Lough Doon Ring Fort Donegal
Doon Fort is an ancient ring fort on Doon Lough in the townland of Drumboghill which is 9km kilometres north of Ardara and not far from the coastal villages of Narin and Portnoo. It’s situated very close to the coast and the drive to the lough is beautiful on the small back roads. The famous Kilclooney Dolmen is located nearby.
This stone fort, dating back to 3000BC, has walls standing about four and half metres high in places and 3.6 metres thick at the base. It covers the island almost completely. Within the fort are steps terraces and passages.
Denis’s Cottage is a restored farm cottage with a wonderfully tranquil location along a narrow winding road halfway between the Heritage town of Ardara and the coastal Town of Killybegs.
The fort itself is on the land of a local farming family who until recent times used it as a walled garden. During the holiday season (summer) they have small boats available for hire to allow access to the island for a closer look.
The ancient ruins of Doon Fort is evidence that this area has been inhabited for many centuries. In 1909 a gold Lunula (a fine piece of decorative jewellery), dating from 1600BC approx., was found in the area between Doon Lough and Narin village. It was found by a man digging turf, who tossed it aside thinking it was from a coffin. That night at the Portnoo hotel he told of his find and a clergyman from Liverpool bought it from him for 30 shillings. It was brought to England and later returned to Ireland and is now on display at the National Museum in Dublin. A replica of this Lunula can be seen in the local Dolmen Centre.
According to local legend the O’Boyle family occupied the fort from the 10th to the 16th centuries. The last O’Boyle chieftain Conor O’Boyle was slain here at the fort in the year 1530 by a rival O’Boyle group.