priest
Judas Priest
Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band from Birmingham, England, formed in 1969. The current line-up consists of lead vocalist Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band has gone through several drummers over the years,...

 between March 1977 and July 1979.

Aaron McCusker
Aaron McCusker
Aaron McCusker is a Northern Irish actor most famous for playing Jamie Maguire in Channel 4's comedic drama series Shameless. He currently lives in Hale, Trafford....

 (born 1978) is an actor most famous for playing Jamie Maguire
Jamie Maguire
James Patrick "Jamie" Maguire is a fictional character from Channel 4 drama Shameless, he is the oldest son of the notorious Maguire family, the son of Paddy and Mimi Maguire, and recently returned after serving a ten-year prison sentence for murder...

 in Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

's comedic drama series Shameless.

Paddy Johns
Paddy Johns
Patrick Stephen Johns, known as Paddy Johns was an Irish rugby union player from 1990 to 2000. He played mainly as a lock and occasionally in the back-row.He won 59 caps, scoring 4 tries and 20 points...

 (born 1968) was an Irish rugby union player from 1990 until 2000 who represented Ulster and Ireland. He played at the 1995 Rugby World Cup
1995 Rugby World Cup
The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the third Rugby World Cup. It was hosted and won by South Africa, and was the first Rugby World Cup in which every match was held in one country....

 finals and the 1999 Rugby World Cup
1999 Rugby World Cup
The 1999 Rugby World Cup was the fourth Rugby World Cup, and the first to be held in rugby union's professional era. The principal host nation was Wales, although the majority of matches were played outside the country, shared between England, France, Scotland and Ireland...

 finals. Ryan Harpur is a young professional footballer currently with Glenavon F.C.
Glenavon F.C.
Glenavon F.C. is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in the IFA Premiership. The club, founded in 1889, hails from Lurgan and plays its home matches at Mourneview Park...

.

Colin Turkington
Colin Turkington
Colin Henry Turkington is a Northern Irish auto racing driver. His most notable success to date was becoming 2009 British Touring Car Champion driving for Team RAC. Most recently he has competed in the 2010 World Touring Car Championship driving a BMW 320si for West Surrey Racing...

 (born 1982) is an auto racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

 driver and is the reigning British Touring Car Champion
British Touring Car Championship
The British Touring Car Championship is a touring car racing series held each year in the United Kingdom. The Championship was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and has run to various rules over the years – "production cars", then FIA Group 1 or 2 in the late 1960s...

.

Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll is a Northern Irish racing driver. He currently races in the GP2 Series for Super Nova and in Auto GP for Campos Racing, making his debut with pole position at Donington Park...

 (born 1982) is also an auto racing driver who is currently signed to race for A1 Team Ireland
A1 Team Ireland
A1 Team Ireland is the Irish team of A1 Grand Prix, an international racing series. The team were the A1 Grand Prix champions for the fourth season, 2008-09.- The Team :...

 in the A1 Grand Prix
A1 Grand Prix
A1 Grand Prix was a 'single make' open-wheel auto racing series. It was unique in its field in that competitors solely represented their nation as opposed to themselves or a team, the usual format in most formula racing series. As such, it was often promoted as the "World Cup of Motorsport"...

 series. Carroll has also raced for FMS International
Fisichella Motor Sport
Coloni Motorsport, also known as Scuderia Coloni, is an auto racing team from Italy. Formed by Enzo Coloni in 1982, the team participated in Formula Three between 1983 and 1986, before racing in Formula One as Enzo Coloni Racing Car Systems between and . They made 82 attempts to take part in a...

 in the GP2 Series
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

.

Leigh Alderson
Leigh Alderson
Leigh Alderson is a male ballet dancer, model and actor from Portadown, Northern Ireland. He began dancing at the age of seven at The Donna Whitten Dance School, and later The Susan McMillan Ballet School...

 (born 1986) is an award-winning male ballet dancer, model, actor and choreographer. Alderson was nominated for The Arts Personality Of The Year Award in the Ulster Tatler Awards in two consecutive years , 2009 and 2010

Newton Emerson
Newton Emerson
Newton Emerson is a political commentator and satirist in Northern Ireland. He describes himself as a 'liberal Unionist'. Despite this, he writes in two Nationalist-leaning newspapers, the Irish edition of the Daily Mirror, and The Irish News...

 is a journalist and founder of the satirical online newspaper Portadown News
Portadown News
The Portadown News was a satirical web-based newspaper dealing with Northern Irish politics and culture. It was written by journalist and political commentator Newton Emerson, a Portadown resident. Its format and style were similar to The Onion.The site was updated biweekly, with the first issue...

.

Ashley Wood
Ashley Wood
Ashley Wood is an Australian comic book artist and illustrator who is well known for his cover art, concept design and his work as an art director....

 is an internationally famed Make Up Artist and Beauty Specialist, having his work featured in Ulster Tatler on a number of occasions. Also, having completed work for Irish TV station TV3 in addition to working for a number of celebrities from Ireland and America.

Education



Portadown boasts a large selection of academic institutions, past and present. Today, schools in Portadown operate under the Dickson Plan
Dickson Plan
The Dickson Plan is a school transfer system implemented in North County Armagh in Northern Ireland. It is a two tier system in which the majority of pupils in the Craigavon Borough Council Area and parts of Armagh City and District Council Area attend Junior High Schools for 3 years before...

, a transfer system in north Armagh that allows pupils at age 11 the option of taking the Eleven Plus
Eleven plus
In the United Kingdom, the 11-plus or Eleven plus is an examination administered to some students in their last year of primary education, governing admission to various types of secondary school. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years...

 exam to enter grammar schools, with pupils in comprehensive junior high schools being sorted into grammar and non-grammar streams. Pupils can get promoted to or demoted from the grammar stream during their time in those schools depending on the development of their academic performance, and at age 14 can take subject-based exams across the syllabus to qualify for entry into a dedicated grammar school to pursue GCSEs and A-levels.

Primary education


The state-run Thomas Street Primary School, and Church Street Primary School, formerly the "Duke's School", were both incorporated into Millington Primary School 1970. Other state primary schools include Ballyoran Primary School
Ballyoran Primary School
Ballyoran Primary School is a primary school located in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated at the edge of Ballyoran Housing Estate...

, Bocombra Primary School, Edenderry Primary School
Edenderry Primary School, Portadown
Edenderry Primary School is a non-denominational primary school situated in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is in the Southern Education and Library Board area....

, Hart Memorial Primary School, Moyallan Primary School, Portadown Primary School, Richmount Primary School, and Seagoe Primary School.

Derrycarne Primary School is now used as an Orange Hall by the Orange Order.

Primary schools managed by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools are Presentation Convent Primary School, St. John the Baptist Primary School (Irish:
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 Bunscoil Eoin Baiste), which has both English-medium and Irish-medium units within it, and St. John's Primary School. St Columba's Primary School in Carleton Street is now closed.

There is a multi-denominational or integrated primary school in the town, Portadown Integrated Primary School
Portadown Integrated Primary
Portadown Integrated Primary is a primary school which opened in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1990. When the school first opened it was housed in portable cabins in Chambers Park, home of Portadown RFC. Initially it had a small number of pupils, around 20-30, and lunch was held in...

, which opened in 1990.

Post primary education


The town is home to Portadown College
Portadown College
Portadown College is an academic selective grammar school in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, founded in 1924 and as of 2009, is the number one controlled grammar school in Northern Ireland. The school was established initially in Bann House on the banks of the River Bann, adjacent to...

, a grammar school which was opened in 1924. Other state-run secondary schools in the town are Clounagh Junior High School
Clounagh Junior High School
Clounagh Junior High School is a comprehensive school on the Brownstown Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland.It accepts male and female pupils following primary education. Generally, children attend for three years; however those with special educational needs stay for an extra two years. The current...

, Craigavon Senior High School, Drumcree College
Drumcree College
Drumcree College is a secondary school located on the edge of Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It officially opened after the amalgamation of St. Brigid’s Girls' High School and St. Malachy's Boys' High School in 1985 becoming Drumcree High School...

, Killicomaine Junior High School, and Portadown Independent Christian School
Portadown Independent Christian School
Portadown Independent Christian School is an independent primary and secondary school located in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is a mixed-gender interdenominational Christian school under the Southern Local Education Authority ....

.

Secondary schools in the Catholic maintained sector are St Bridgit's Secondary School for girls
Drumcree College
Drumcree College is a secondary school located on the edge of Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It officially opened after the amalgamation of St. Brigid’s Girls' High School and St. Malachy's Boys' High School in 1985 becoming Drumcree High School...

 and St Malachy's Secondary School for boys
Drumcree College
Drumcree College is a secondary school located on the edge of Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It officially opened after the amalgamation of St. Brigid’s Girls' High School and St. Malachy's Boys' High School in 1985 becoming Drumcree High School...

.

Portadown Technical College, later Portadown College of Further Education, was merged with Lurgan CFE and Banbridge CFE to form the Upper Bann Institute of Further Education. Further Education in the region was consolidated again when the institute was merged with other FE colleges in Armagh, Newry and Kilkeel to form the Southern Regional College.

Healthcare


Access to a GP is provided at Portadown Health Centre. Hospital care and Accident and Emergency services are available at Craigavon Area Hospital
Craigavon Area Hospital
Craigavon Area Hospital is a large hospital in Craigavon, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It serves an estimated 241,000 people from the boroughs/districts of Craigavon, Banbridge, Armagh and Dungannon–South Tyrone...

, built 1972 on the outskirts of town as part of the Craigavon development. This replaced Lurgan Hospital and the Carleton Maternity Hospital in Church Street as the primary source of care for the town. It serves approximately 241,000 people from Mid Ulster and is one of the main cancer treatment centres outside Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

.

Sport



Association football or soccer is played by Portadown F.C.
Portadown F.C.
Portadown F.C. is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club which plays in the IFA Premiership.The club was founded in the late 1880s and joined the Irish League in 1924. It is based in Portadown in County Armagh and plays its home games at Shamrock Park...

 who play in the Irish League, Annagh United
Annagh United
Annagh United is an intermediate, Northern Irish football club playing in IFA Championship 2. The club, founded in 1963, hails from Portadown and plays its home matches at Tandragee Road, their home since 1983...

, and Hanover F.C. who play at Brownstown Park. Gaelic football is played by Tír na nÓg GAA Club.
Portadown Boat Club is located on the River Bann. It is the town's oldest sports club and holds an annual regatta as part of the Irish Rowing Union calendar. Rugby is played by Portadown Rugby Club which has many notable capped alumni, including Charlie Murtagh.

Portadown Cricket Club is a member of the NCU Senior League
NCU Senior League
The Northern Cricket Union Senior League is the provincial cricket league within the NCU jurisdiction in Ireland, which covers counties Antrim, Armagh, Down and south Tyrone of Northern Ireland. The league was formed in 1897 and is currently divided into four sections, namely the Premier League,...

.

Media


Portadown's main local newspaper is the Portadown Times
Portadown Times
The Portadown Times is a newspaper based in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is published by Johnston Publishing , part of Johnston Press who own thirty-seven papers across Ireland....

, which is published by Johnston Publishing (NI)
Johnston Publishing (NI)
Johnston Publishing is a large newspaper group in Northern Ireland consisting of Mortons Newspapers and the News Letter, and is a holding company of Johnston Press...

. Although the newspaper focuses on the Portadown area, it also serves towns and villages across north Armagh
County Armagh
-History:Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha...

. It was founded in 1924 and is issued weekly.

Between 2001 and 2005, Portadown resident Newton Emerson
Newton Emerson
Newton Emerson is a political commentator and satirist in Northern Ireland. He describes himself as a 'liberal Unionist'. Despite this, he writes in two Nationalist-leaning newspapers, the Irish edition of the Daily Mirror, and The Irish News...

 ran a controversial satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 online newspaper called the Portadown News
Portadown News
The Portadown News was a satirical web-based newspaper dealing with Northern Irish politics and culture. It was written by journalist and political commentator Newton Emerson, a Portadown resident. Its format and style were similar to The Onion.The site was updated biweekly, with the first issue...

. The website, which was updated biweekly, attracted media attention by poking fun at Northern Ireland politics and culture.

See also



External links