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My Place, My People: In week two we look at County Armagh

Published 03/02/2016

Entrance to Armagh Planetarium
Entrance to Armagh Planetarium

This article has been specially written for those thousands of school children who are doing the Belfast Telegraph Newspapers in Education project, My Place My People. Over the six weeks of the project, we will be looking at each county in Northern Ireland. Today we consider Armagh and some of the county's most treasured monuments and influential people.

The county of Armagh is renowned for its history and has many interesting places to see for young and old. It borders Tyrone and Down and is known as the Orchard county. That's because the land, close to the town of Loughgall, is ideal for growing apples.

In the county of Armagh is the city of Armagh which has been the spiritual capital of Ireland since St Patrick founded his first church there.

That was on the site of the present Church of Ireland Cathedral. There is also a Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city bearing St Patrick's name.

Both are popular attractions along with numerous other historic sites, including Navan Fort, viewed as a very important archaeological area.

Children love the Armagh Planetarium. It is a welcoming and wonderful place to visit, especially for those interested in our Solar System.

Another must-see attraction is Tayto Castle in Tandragee. It is where Tayto crisps are made. There are tours of the castle which inform you how your favourite flavours, including the famous cheese and onion, are made.

Amongst the well known towns in County Armagh are Portadown, Lurgan and Crossmaglen. Craigavon was created as a 'new town' in the mid-1960s to relieve over-crowding in places like Belfast.

Blackwater River Park contains some excellent fishing rivers while Slieve Gullion Park boasts some beautiful scenery. Gosford Forest Park outside Markethill is also well worth seeing.

A Special Person: David Herron, P7 Kingsmills Primary School Armagh

My special person is Keith Lyttle. Keith is my fiddle teacher and the best in the country for special reasons.

Keith comes into my school to teach it. He has inspired me and when I'm older I want to be able to play the fiddle like him.

He has been there for me when I thought I was going to give up the fiddle and told me to keep going.

Some teachers have no sense of humour and work you to the bone and don't make learning an instrument fun.

Keith chats to you and it's a pleasure to be taught by him.

He also made me like the fiddle so much that I actually want to come into school the day he is in!

He also told me to come into Markethill Orange Hall to get extra lessons and for that I am forever grateful to him.

I will always look up to him.

Influential people from County Armagh

William McCrum:

The Milford man invented the penalty kick. He suggested the idea in 1890 and one year later the proposal was adopted by the football authorities and has been used ever since.

Paul Muldoon:

Born in Portadown in 1951, Muldoon, who studied at Queen’s University in Belfast, is a renowned poet. He has won a number of prestigious awards for his work including the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Michael O’Neill:

The Northern Ireland manager was born in Portadown before his family moved to Ballymena when he was a child. In the summer O’Neill will become the first Northern Ireland boss ever to take the country to the European Championship finals.

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