Strabane takes its name from the Irish, An Srath Bán, Fair River Valley or White Strand. It is situated in the west of County Tyrone on the border with County Donegal in the Republic, the river Mourne flows through the center of the town a bridge over connects it to the village of Lifford in Donegal. It is at Strabane that the river Mourne meets the river Finn and become the river Foyle, in 1987 the town suffered much damage when much of the town centre was flooded.
During the troubles Strabane was known as the most bombed town in Europe, during the 30 + years of the troubles the provisional IRA and other republician groups targeted both the British arny and RUC bases, these attacks resulted in the deaths of many soldiers, RUC oficers and civilians. Today there is no British army presence in the town, the PSNI (Police Service Northern Ireland) a reorganized RUC do not enjoy widespread support from the predominately nationalist community. However recent statements from Jerry Adams head of Sien Fein the political wing of the PIRA urging nationalists to support the police may change this.
Since 2001 there have been several armed robberies on banks and business premises in the town, these have been attributed to the INLA, in 2006 a roberry involving hostage taking netted the robbers over £500,000.
In 1792 a canal four miles long was built connecting the town to Lough Foyle at Leck, by 1062 the can was in a state of derelection. The Strabane Lifford Development Commission was set up to develop and bring prosperity to the area. In June 2006 they awarded £1.3m to restore part of the canal.
The town once boasted one of the busiest rail connections
on the island. This fell into disuse over time, although an old railway
building still stands in the town.
Strabane has recently become involved in the Ulster Project International, sending Catholic and Protestant teenagers to the United States for prejudice-reduction work. For more information see The Troubles in Strabane, which includes a list of some of the most serious incidents in Strabane that occurred during, and because of, the Troubles.
Strabane once had the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. It is one of the most economically deprived towns in the United Kingdom. The average wage of someone in Strabane is just £233 per week, compared with £320 in Northern Ireland and £349 in the UK.