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Picture by ©Donegal Tourism CLG. Rathmullan Fort, credit: SwillyDiver.
Discover the Napoleonic Forts at Lough Swilly!
11 Nov 2020
Donegal County Council virtually take us across seven forts built to protect the regional coast.

Margaret Storey | Donegal County Council

Let’s travel back in time to learn a wee bit of the Irish maritime history and the hot topics that TIDE project partners are focused on. This time we recover Napoleonic wars and the impact they had in Donegal County. The waves carry many stories to tell!

Before the Napoleonic wars, in 1798, a French fleet along with Wolfe Tone of the United Irishmen planned to dock along Lough Swilly and help with the Irish Rebellion. Nonetheless, the fleet was defeated, and the British built several forts to help with their defense strategy. As a result, six towers were built in addition to Fort Dunree. During the war, they became well-known as the ‘Swilly defences’ because each post had a huge gun to protect the British fleet before it crossed the Atlantic. Over 200 years later, these forts continue reminding us our past and history. Let’s have now a virtual tour across these forts in Donegal:

  • Fort Dunree was built in 1798, while Napoleon was still alive. It was remodeled in 1895 to accommodate weapons, what became a key lookout point during both World War 1 and 2.
  • Inch Fort was built between 1812 and 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars and, later, in the year 1895 it was remodeled and armed.
  • Knockalla Fort was built on the site of a temporary fortification first built in 1798.
  • Lenan Fort worked in collaboration with Fort Dunree to protect the Lough Swilly area. The fort closed in 1946, eight years after it was handed back to the Irish from the British. 
  • Mackamish Fort was built in the year 1803.
  • Ned’s Point Fort was completed in 1812 and its walls remain about one mile north of Buncrana town.
  • Rathmullan Battery Fort was built in 1810, manned until the end of World War I. The fort lay unoccupied after the war until the 1980s when it was taken over by the Rathmullan Enterprise Group.

Fort Dunree Military Museum, a TIDE project selected good practice
Situated in Inishowen, it is run by the community in partnership with the local authority. The strategic location helps to tell the story of the history of Lough Swilly and the part it played in the World Wars and the Napoleonic era. It is composed by a museum and visitor attraction and it was first opened to the public in 1986.

Nowadays, it uses the latest DVD, video presentations and interactive technology to fully explain the unique history and present the role of the fort. Nevertheless, Donegal County Council, through the TIDE project, has selected Fort Dunree as a potential host site for a new pilot development which will use virtual reality to bring the history even closer to the visitors. Other potential local sites that are being considered are the Inishowen Maritime Museum, Fanad Lighthouse, Killybegs and/or Burtonport.

Stay tuned!

Picture at Fort Dunree museum.
Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT Network for further information

Picture by ©Donegal Tourism CLG. Rathmullan Fort, credit: SwillyDiver.
Discover the Napoleonic Forts at Lough Swilly!
11 Nov 2020
Donegal County Council virtually take us across seven forts built to protect the regional coast.

Margaret Storey | Donegal County Council

Let’s travel back in time to learn a wee bit of the Irish maritime history and the hot topics that TIDE project partners are focused on. This time we recover Napoleonic wars and the impact they had in Donegal County. The waves carry many stories to tell!

Before the Napoleonic wars, in 1798, a French fleet along with Wolfe Tone of the United Irishmen planned to dock along Lough Swilly and help with the Irish Rebellion. Nonetheless, the fleet was defeated, and the British built several forts to help with their defense strategy. As a result, six towers were built in addition to Fort Dunree. During the war, they became well-known as the ‘Swilly defences’ because each post had a huge gun to protect the British fleet before it crossed the Atlantic. Over 200 years later, these forts continue reminding us our past and history. Let’s have now a virtual tour across these forts in Donegal:

  • Fort Dunree was built in 1798, while Napoleon was still alive. It was remodeled in 1895 to accommodate weapons, what became a key lookout point during both World War 1 and 2.
  • Inch Fort was built between 1812 and 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars and, later, in the year 1895 it was remodeled and armed.
  • Knockalla Fort was built on the site of a temporary fortification first built in 1798.
  • Lenan Fort worked in collaboration with Fort Dunree to protect the Lough Swilly area. The fort closed in 1946, eight years after it was handed back to the Irish from the British. 
  • Mackamish Fort was built in the year 1803.
  • Ned’s Point Fort was completed in 1812 and its walls remain about one mile north of Buncrana town.
  • Rathmullan Battery Fort was built in 1810, manned until the end of World War I. The fort lay unoccupied after the war until the 1980s when it was taken over by the Rathmullan Enterprise Group.

Fort Dunree Military Museum, a TIDE project selected good practice
Situated in Inishowen, it is run by the community in partnership with the local authority. The strategic location helps to tell the story of the history of Lough Swilly and the part it played in the World Wars and the Napoleonic era. It is composed by a museum and visitor attraction and it was first opened to the public in 1986.

Nowadays, it uses the latest DVD, video presentations and interactive technology to fully explain the unique history and present the role of the fort. Nevertheless, Donegal County Council, through the TIDE project, has selected Fort Dunree as a potential host site for a new pilot development which will use virtual reality to bring the history even closer to the visitors. Other potential local sites that are being considered are the Inishowen Maritime Museum, Fanad Lighthouse, Killybegs and/or Burtonport.

Stay tuned!

Picture at Fort Dunree museum.
Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT Network for further information


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