Fort Dunree Military Museum

Fort Dunree

Fort Dunree Military Museum, Inishowen, Co Donegal

Fort Dunree Military Museum – Perched on a headland overlooking Lough Swilly, Fort Dunree is a military museum that incorporates a Napoleonic Martello  tower into more recent World War I defences. The museum complex features a wide range of exhibitions, an audiovisual center, and a cafe housed in a restored forge. Even if you have no interest in military history, it’s worth a trip for the extraordinary views


Contact Details

t: 00353 74 936 1817 w:
e: dunree [at] f:



Dunree Fort is located  on the west coast of the Inishoven Peninsula, facing across Lough Swilly towards Knockalla Mountain on Fanad Peninsula in North Donegal.

The Irish name for Fort Dunree is Dun Fhraoigh which translates as “Fort of the Heather”. This suggests that this cliff top setting has been an important defensive site down through history.The present day fort is located on a rocky promontory  accessed over a natural fissure. The fort was remodeled 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.

Because of its strategic importance protecting the entrance to the deep waters of Lough Swilly, control of Dunree was retained by Britain after independence was only granted to the Irish Republic in 1936


Holiday Homes in the area around Fort Dunree




The Fort Dunree Military Museum was opened to the public in 1986  Using the latest audio visual and interactive technology the rich history and present role of Fort Dunree is fully explained and recreated in vibrant and colourful displays. The visitor will gain an insight into life at Fort Dunree over the years and will appreciate its vital role in coastal defense and  neutrality protection. A range of  restored coastal artillery is also on display

The underground bunkers also house a collection of artifacts that give meaning and insight into the day to day operation of the Fort.

Wildlife and Walks

In its spectacular coastal location Fort Dunree is rich in wildlife, some of it unique to the area. This is detailed in a beautiful wildlife exhibition in the museum.
The natural landscape around Fort Dunree is , without doubt, one of the most scenic parts of the Inishowen Peninsula. A series of signposted footpaths allow the visitor to explore at their own pace. Detailed information boards, shelters, picnic tables and benches help to create a memorable experience whether you are a first time or regular visitor.


Location map for Fort Dunree Military Museum


About Brian Deeney

Helping you find the best Donegal Cottages for a memorable self catering experience in the northwest of Ireland. View all posts by Brian Deeney → This entry was posted in > Visitor Attractions, Ballyliffin, Buncrana, Carndonagh, Clonmany, Malin and tagged , , .

8 Responses to Fort Dunree Military Museum

  1. Gareth Marchant says:

    My Great Grandfather Joe Reid was A Sgt. Mjr with The Royal Regiment of Horse Artillery in Ft.Dunree after W.W.I, my Grandfather was also born in the fort in 1922

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  4. Paul says:

    The Saldanha Suite is the most recent addition to Fort Dunree Military Museum (November 2011).
    The suite is dedicated to the warship HMS Saldanah. On the night of the 14th Dec 1811 this warship was shipwrecked in atrocious weather at Ballymacstocker bay on Lough Swilly with the loss of 256 souls.
    The Musueum is currently home to the “Rockhill Collection”. The “Rockhill Collection” is the result of many years of collection and it displays numerous items of memorabilia belonging to the Defence Forces at home and abroad. It also contains examples of military equipment, uniforms and rank insignia of other nations who have served alongside Irish soldiers on UN, EU, ECMM and NATO led missions

  5. Brian Patrick McLaughlin MS says:

    Wonderful Pictures. My Great Great Grandfather Mike McLaughlin is said to be from Dunree. My Great Grandfather Roger and Uncle Bill came to the us late in the 1800…landing in Boston…then on to Erie Pa US.I would love to visit one day.

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  7. Army Museums says:

    Pictures look amazing :)

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