PortadownPortadown Scots: Portadoun Irish: Port an Dúnáin
Portadown shown within Northern IrelandPopulation30,000 (est) Irish grid referenceJ008537 - Belfast22 miles DistrictCraigavon BoroughCountyCounty ArmaghConstituent countryNorthern IrelandSovereign stateUnited KingdomPost townCRAIGAVON Postcode districtBT62, BT63Dialling code028 PoliceNorthern IrelandFireNorthern IrelandAmbulanceNorthern IrelandEuropean ParliamentNorthern IrelandUK ParliamentUpper BannWebsite: www.portadowntown.comList of places: UK• Northern Ireland• Armagh
Portadown (from the Irish: Port an Dúnáin meaning "port of the fortress") is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It has an estimated population around 30,000 which is roughly three quarters unionist and one quarter nationalist. Portadown is situated on the River Bann, in the north of County Armagh. It is part of the Craigavon Borough Council area.
Portadown has a manufacturing sector that has grown beyond its roots in linen production to include carpet-weaving, baking and engineering. These industries all thrive against a backdrop of the traditional rural economy. For decades it has been the home of the Portadown Festival, which brings in thousands of participants in amateur dance, theatre, music and song.
Although the town can trace its origins to at least the 17th century it was not until the Victorian era, and the arrival of the railway that it became a major town. Portadown is known as "The Hub of the North", the origin of this phrase coming from its central position in Northern Ireland and being a major railway junction in the past, where the Great Northern Railway's line diverged for Belfast, Dublin, Armagh and Derry.
- 1 History
- 2 Places of interest
- 3 People
- 4 Education
- 5 Transport
- 6 Sport
- 7 References
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
Portadown was associated with the ancient and powerful local family of McCann who were among the area's earliest settlers. The town was the scene of an infamous massacre during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when the Catholic insurgents killed around seventy of the Protestant townspeople on the bridge over the River Bann. The construction of the Newry Canal in 1740 and the later development of the railway lines to Belfast and Dublin, put Portadown at the hub of transport routes in Northern Ireland.
There are many companies that have been a part Portadown's history, one being W.D. Irwin & Sons Ltd Irwin's Bakery. Irwin's was established in 1912 by the grandfather (William David Irwin) of the existing joint managing directors, as a grocery retailer. W.D. Irwin's wife and sister-in-law were talented home-bakers, who began to bake cakes and bakery items for the shop. Soon additional bakers were employed to cope with the increasing trade, expanding the bakery out behind the shop. It moved to larger premises at Carn in 1994. The High Street Mall shopping centre currently stands in the place of the old bakery. Today Irwin's bakery is the largest independent bakery in Northern Ireland. Its bakery products are supplied to supermarket chains such as Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco, and other grocery chains, right down to small corner shops.
Portadown also boasts a large selection of academia. There are many primary and secondary schools in the area, and the town is home to one of the top Grammar Schools in Northern Ireland, Portadown College, which was opened in 1924.
- For more information see The Troubles in Portadown, which includes a list of incidents in Portadown during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities.
- Portadown is taking a stand against the Troubles with the Ulster Project. Catholic and Protestant teenagers from Portadown annually travel to Hutchinson, Kansas, in the Midwestern United States to participate in this project. These teenagers are charged with promoting peace amongst the sectarian troubles and violence facing their local communities.
Places of interest
With the establishment of the Millennium Court Arts Centre in 2002, the town has become improved since pre-Troubles times.
"Country Comes to Town" is the Flagship festival which takes place in the third week in September since 1998. The future of the festival is uncertain due to funding difficulties. 
- Victor Sloan: a photographer and artist who lives and works in Portadown. His works are a response to political, social and religious concerns.
- George Gilmore: was a Protestant Irish Republican Army leader.
- Ryan Harpur: a young footballer currently with Everton F.C.
- Colin Turkington: a successful young racing car driver who competes in the British Touring Car Championship.
- Mary Peters, Olympic medalist
- Joyrider, a 1990s band.
- Gloria Hunniford, a BBC television presenter.
- Leigh Alderson, a young male ballet dancer, who left Portadown to train at The Royal Ballet School and going on to star in Scottish National Ballet and many BBC Documnetary Films about his life.
- Adam Carroll, A young race driver currently competing in the formula one feeder series, GP2
- David Simpson, DUP MP for Upper Bann - took the seat historically from David Trimble (Former Leader of Ulster Unionist Party) in 2005
- Paddy Johns, former Ireland and Ulster rugby player was born in Portadown
- Marion Greeves MBE (d. 1979) - daughter of George & Dame Elizabeth Cadbury; the first female Senator in the Stormont Parliament.
- Billy Wright, Loyalist and founder of the LVF
- Ballyoran Primary School
- Bocombra Primary School
- Clounagh Junior High School
- Derrycarne Primary School
- Drumcree College
- Edenderry Primary School
- Hart Memorial Primary School
- Killicomaine Junior High School
- Millington Primary School
- Portadown Independent Christian School
- Portadown Integrated Primary School
- Portadown College
- Presentation Primary School
- Richmount Primary School
- Seagoe Primary School
- St. John the Baptist Primary School
- St. John's Primary School
- Upper Bann Institute of Further and Higher Education
- Southern Regional Cook
- Portadown railway station was opened on 12 September 1842 and closed to goods traffic on 4 January 1965.
- ^ Portadown Times; 18 January 2008 - http://www.portadowntimes.co.uk/news/Groups-join-forces-in-attempt.3685236.jp
- ^ Portadown. Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
- PortadownNews.com (Local Political Satire) (decommissioned)
- Dean Weir's Portadown Photo Pages (Images of Portadown)
- Jim Lyttle's 'Photos and Features on Portadown from Past and Present' (Images of Portadown)
- Portadown Directory 1910
- Portadown Family History Society
- Landscapes Unlocked - Aerial footage from the BBC Sky High series explaining the physical, social and economic geography of Northern Ireland.
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