Our City 'Lisburn'

Lisburn (Irish: Lios na gCearrbhach; meaning fort of the gamblers) is the third-largest city in Northern Ireland, south-west of and adjoining Belfast. An Anglicised version of the Irish name, Lisnagarvey, is used in the title of schools and sporting clubs in the area. Formerly a borough, it was given city status in 2002 along with Newry as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebrations. The city is split between County Antrim and County Down with the River Lagan forming the county boundary. Lisburn had a population of 71,465 people in the 2001 Census. However, due to much housing development in the city during recent years there is no doubt that this number has risen significantly.

 Although it has city status, the area covered consists of the town of Lisburn, surrounded by an extensive rural and semi-rural surrounding area. The council area includes Hillsborough, Moira, Dromara, Glenavy, Dunmurry and Drumbo.

 In 2007 the total Lisburn council area had a population of 113,000. Lagan Valley Island Centre is the headquarters of Lisburn City Council.  The building opened for business in March 2001 and was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November 2001. The complex is part of the City Council's regeneration work to breathe life back into the older part of Lisburn City and the River Lagan. The current Lord Mayor is councillor Allan Ewart .

 Lisburn is also known as the birthplace of Ireland's linen industry, which was a key industry in the history of Ulster. It was established in 1698 by Louis Crommelin and other Huguenots. A free exhibition about the Irish linen industry is now housed in the Irish Linen Centre, which can be found in the town’s old Market House in Market Square. The city is a popular shopping centre, with a wide range of retail outlets both in the Lisburn town centre and in the out-of-town Sprucefield shopping area.


Lisburn was originally called Lisnagarvey.  Lisburn's original site was located on what is now known as Hill Street Estate, on a hill above the River Lagan. There was also a fort located at the north side of what is now known as Wallace Park. In 1611 James I granted Sir Fulke Conway the lands of Killultagh in south west County Antrim. During the 1620s the original streets of Lisburn as we know it today were laid out, Market Square, Bridge Street, Castle Street and Bow Street. Sir Fulke Conway brought over many English and Welsh settlers during the Ulster Plantation. He built a castle on what is now Castle Gardens and in 1623 he built a church on the site of the current cathedral. In 1707, another great fire halted the growth of Lisburn. Once again it was reduced to ashes, this time even the great castle falling to the flames. The castle was never rebuilt, but its gardens remained to become the property of the people of Lisburn in the later   nineteenth century. After the fire, Lisnagarvey was renamed Lisburn.

 Lisburn City boasts many famous past residents with worldwide connections. For example, Harry Ferguson the noted engineer and inventor of the Ferguson Tractor, Sir Hamilton Harty the organist and composer, John Ballance who became New Zealand Prime Minister, Alexander T Stewart founder of the Garden City in New York, Sir John Lavery the famous Victorian artist. Sir Richard Wallace, 19th Century Landlord of Lisburn.

 Wallace made quite an impact on Lisburn. His bequests include the Wallace Park and Wallace High School. In 1872 he donated drinking fountains, known as Wallace fountains, two of which can still be seen near the cricket pitch in Wallace Park, another in front of Lisburn Linen Museum in Bow Street and another in Castle Gardens. Wallace was created baronet in 1871 and was Member of Parliament for Lisburn from 1873 to 1885.

 Lisburn has a tradition of being competitively involved in all aspects of sport. The city has been well represented and been successful in Rugby, Cricket, Athletics and Swimming through teams bearing the Lisburn name. Lisburn Distillery represents the city in the highly competitive Irish Football League. The club was known as 'Distillery' until 1999, when it changed its name to 'Lisburn Distillery' in an attempt to associate itself more closely with its adopted borough of Lisburn. The club's colours are all white, and the current manager is Paul Kirk.

As far as local sporting events there has been nothing to compete with the success of the Lisburn City Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Fun Run. These events have been widely supported by the people of Lisburn and have appealed to both young and old, male and female.  Such is the popularity of the event the 10K Road Race is now part of the Northern Ireland Road Racing Championships.

Further information can be found on the links below.