The Club’s successful Field Trip to the Cork Harbour Coast Defence Forts commenced in the Naval Base, Haulbowline, on Thursday, 23 May, where the 36 participants, were formally received by Commodore Michael Malone Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, and Commander Cormac Rynne, OC Shore Operations.
Availing of the renowned hospitality of the Wardroom Officers’ Mess, which included a pleasant lunch, the Group departed from the Ordnance Pier for Spike Island Fort Mitchell. Spike Island’s classic star-shaped Fort Mitchell, which in the past garrisoned the Headquarters of Coast Defence Artillery, consists of six bastions connected by ramparts, and surrounded by a dry moat and artificial slopes known as glacis.
On arrival, the Group was welcomed by the Curator, Comdt Tom O’Neill (Retd), and by Capt Noel McCarthy AR, 1 Artillery Regiment. Capt McCarthy gave a wonderful presentation and conducted tour, reflecting the depth of his knowledge and the passion for his subject. It is no surprise to the Group that Spike Fort Mitchell was voted Europe’s leading tourist attraction for 2017.
Having arrived in Carrigaline, attendees booked into the Court Hotel, availed of the hotel’s facilities and enjoyed a communal dinner, before retiring at an appropriate hour.
During the dinner, Lt Col Cormac Lalor (Retd), on behalf of Club President Brig Gen Paul Pakenham (Retd), presented guests of honour Comdt Tom O’Neill (Retd) and Comdt Paschal Cullen (Retd) with Artillery Club plaques. Tom was also presented with an Artillery Corps tie. Paschal didn’t get one… he’s already a Gunner!
On Friday 24 May, the Group visited Camden Fort Meagher. Occupying a 45 acre site, the Fort is near Crosshaven, and covers the mouth of Cork Harbour.
Comdt Paschal Cullen (Retd) conducted the Group on a comprehensive guided tour of Camden Fort Meagher, internationally recognised as being one of the finest remaining examples of a classical Coast Artillery Fort in the world.
Prior to departing Camden, participants availed of light refreshments overlooking Cork Harbour.
Photographs courtesy of Cormac Lalor, Dave Betson and Eoin O’Curry
To view slide show, please click on any photograph.