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spider
29th August 2006, 20:33
Can anyone tell me if the buildings at Malin Head were part of a military establishment during WW2 ? The tower was a signalling tower,for shipping, but there are several other smaller buildings. They seem to be made from concrete shuttering, suggesting that they were built cheaply and maybe temporarily.

The word 'EIRE' is still clearly visible marked out on the ground- was this to let German/Allied airmen know that the headland was in neutral Ireland ?

I had photos but Mrs Spider has just informed me that she has deleted them :frown:

Tony Kearns
29th August 2006, 21:45
The coastwatching Service had a unit based at Malin Head, and manned the Look Out Post (LOP) one of 83 positioned around the coast beginning at Ballaghan Point in Co Louth (No. 1) and ending up with Inishowen Head No. 82. No. 83 was in Kerry (no it is not a Kerry joke!) Malin Head was No.80. The LOP is the first small building on the right in the picture. The word EIRE was laid out in rocks or concrete, painted white and was 30 feet high. They were marked thus at the request of the USAAF. The large tower dates back to Napoleonic times and was not used by the DF in WW2. HTH
Tony K

Tony Kearns
30th August 2006, 10:55
Apologies! I meant to post this picture first as it shows the LOP ie the small building which looks like the wheelhouse of a small trawler.
Tony K

Goldie fish
30th August 2006, 17:17
Thats a coastwatching hut from the later days of the emergency. The better ones were equipped with a pot bellied stove.

Tony Kearns
30th August 2006, 18:27
Goldie fish that is an interesting comment. I would like very much if you could name one of the LOP's that had a pot bellied stove. I have visited and photographed very many of the LOP's in all parts of the country over many years and I have never come across one that had a location for a stove. As far as I am aware all were to a more or less standard construction (there were exceptions like Carnsore and Achill ) and had a constructed fireplace which one former coastwatcher explained had just about space for three wet sods of turf. Hard times and a lonely existance. If you know of such a location I would like to visit and photgraph it, all additional information adds to my knowledge.
Tony K

spider
30th August 2006, 18:37
Thanks for that lads.

Was the coast watching service a branch of the Navy or a seperate service ?

That part of the coast must have seen a lot of activity with war-time convoys.

Curragh Plains
31st August 2006, 16:03
Earlier in August the people in Beara tourism took an interesting initiative by bringing attention to the approx. 200th anniversary of the Napoleonic era signal towers built around the coast. See www.signaltowersireland.com.

For some good ariticles on the Coastwatching service and the look out posts see The Irish Sword Emergency Era edition (article by Owen Quinn) and also the website of the Waterford County Museum for some material on the LOP at Ardmore.

spider
31st August 2006, 20:39
CP, thanks for that. The site on the signal towers is very interesting.

There are two Martello towers guarding the entrance to Lough Foyle, possibly part of the same chain as the Malin Head signal tower. Would have caused big problems for anyone wanting to get past Magilligan Point uninvited !!

http://www.jochenlueg.freeuk.com/english/mtower.htm

Were any of the Napoleonic towers used by the coastwatching service, or were new constructions built at each site?

Tony, are there any of the 'EIRE' markings still preserved apart from the one at Malin ?

Curragh Plains
1st September 2006, 01:57
That's an interesting question Spider. It would be interesting to get a full listing of the EIRE markings which are still extant. I have seen the following over the years -- excuse the rather vague recollections ( I am sure Tony will be able to give precise location information):

Inishmore Aran islands -- marked on Tim Robinsons map

Achill

Donegal near Slive League I think.


I understand that some of the Eire symbols were made from whitewashed stones; others were from sods turned and limed. I imagine the former survived better than the latter.

Although the LOPs were of fairly basic construction quite a few have survived the battering of the weather: one near Ballyconneely, near Clifden and the one at Howth Head come to mind.

spider
1st September 2006, 21:55
CP, thanks again. It would be nice to see some of those sites preserved. I was surprised to see the markings still very clearly visible at Malin.

I must try to get to some of the sites you have listed and this time make sure my photos don't get erased !!

This is a place I hope to get to soon- www.dunree.pro.ie

Looks interesting and good to see it so well preserved.

Tony Kearns
1st September 2006, 22:15
The Marine and Coastwatching Service, originally designated Coast Watching and Marine Branch and then just Coast Watching Service, was established very early in September 1939. Col. S O'Higgins was the officer i/c. It was formed from the Volunteers and each LOP was manned by locals who were very much aware of the locations conditions, including weather ,tides (important when mines were adrift and flotsam from torpedoed ships etc. were likely to land. It also included reporting all aircraft movements.
Yes Spider, Malin was one of the busiest LOPs both for shipping and aircraft movements and also there was a wirless station at Malin also at Valentia.
There are still some marked EIRE sgns around the country. About 20 years ago there was a huge gorse fire on Howth Head which revealed a fine example but over the years it disappeared and is now gone. The one marked in the attachemnt is actually at Achill Head. I know that there is also one remaining at St. Johns Point in Donegal as well as those listed in the other postings
The LOP attached is at Rosroe at the entrance to Killary Harbour and the 3rd attachment shows the tiny fireplace in the LOP. It would be nice to see one preserved as a reminder of those difficult times. HTH
Tony K

spider
2nd September 2006, 11:31
Tony, Thank You for your reply, those are excellent photos, if I manage to get any I will put them on here.

Tony Kearns
2nd September 2006, 14:35
You are welcome Spider.
TonyK

Hugo M
3rd September 2006, 17:14
There is an 'EIRE' marking on the Dursey island, just down the signal tower

Curragh Plains
5th September 2006, 01:12
yes, tony, that is a fine idea. There should be at least one LOP and one EIRE marker formally preserved. If I am talking to some Heritage Council people I must float that idea.

Mind you sometimes the best that can be achieved is that these things would be preserved by record and in that way you have done great work. I know the pier at Rosroe well but never quite made it out to the LOP.

A slightly different subject but still on the question of Emergency era built heritage how many examples survive of concrete pillboxes (as opposed to observation huts)?

I can think of the following examples:

a number at Oldbridge on the north side of the Boyne

one at Monasterevin at the Barrow bridge

one, I think, on a rocky outcrop on the Tramore road out of Waterford.

Within memory but demolished by building works there were examples at:

the Sallins road out of Naas (old rail bridge)

the Dublin entrance to Portlaoise (at the ridge cemetery).

(In offering these examples I am discounting ones located in obvious military property such as a number on the Curragh).

Finally, as another aside again, I see a new book out on the Naval Service by one Aidan McIvor which perhaps has some information on the Coastwatching service.

spider
5th September 2006, 20:23
CP,do you have that books title please ?

Steamy Window
6th September 2006, 14:33
yes, tony, that is a fine idea. There should be at least one LOP and one EIRE marker formally preserved. If I am talking to some Heritage Council people I must float that idea.

Mind you sometimes the best that can be achieved is that these things would be preserved by record and in that way you have done great work. I know the pier at Rosroe well but never quite made it out to the LOP.

A slightly different subject but still on the question of Emergency era built heritage how many examples survive of concrete pillboxes (as opposed to observation huts)?

I can think of the following examples:

a number at Oldbridge on the north side of the Boyne



There is also one at Mell, on the outskirts of Drogheda (not too far from Oldbridge)

I believe someone in the Drogheda area has done a survey of pillboxes in the local area.

On a related note, spotted a book in Easons of Limerick today on coastal fortifications in Ireland. It had "The Shannon Line" in the title :confused:

Tony Kearns
7th September 2006, 22:37
CP I hope that you are successful in talking with the Heritage Council. It would be nice to see one preseved perhaps in an area of a local museum and included as part of a heritage centre (it is a pity that the LOP at Hook Head right beside the lighthouse was demolished.)
I fear that the pillboxes are fast disappearing. Many years ago they were removed from the approaches to Baldonnel and Dublin Airport. There is at least one at Gormanston picture included taken a few years ago and some overlooking the harbour at Rosslare.
Perhaps the National Museum at Collins Bks woud consider constucting an example of a LOP at the Museum. They were of very simple construction and this could be achived at very little expense. It would illustrate the conditions endured by those volunteers at the isolated locations manned in all weathers.

spider
7th September 2006, 23:04
I agree with you lads and CP i also hope things go well in your negotiations with the council.

I live North of the border and many of the WW2 buildings here are being demolished/allowed to rot.

I just think its a real shame. Prime example- St Angelo airport, Co. Fermanagh an important WW2 base. Some idiot demolished all the buildings dating from that time

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/fermanagh/st_angelo_replies.shtml

Another example.. Mount Pleasant house, Newtownards, Co. Down. Family home of Blair Mayne SAS. Burned to the ground by vandals. It was hoped that it would be turned into a museum in his memory.

I would love to see an exhibit on this subject in the museum in Dublin,I hope to visit there soon.

Hugo,Steamy, thanks for the info. re the other sites and if I come across that book I will be buying it.

Curragh Plains
21st September 2006, 18:40
Incidentally, the pillboxes at Oldbridge were illustrated some years ago in a publication on the monuments of the Boyne Valley, I think Ms.Geraldine Stout, archaeologist, was the author. This is important as it situates them within the continuity of Irish built heritage in such an historic location.

Curragh Plains
9th October 2006, 19:51
I think there is a pillbox at Rosslare Harbour, wedged in to the cliff above the port. Not certain but thought I say a mention of same.

More curious is the 'beehive' type concrete shelter which is on display at the National Museum. I saw photographs of same in a book on Ireland during the Emergency -- De Valera was emerging from one which according to the caption was at Kilbride camp. Were these just a training thing confined to Kilbride or were they more dispersed?

DeV
9th October 2006, 21:38
I think there is a pillbox at Rosslare Harbour, wedged in to the cliff above the port. Not certain but thought I say a mention of same.


Its a Coastwatching Service hut.

Truck Driver
9th October 2006, 21:41
There's a pillbox on one of the approach roads to the Curragh Camp - I think it's the
road which brings you up to the East end of the camp, at UNTSI

Curragh Plains
10th October 2006, 16:43
Yes, Truck Driver, there are quite a number around the camp and on the plain south of the motorway. Still have not managed to find the one on the Ardenode road out of Ballymore Eustace.

Curragh Plains
15th November 2006, 01:19
Just to return to our cataloguing of Emergency era pillboxes ... I think I remember an example at the bridge at Butlersbridge, Co. Cavan.

Steamy Window
25th June 2007, 00:27
Incidentally, the pillboxes at Oldbridge were illustrated some years ago in a publication on the monuments of the Boyne Valley, I think Ms.Geraldine Stout, archaeologist, was the author. This is important as it situates them within the continuity of Irish built heritage in such an historic location.

I know of 3 pillboxes in the Oldbridge area, must grab a camera sometime and take some photos. One of them is almost underneath the new Boyne bridge, another is close to the Battle of the Boyne site, for those of you who are interested.

farlee
25th June 2007, 01:40
I remember seeing a series of pill boxes overlooking the ferry terminal in Rosslare in the late 1970's, they were partially buried and some local children were digging around them. Also when I was a child we used to play in a pillbox overlooking the bridge in Waterford, it was on the grounds of the Ardree hotel at the top of the cliff above the train station. There is also a pill box overlooking the harbour in Dunmore East and I believe there is also a coast watch station there aswell.

farlee
25th June 2007, 01:49
There is a nice photo of the pillbox on the Blackrock at the Tramore road on this Forum. http://www.upthedeise.com/waterfordmessageboard/viewtopic.php?t=101&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45
Does anyone Know when this one was built? It looks to me like it may predate WW2.

GoneToTheCanner
25th June 2007, 04:37
Hi all
there is /was an LOP at Fenit, as I visited when I was 15, which was 26 years ago now....there are two pillboxes at Poulaphouca Dam, both visible from the road, one of which is in the grounds of the Poulaphouca Hotel and the other near the water tower on the west side of the N81, oposite the Dam.....there is a partial pillbox at Dublin Airport, right at the perimeter track, where it turns around the 29 end of Rwy 29. There is a builder's yard right alongside.....I saw the EIRE sign up in Malin Head once, about ten years ago. It's easily missed as the grass grows over it very quickly.
regards
GttC

farlee
30th June 2007, 00:45
Just came across another pillbox, this one is in Kilmacthomas, County Waterford,
http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=WA&regno=22805045

GoneToTheCanner
30th June 2007, 02:57
Hi there
I'd hate to have to depend on that for protection!
regards
GttC

farlee
30th June 2007, 21:38
Hi there
I'd hate to have to depend on that for protection!
regards
GttC

I must take a closer look at it next time I get home, I wonder if the stonework on the outside conceals a reinforced concrete core, and it looks like it was designed to blend in with an existing stone wall.

farlee
2nd July 2007, 02:47
Incidentally, the pillboxes at Oldbridge were illustrated some years ago in a publication on the monuments of the Boyne Valley, I think Ms.Geraldine Stout, archaeologist, was the author. This is important as it situates them within the continuity of Irish built heritage in such an historic location.

There is a sample of Geraldine Stouts book on this link, some good info and photos aswell,

http://books.google.com/books?id=SwMceBNaB4cC&dq=geraldine+stout&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=E1IDSxFr_x&sig=-i_NCHGZ8wPcT6awA3ifin3x6Tg#PRA2-PT95,M1

Eddie Dillon
16th July 2007, 21:49
I'm looking for information on the ruined fort on Sybil Point near Ballyferriter in Co. Kerry. It stands near the famous Three Sisters and I'm wondering if it is an old Napoleonic era fort or from World War 2 era. The name of it may be Comhartha Tower although I cant be sure.

farlee
18th July 2007, 04:07
I'm looking for information on the ruined fort on Sybil Point near Ballyferriter in Co. Kerry. It stands near the famous Three Sisters and I'm wondering if it is an old Napoleonic era fort or from World War 2 era. The name of it may be Comhartha Tower although I cant be sure.

I could only find a couple of references to it on Google, I'm sure sombody on here knows more about it,

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/16986 (http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/16986)

http://www.saraphina.com/moseyirl/101998/101998hike_to_tur_comhartha.htm (http://www.saraphina.com/moseyirl/101998/101998hike_to_tur_comhartha.htm)

Eddie Dillon
18th July 2007, 17:07
That's the one farlee, I couldn't find anything more about it myself. I was up there the other day though, it'd be interesting to get some more information about it. Thanks for your help

Hugo M
17th August 2007, 17:27
I have just started a new thread "Signal towers" with the same question about the modified signal tower at Sybil Head. I shall upload some pictures of this place.

farlee
28th September 2007, 03:03
Here's a few pics of the pillbox overlooking Dunmore East harbour,

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL908/4028599/11680925/280511128.jpg

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL908/4028599/11680925/280511120.jpg

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL908/4028599/11680925/280511114.jpg

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL908/4028599/11680925/280511111.jpg

I remember seeing another pillbox set into the cliffs on the north west side of the harbour, but the cliff face is now overgrown.

Steamy Window
9th April 2009, 13:18
There is a sample of Geraldine Stouts book on this link, some good info and photos aswell,

http://books.google.com/books?id=SwMceBNaB4cC&dq=geraldine+stout&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=E1IDSxFr_x&sig=-i_NCHGZ8wPcT6awA3ifin3x6Tg#PRA2-PT95,M1

Pillbox section from the Geraldine Stout book (eventually got around to scanning); I've also included the relevant endnotes at the back of the book.

http://news.webshots.com/photo/2965529960077968554yGZOXR
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2284841720077968554lmUcxs
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2259379930077968554wwkMCS
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2476995900077968554QulIFB
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2053255370077968554UdvlqO
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2047824920077968554DHicJZ
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2786637750077968554FTpGkM

Jetjock
22nd April 2009, 12:56
From a thread on flyinginireland.com. From a collection of photo's taken by a microlight pilot last weekend. Can anyone identify it's location?

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_667n09X2xsk/SexI5VPWsZI/AAAAAAAABTw/NItlDUZOR8o/s640/IMG_0700.JPG

Steamy Window
10th May 2009, 23:36
A few weeks ago, myself and a friend of mine were down around Oldbridge, Co. Meath, and came across 2 of the pillboxes mentioned in the Geraldine Stout book (see above). The pictures are too big to attach into the thread, so see below.

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2327255340077968554CtxjoJ
Viewed from road

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2612530740077968554RvruoQ
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2660415750077968554Rlfbyn
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2099487920077968554YbvUiv
View from mouth of pillbox

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2084425810077968554YarRSA
Entrance to pillbox

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2564170070077968554xRFBWL
Looking towards new M1 bridge


The second pillbox is almost underneath the M1 bridge.
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2547322290077968554nkFDUJ

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2038031930077968554OSLnww
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2399706320077968554iEwiaz
Quite overgrown

Tony Kearns
12th May 2009, 11:06
From a thread on flyinginireland.com. From a collection of photo's taken by a microlight pilot last weekend. Can anyone identify it's location?

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_667n09X2xsk/SexI5VPWsZI/AAAAAAAABTw/NItlDUZOR8o/s640/IMG_0700.JPG

Jetjock,
No 82 is Inishowen Head.
Regards
Tony K

Jetjock
16th May 2009, 20:36
Thanks Tony!

Test Pilot
20th May 2009, 09:36
This is Knockadoon signal tower and look out post.

There is some good detail still surviving on the tower, especially the machicolation. I could see from the interior that the upper rooms were paneled at some stage, two fire places, internal drain pipe from roof, iron bars on lower windows, and four recesses for what appears to have been stowage. The outer walls were clad in slate. As with all these buildings, the weak point was the wall that had the chimney flues.


I also included the coastguard station as it still has its original defenses attached, namely the bit with the musket loops still in place.

Enjoy the pics!

golden rivet
20th May 2009, 15:00
This is Knockadoon signal tower and look out post.

There is some good detail still surviving on the tower, especially the machicolation. I could see from the interior that the upper rooms were paneled at some stage, two fire places, internal drain pipe from roof, iron bars on lower windows, and four recesses for what appears to have been stowage. The outer walls were clad in slate. As with all these buildings, the weak point was the wall that had the chimney flues.


I also included the coastguard station as it still has its original defenses attached, namely the bit with the musket loops still in place.

Enjoy the pics!
interesting bit of history nice to see the neighbours only painted half the chimney

Test Pilot
20th May 2009, 18:03
interesting bit of history nice to see the neighbours only painted half the chimney


Well spotted, GR. I had wondered if the neighbours were on good terms or not.

Curragh Plains
8th July 2009, 20:10
Re post 22 April 2009 by Jetjock, and photography of the 'Eire 82' sign, appears in exceptionally good condition for a stone alignment that is more than 50 years old on such a harshly exposed location. Was the lettering restored or repainted in some way. That would seem unlikely given the difficult terrain involved but hard to understand how it is not showing the effects of weather beating. Other Eire symbols around the coast (eg on Achill) are just about distinguisable.

armedboarder
8th July 2009, 21:56
http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=4499&stc=1&d=1247082679

Tony Kearns
8th July 2009, 23:01
LOP no.62 is Erris Head
Tony K

morpheus
20th November 2009, 16:15
CP I hope that you are successful in talking with the Heritage Council. It would be nice to see one preseved perhaps in an area of a local museum and included as part of a heritage centre (it is a pity that the LOP at Hook Head right beside the lighthouse was demolished.)
I fear that the pillboxes are fast disappearing. Many years ago they were removed from the approaches to Baldonnel and Dublin Airport. There is at least one at Gormanston picture included taken a few years ago and some overlooking the harbour at Rosslare.
Perhaps the National Museum at Collins Bks woud consider constucting an example of a LOP at the Museum. They were of very simple construction and this could be achived at very little expense. It would illustrate the conditions endured by those volunteers at the isolated locations manned in all weathers.

There is another at gormanston, it situated directly on the railway bridge that leads to the farm style gate that opens onto the lane for the ranges - smelly and dirty but grateful to sit in it when doing security on rainy days.

Also if you go down to the beach that is situated UNDER the iron bridge over the delvin rivers mouth, and turn left and walk towards ben head (which is quite a distance from there) keep looking up on your left and you will see a concrete lookout point which looks out over the sea halway to ben head, there is usually a rope you can use to climb up the cliff face into it.

Finally in the fields around the range there are one or two more pill boxes discernable but i have not been in them.
:biggrin:

moggy
21st November 2009, 23:32
CP,do you have that books title please ?

Try 'Guarding Neutral Ireland' the coast watching service and military intelligence 1939-1945 By Michael Kennedy came out march 09 very good book
has all info on location's of the lop's and their history.:neek:

VosperM1
24th November 2009, 12:00
Hi Guys,
There was a coast watch building on the Kerry coast opposite Dingle Penninsula between Killorglin and Caherciveen, saw it years ago. Did it have a number like the rest.
Cheers