The first part of the Artillery Club’s Field Trip to Fort Dunree was a visit to HQ 28 Infantry Battalion, Finner Camp on 25 May, 2016. As the Battalion Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Stephan Howard was operationally deployed in support of the visit of Prince Charles to Donegal, the Club was received by Commandant John Martin, 2 i/c 28 Infantry Battalion.
Commandant Martin was the Artillery Club’s Guest of Honour at lunch, following which Lieutenant Owen Tully and Rev Fr Alan Ward CF brought us on a conducted tour of the impressive facilities within the Camp. In recognition of the hospitality and support received, the President presented the Artillery Club’s Plaque to the Officers’ Mess.
Thereafter, attendees booked into the Innishowen Gateway Hotel, availed of the hotel facilities and enjoyed a communal dinner, before retiring at an appropriate hour.
On 26 May, we were kindly received in Fort Dunree by Mr Dermot McLaughlin Vice Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Directors and Mr Richard Doherty Museum Manager. Colonel Brian O’Reilly (Retd) formally welcomed the Artillery Club to the Military Museum and provided us with a wide-ranging brief of the evolution of the unique facility into its present configuration, located in stunning countryside. Apparently, Fort Dunree has become a unique location to celebrate weddings.
Colonel O’Reilly (Retd) was joined by the former Director of Artillery, Colonel Jim Prendergast (Retd) for an extensive tour of the Fort, its coast artillery guns, underground bunkers, the Inishowen Friends of Messines Memorial, the Military Museum, the Saldanha Suite housing the Rockhill collection of military memorabilia, and the Wildlife Discovery Room.
Following lunch in Fort Dunree, the group drove to Derry where it received an inclusive tour of the Walls of Derry provided by Mr John McNulty, with Richard Doherty in attendance.
The Club remains grateful of the invitation to visit Fort Dunree Military Museum on its 30th Anniversary and sincerely appreciates the advice and support provided by Colonel Brian O’Reilly (Retd) during the planning and execution of this memorable activity, supported by Colonel Jim Prendergast (Retd). In this context, the President presented the Club Plaque to Mr McLaughlan, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors – Fort Dunree Military Museum. (www.dunree.pro.ie)