Dun Fhraoigh in Irish means, “Fort of the Heather” and indicates that this site has been an important defensive site down through history. Fort Dunree is located about seven miles north of Buncrana in the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. The site is situated along the shores of Lough Swilly commanding a majestic view of the Lough and its shorelines.
The Fort Dunree heritage museum complex was originally opened to the public in 1986, and has provided interest for the tourists of all ages ever since. It has also been a source of great pleasure and reminiscence for those of a military background, whether having served at the post or just been involved in its military history.
The Fort stood guard during World War 1 whilst Admiral Lord Jellicoe’s fleet anchored in Lough Swilly prior to engaging the German Navy at the Battle of Jutland. Control of Fort Dunree was transferred to the Irish Free State just before World War 2 and Irish forces were stationed here to prevent the states at war violating the country’s neutrality.
A visit to Fort Dunree will include a video film presentation in an audio – visual theatre, access to museum displays which fully demonstrate life at Fort Dunree, showing its vital role in coastal defence and neutrality protection; and a complete expose of coastal artillery.
The underground bunkers house a collection of artifacts giving meaning and insight into the operation of this excellent relic of military history.
In its natural spectacular setting, Fort Dunree is rich in wildlife, some of it unique to the area. This is further explained in the museum, and admirably supported by a beautiful wildlife exhibition with sea life and birdlife displays.
Fort Dunree has undergone extensive refurbishment in recent years with the development of a network of walking paths, the restoration of former military buildings to create a wildlife exhibition and further military displays, it is well worth a visit.