Fort Dunree, County Donegal

The impressive fortifications that crown Dunree Head are a reminder of the strategic importance of Lough Swilly. In 1800, when Ireland was faced with the Napoleonic threat, heavy guns where mounted on the bluff of rock that commands the entrance to the lough. Martello towers were added to the fortifications in the next decade.

At the beginning of World War I the British Grand Fleet of 40 warships assembled off Dunree Head. Throughout the war the Dunree guns protected the convoys that gathered there for the North Atlantic run, and by 1917 the United States had established a base there. The fort was handed over to Ireland by the British in 1938 and was last manned in 1952. In 1986 it was tuned ino a military museum tracing the development of coastal weaponry from 1800.

Fort Dunree is a real hidden gem that is worth a visit on your Ireland tours.