Dunree Fort, Co. Donegal, Ireland - May 2010
Dunree Fort, located on the west side of the Inishowen peninsula in the north of Ireland, is a Napoleonic period fort. The fort is located on a rocky promontory accessed over a natural fissure. It was remodelled in 1895 to have 2 x 4.7 inch (119 mm) QF guns below, and later 12 pounder (5 kg) QF and 2 x 6 inch (152 mm) guns in a battery above. The top of a hill overlooking the site was walled in to form a redoubt. The fort is now a military museum with detailed exhibitions, many restored guns, and a rotting military camp.
The Flight of the Earls, O’Neill and O’Donnell into exile took place from Rathmullan in September 1607. Wolfe Tone was taken under naval arrest into Buncrana in 1798 and In more recent times during World War I, the Grand Fleet sheltered in the Lough.
Today Fort Dunree houses a small museum of military memorabilia and artefacts as well as an array of large guns from the 20th Century.
Near to the spot where Wolfe Tone was brought ashore in 1798 a small fort was erected to guard against the possible return of a French invasion fleet.
In the late 19th Century the fort was modernised and elarged with the building of the, ‘Top Fort’ on Dunree Hill. During World War I it stood guard whilst Admiral Lord Jellicoe’s fleet anchored in Lough Swilly prior to engaging the German Navy at the Battle of Jutland.
During World War II Irish forces were stationed at Fort Dunree to prevent the warring nations violating the country’s neutrality
Control of the fort was transferred to the Irish Free State just before World War II.
The museum comprises the small part of the complex located on a headland overlooking the sea. The majority of the remainder of the site, comprising the former barracks and the 'top fort' are owned by the museum, but are not maintained in any way. Much of the area is overgrown and the wooden barrack buildings are in a poor state of repair.
Upper Battery - 6'' guns and associated bunker; the bunker is not on the 'tour'.
The 'top fort'
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