With a population of approximately 11,500, it is by far the largest settlement in the county and the main retail centre for the county. It is also the seat of local government for Fermanagh District Council.
In recent years Enniskillen has become synonymous with the tragedy of the Northern Ireland conflict. Until 1987 the town had been relatively untouched by the conflict, but an IRA bomb on Remembrance Sunday killed eleven civilians (including nurse Marie Wilson, whose father Gordon Wilson went on to become a leading campaginer for an end to violence in Northeren Ireland) in a tragedy which shocked the world. The IRA later claimed that their target was a colour guard of British soldiers. The Enniskillen bomb is now acknowledged as a turning point in the Northern Ireland peace process. On Remembrance Day 1997 the leader of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, formally apologised for the bombing.