Completion of new road name signage improves navigation and promotes heritage of local area  

11th December 2020

A project to improve way finding and to promote the use of townlands in County Fermanagh has been completed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.  

The project, which has been rolled out in phases since 2018, involved the installation of signage at the start of every road in the county, listing both the road name and townland at each location.   

The townland is a form of land division unique to Ireland, dating back to the 12th century. There are over 9,000 townlands in Northern Ireland with 2,869 townlands in the Fermanagh and Omagh district.  

The new signage now brings a consistent approach to road name signage across the district with similar signs having already been in place in the Omagh area from the time of the legacy council.  The signage will improve navigation within the Fermanagh area and reflects the heritage of the area through its inclusion of townlands.  

The road signage uses the approved road name and associated Townland spelling, derived from the 1901 OSNI data, as agreed and contained in the updated published Pointer Data for the District area.  

Speaking about the project, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong, said:   

“While road name and townland signage has been in place for quite some time in the Omagh area,  I am delighted to see that similar signage is now in place across County Fermanagh to assist with place finding and to promote the local heritage of the area.   

Road name signage is extremely important. It is vital in assisting emergency services and first responders to reach residents as quickly as possible during an emergency. It is also important and incredibly useful for delivery and postal workers and for those visiting the district for work related or leisure purposes.”  

The Council used a geographical information system (GIS) to digitally survey Fermanagh’s road network and map the location of all signs reducing the need to survey up to almost 4,000 km of roads by vehicle. The use of GIS technology to survey the roads quickly, safely and cost efficiently was recognised recently at the Esri Ireland Customer Success Awards with the project reaching the category shortlist.  

GIS will also be used by the Council to track and manage maintenance of road name and townland signage across the district, as signs are regularly damaged due to road traffic accidents.  

As part of the Council’s commitment to the promotion of townlands and local heritage in the district, a series of townlands will be profiled on the Council’s social media channels over the coming weeks. Follow @fermanaghomagh on Facebook and Twitter for more. To find out more about origins and meanings of townlands please visitwww.placenamesni.org