The former army barracks site at Lisanelly lies within the development limits for Omagh.
It currently has over 200 derelict houses and a wide range of other buildings and facilities that were used by the army over the years. Redevelopment of this 120 acre site is currently underway with the shared education campus due to open in 2020.
The site has an interesting and historic past. St Lucia Barracks in Omagh, which is adjacent to the Lisanelly Barracks site and separated by the Strule River, was originally commissioned in the 1880’s. It opened originally as a depot for the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – the 27th Regiment of Foot.
With the Two World Wars, St Lucia would have been a hub of activity with many soldiers passing through its gates on their way to battlefields in far off destinations.
During the Second World War, a temporary ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) camp was established where the Silverbirch Hotel now stands and the Lisanelly Barracks complex began during this period. Following the armistice, Omagh Council called for the retention of a garrison at Lisanelly and the King’s Dragoon Guard were the first regiment to be posted there in 1948.
The Army brought many different people to Omagh, many local women married soldiers – some to establish lives as army wives in garrisons all over the world – and some to settle into civilian life in Omagh.
In recent years the establishment of the Barracks as home to the 6th (County Tyrone) Battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment and latterly the 4th (County Fermanagh and County Tyrone) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment is clearer in the memory of the people of Omagh.
The Army vacated the site in 2007 and it has remained unoccupied since then.
Demolition is now complete for the building of Arvalee School and Resource Centre which will be the first school to be located on the Strule site. Arvalee School is due to open in September 2016.
Deane Public Works have also been appointed as a demolition contractor to prepare the rest of the site for the remaining five schools. This work has now started and will be completed by the end of 2015