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Contae Thír Eoghain is the Irish name; Countie Tyrone,Coontie Tyrone and Coontie Owenslann are Ulster Scots spellings (the latter used only by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council).
County Tyrone (; from Irish: Tír Eoghain, meaning 'land of Eoghan') is one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the nine counties of Ulster. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.
Adjoined to the south-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,266 km2 (1,261 sq mi) and has a population of about 177,986; its county town is Omagh. The county derives its name and general geographic location from Tír Eoghain, a Gaelic kingdom under the O'Neill dynasty which existed until the 17th century.
The name Tyrone is derived from Irish Tír Eoghain 'land of Eoghan', the name given to the conquests made by the Cenél nEógain from the provinces of Airgíalla and Ulaid. Historically, it was anglicised as Tirowen or Tyrowen, which are closer to the Irish pronunciation.
Historically Tyrone (then Tír Eoghain or Tirowen)was much larger in size, stretching as far north as Lough Foyle, and comprised part of modern-day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle. The majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610 and 1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on natural resources located there. Tyrone was the traditional stronghold of the various O'Neill clans and families, the strongest of the Gaelic Irish families in Ulster, surviving into the seventeenth century. The ancient principality of Tír Eoghain, the inheritance of the O'Neills, included the whole of the present counties of Tyrone and Londonderry, and the four baronies of West Inishowen, East Inishowen, Raphoe North and Raphoe South in County Donegal.
With an area of 3,155 square kilometres (1,218 sq mi), Tyrone is the largest county in Northern Ireland. The flat peatlands of East Tyrone border the shoreline of the largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh, rising gradually across to the more mountainous terrain in the west of the county, the area surrounding the Sperrin Mountains, the highest point being Sawel Mountain at a height of 678 m (2,224 ft). The length of the county, from the mouth of the River Blackwater at Lough Neagh to the western point near Carrickaduff hill is 55 miles (89 km). The breadth, from the southern corner, southeast of Fivemiletown, to the northeastern corner near Meenard Mountain is 37.5 miles (60.4 km); giving an area of 1,261 square miles (in 1900). Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland.
Tyrone is connected by land to the county of Fermanagh to the southwest; Monaghan to the south; Armagh to the southeast; Londonderry to the north; and Donegal to the west. Across Lough Neagh to the east, it borders County Antrim. It is the eighth largest of Ireland's thirty-two counties by area and tenth largest by population. It is the second largest of Ulster's nine traditional counties by area and fourth largest by population.
Blackrock Bridge near Newtownstewart, carrying the closed GNR mainline that ran through the county
The county was administered by Tyrone County Council from 1899 until the abolition of county councils in Northern Ireland in 1973.
It is one of four counties in Northern Ireland which currently has a majority of the population from a Catholic community background, according to the 2011 census. In 1900 County Tyrone had a population of 197,719, while in 2011 it was 177,986.
(population of 18,000 or more and under 75,000 at 2001 Census)
^Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.