"Fare thee well Enniskillen, ................." Top 5 Page for this destination Enniskillen by wabat

Enniskillen Travel Guide: 44 reviews and 161 photos

....fare thee well for a while.

Perhaps an odd title for a page and for a chapter on a place rather close to my heart. Let me explain.

I was born in the town’s Erne Hospital some years ago now and spent the first 20 or so years of my life in a village just outside the town, completing my schooling in Enniskillen.

I continue to visit on a fairly regular basis.

The words “Fare thee well Enniskillen,” come from the chorus of a recent Tommy Makem (of Clancy Brothers fame) song (to a very traditional Irish tune) relating the story of a local British Regiment – The Enniskillen Dragoons – leaving Enniskillen and heading of to battle in Spain. The chorus continues “fare thee well for a while”. There was clear intention to come back one day which indeed they did (last verse) - such that:

“---never more we’ll have to say:

Fare thee well, Enniskillen….”

Perhaps one day the final verse will play out for Wabat.

This song goes thus:

Our troop was made ready at the dawn of the day,
From lovely Enniskillen they were marching us away.
They put us then on board a ship to cross the raging main,
To fight in bloody battle in the sunny land of Spain.

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while,
And all around the borders of Erin's green isle,
And when the war is over we'll return in full bloom,
And you'll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons.
Final verse:
Well now the fighting's over and for home we have set sail.
Our flag above this lofty ship is fluttering in the gale.
They've given us a pension, boys, of fourpence each a day,
And when we reach Enniskillen never more we'll have to say:

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while,

Enniskillen, from the Irish, Inis Ceithlean, is the County Town of County Fermanagh in the south-west of Northern Ireland. It a small, traditionally garrison and market town the centre of which is on a small island between Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Current population is around 15,000.

Some History

1400 to 1689

The town's oldest building is the Maguire's stone castle, built by Hugh the Hospitable who died in 1428 and this forms the basis of the current castle. The castle was finally secured by the English in 1607, after which and in conjunction with the Plantation of Ulster, the Cole family, from Devon , England supplanted the Maguires.

Over the next 80 years the town was developed by the Coles and by 1689 the town had grown significantly. During the conflict which resulted in the ousting of King James II by his Protestant rival, William III, Enniskillen and Derry were the focus of Williamite resistance in Ireland.

Enniskillen and Derry pledged support for William III and a famous Williamite victory over the forces of James occurred at Newtownbulter (close to Enniskillen) in 1689. As a direct result of this conflict Enniskillen developed not only as a market town but also as a garrison, which became home to two regiments - the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and The Inniskillings (6th Dragoons).

James was finally defeated a year later, in 1690, at the Battle of the Boyne – just north of Dublin. A battle commemorated to this day each 12th of July by Ulster loyalists and members of the Orange Order around the world.

Post 1689

Post 1689 a relative quietness descended on Enniskillen and the Country of Fermanagh more generally and they faded back into the mists and squalls of Ireland.

Alas, Enniskillen shot to unwanted fame again in the 1970s and 1980s when it was the site of several events during The Troubles, the most famous being the Remembrance Day bombing in which 11 people were killed on 8 November 1987 when an IRA bomb exploded at the towns cenotaph, shortly before a Remembrance Day service was due to commence.

Fermanagh had earlier in the 1980’s achieved worldwide fame on another front. On 9 April 1981 the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone elected Bobby Sands, a member of the Provisional IRA then serving a prison sentence in the notorious Maze or Long Kesh prison, as their Westminster Member of Parliament. Sands, who was on hunger strike at the time died within a month and never took up his seat in Westminster – most likely he would have not taken it up anyway.

Come to Enniskillen and County Fermanagh

The island town and County Fermanagh have since returned to more peaceful times and are (as they always have been - ok, perhaps I am a little biased) delightful places to visit. In addition to being scenically beautiful with Lough Erne and beautiful rolling green hills, the town and county have a rich history, afford great walking/caving opportunities, and the people are great, too boot!

Given that nowhere in Country Fermanagh is more than roughly 30 minutes drive from Enniskillen I plan to include on this page tips for both Enniskillen and the whole County of Fermanagh.

Follow in the footsteps of Messers Obama, Putin, Cameron, and Frau Merkel who visited Enniskillen in June 2013 (G8 Meeting !) and visit Enniskillen now!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:More than meets the eye.
  • Cons:Weather can be disappointing at times
  • In a nutshell:My birthplace so hard to be independent
  • Intro Updated Jun 23, 2013
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (28)

Comments (10)

  • Chinggis_n_Borte's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    Very good historical events of the very unusual name of town Enniskillen! The song is very patriotic as well. You practically grew up and spent your childhood here. It must be very touching to visit this lovely town.

    Chinggis K

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jul 25, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      Yes I certainly do enjoy going back there to see family and friends. In fact I will be there in just over a week for a wedding and as part of a longer trip.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    Excellent page on Enniskillen! Some much information on the history here. Your photos are excellent as well.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Albert, it was great to read your comprehensive page about Enniskillen! Good for you)

  • Jun 19, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Great information on the place you were born, Albert

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jun 19, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed my reviews

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Fascinating tips on the town where you were born and went to school.

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jan 10, 2014 at 4:59 AM

      Don, thanks for visiting the place of my birth. Im glad you found the tips fascinating and thanks for the ratings.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    You deserve a Blue Plaque on a column of your school! I enjoyed every bit of it an could tell that you enjoyed writing it too! Thanks for the tour.

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Nov 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Linda, thank you for the visit and ratings which are always appreciated. Blue plaque, LOL, I dont think so,but very flattering you should consider me worthy-:)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Albert, excellent and very comprehensive page about the town where you were born. I really like your detailed descriptions andt he brilliant photos. I must admit that although I explored many parts of Great Britain and Ireland, I never really made it to Northern Ireland.

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Oct 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Holger, delighted you enjoyed you visit to this page. I very much appreciate your feedback and ratings. Albert

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    You really hadn't said much about where you were from before so it was very neat to read your pages. You really put together an excellent set of pages. Not knowing much about the ins and outs of the irish conflict beyond the most general level you did a fine job of being balanced. Excellent job

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jun 23, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      Thank you. Thats about it for Enniskillen for now. Next is Derry/londonderry ... Lets see if i can hold the balance there.. It was a much more polarised city.. Even the name is still hot topic. I'll also do St Helena now too.
      Thanks for your visits and ratings.

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Wow what an impressive line up of info on Enniskillen...while you are investigating Davis island we should go to your Ireland!

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jun 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Thanks for visiting (and rating ) both appreciated.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Albert, this is exactly the sort of page that makes VT such a wonderful travel tool!
    I didn't know that you came from here, but you've managed to put such a positive spin on somewhere that has such a troubled association for most British people during 'The Troubles' (to use a great Northern Irish euphemism). I can't wait to read more of your Ulster pages (even if my origins are on the other side of the fence)!

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Jun 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      I have only been to Ulster once, and I loved it - to the point where I thought that Belfast was one of the few cities that I could see myself living.
      I would love to return - perhaps when I finally take the family to explore their Irish heritage? The trouble is that Eire is such a bloody expensive destination - perhaps better to locate ourselves in the North and do day forays over the border? But it's a long drive to Wexford ...:)

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jun 3, 2013 at 6:19 AM

      Hmmm not really - you would waste too much time traveling. Not sure when you last looked at prices in Ireland and UK but they have eased off in the past few years... granted still not cheap - especially when converting Rand - but better than they were. How can you put a monetary value on the Land of Saints and Scholars - great value at any price :-)

wabat Was Born Here!


“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. RSL”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 6 4
Forum Rank:
0 0 2 4 4

Badges & Stats in Enniskillen

  • 28 Reviews
  • 118 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 885PageViews

Have you been to Enniskillen?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (8)