Fermanagh Area Plan 2007
Irvinestown is the third largest town in Fermanagh. It lies in an area of undulating countryside on the Fermanagh-Tyrone County boundary 10 miles north of Enniskillen on the A32 Enniskillen - Omagh Road.
The origins of a settlement were established in the 17th Century at Necarne Castle which was occupied by the Lowther family and later became the nucleus for the village of Lowtherstown. The name was changed to Irvinestown in 1860 when the lands were acquired by D’Arcy Irvine. During the 20th century Irvinestown has developed as an important local service centre for its rural hinterland. Irvinestown has a pleasant compact form and a busy and attractive town centre with its broad historic market place overlooked by an impressive 18th Century Church tower.
The town provides industrial employment opportunities principally in textile manufacturing and food processing. A new business centre has recently been completed at the Old Market Yard as part of a Community Regeneration Improvement Special Programme (CRISP) scheme, which is jointly funded by the Department and the International Fund for Ireland. An Environmental Improvement Scheme is also proposed for the town centre as part of this project. A feasibility study is currently being undertaken on the potential to expand the food processing activities in the town by the Irvinestown Trustee Enterprise Company Limited (ITEC).When fully implemented these community based initiatives will result in the significant physical and economic regeneration of Irvinestown.
The town has potential to develop its role as a tourist centre, given its location close to Lower Lough Erne and the Castle Archdale Country Park. The ongoing development of the Ulster Lakeland Equestrian Park at Necarne Castle by Fermanagh District Council will increase the attraction of the town to both domestic and international tourists.
The population of Irvinestown has not increased significantly in the last 15 years but with the recent initiatives and emphasis on economic regeneration the Plan proposals formulated will be sufficient to provide for a potential population of 2,400 by 2007.