Design work has begun on exciting new additions to Donegal’s iconic Fort Dunree site.
The military fort and museum is set to gain a number of new developments to improve visitor facilities and walkways in the years to come. It comes after a new state of the art Virtual Reality experience was launched onsite this week.
€12.5million has been invested in the transformation project. A proposed Funicular (which will be the only one in Ireland) will offer visitors a “thrilling ascent” to the High Fort, whilst its descent will provide breath-taking views of Lough Swilly and its surroundings.
A new glass walkway is also in the pipeline, bridging two elements of the site and providing spectacular views of the natural environment. Some of the vacant buildings will be restored and renewed, while others will be removed where necessary. There will be new pathways for visitors and the car park will also be expanded to provide additional spaces.
The initial design team meeting took place at the coastal Inishowen site on Wednesday, with staff from the museum, Donegal County Council, Failte Ireland, Tandem Design, Taylor Mc Carney Architects and Keys & Monaghan Architects in attendance.
The project is due to be developed over the next 18 months, with construction expected to commence in late 2023/early 2024.
The development of the Fort Dunree Visitor Experience was allocated €9.3million by Fáilte Ireland under the 2021 Platforms for Growth 1 – Heritage and Cultural Attractions capital investment scheme, with an additional €3.2million in match funding committed by Donegal County Council, providing a total project investment of €12.5 million.
Fort Dunree is located about seven miles north of Buncrana on 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 over the subsequent years it has provided a fascinating and unique experience for visitors of all ages.
The new transformation project aims to make Fort Dunree Military Museum a must-see location for visitors to Donegal and Inishowen.
The project will physically link the 3 unique elements of Fort Dunree: Lough Swilly below the Fort; the Promontory Fort and the ‘High Guns’ Fort; provide immersive heritage and cultural touchpoints with a new route that opens up the site, with viewing points via modern interventions such as the proposed Funicular (the only one in Ireland) and interpretive installations, including the development of the Dunree Lighthouse.