Garrison, Fermanagh

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Old YHANI Youth Hostel at Kilcoo Cross, near Garrison, Co Fermanagh. - - 345328.jpg
Decayed hostel near Garrison
Grid reference: G941518
Location: 54°24’53"N, 8°5’28"W
Population: 357  (2001)
Post town: Enniskillen
Postcode: BT93
Dialling code: 028
Local Government
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Garrison is a small village near Lough Melvin in Fermanagh. The Roogagh River runs through the village. In the 2001 Census it had a population of just 357 people.

According to the Meteorological Office, the highest temperature ever recorded in Northern Ireland is 30.8 °C (87.4 °F) at Knockarevan, Garrison on 30 June 1976.[1]


Visitors to Garrison can enjoy a wide range of activities including golfing, fishing, hill-walking, water sports, horse-riding, cycling, camping and caving. The Lough Melvin Holiday Centre caters for large groups and there is a plethora of local guesthouses and chalets to let. Two local pubs, The Melvin Bar and The Riverside Bar, provide music and craic and the local restaurant, The Bilberry, is well established and well renowned in Ulster.

Lough Melvin

Lough Melvin

Lough Melvin is a landlocked lough, known as the home to the Gillaroo or salmo stomachius, a species of trout which eats primarily snails. Gillaroo is derived from the Irish for 'red fellow' (Giolla Rua), due to the fish's distinctive colouring. It has a bright buttery golden colour on its flanks with bight crimson and vermillion spots. The gillaroo is characterised by deep red spots and a "gizzard", which is used to aid the digestion of hard food items such as water snails. Experiments carried out by Queens University, Belfast established that the Lough Melvin gillaroo species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. They feed almost exclusively on bottom living animals (snails, sedge fly larva and freshwater shrimp) with the exception of late summer when they come to the surface to feed and may be caught on the dry fly.

Other lakes reputed to contain the gillaroo are Lough Neagh, Lough Conn, Lough Mask and Lough Corrib. However, the unique gene found in the Lough Melvin trout has not been found in some 200 trout populations in the British Isles.

The sonaghan trout (Salmo nigripinnis) is another species unique to Lough Melvin. It can have a light brown or silvery hue with large, distinctive black spots. There are sometimes small, inconspicuous red spots located along its posterior region. Its fins are dark brown or black with elongated pectorals. Sonaghan are found in areas of open, deep water, where they feed on mid-water planktonic organisms.


Garrison is named from a barracks erected by King William III who halted here after the Battle of Aughrim.

Garrison was a thriving town before The Troubles when it was cut off from the Republic of Ireland after the border crossings were closed in an attempt to stop the transportation of explosives into Northern Ireland. When cross-border business halted, the town suffered from lack of trade and it is only since the roads reopened in 1994 that Garrison has found its feet again.

The Melvin Hotel, previously owned by the McGovern family, was blown up, during the middle of a wedding reception, by the Provisional Irish Republican Army reportedly as retaliation for allowing members of the security forces to stay on the premises.