Doon Fort, County Donegal
Doon Fort, County Donegal, is one of the most spectacularly picturesque heritage sites in Ireland. It is situated on a small island in the middle of Loughadoon, just outside the charming village of Ardara. The site is a large drystone fort, thought to be the residence of the O’Boyle Chieftains, dating to the early medieval period, sometime around c. 800 – 1200 AD. Led by archaeologist Paula Harvey, the community group, Ardara, Glenties and Portnoo (GAP) Heritage and History Group, were established in January 2016 with the aim of helping to preserve the future of Doon Fort in conjunction with Josie McHugh, the landowner. Since becoming part of the Adopt A Monument Scheme, the group have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the site and the area.
The Adopt a Monument Scheme has been working with the local community group to help record the site, manage the vegetation that threatens to undermine the walls, to establish a conservation plan, improve access and interpretation and to help to raise awareness of this wonderful monument.
In 2016, funding was secured to commission an environmental and conservation report of the site. A successful training weekend was held recently in Ardara where the group came together to discuss the tourism potential of the area.
The group hope to receive further funding in 2017 to carry out a geophysical survey of the site, and to begin the process of the conservation of the walls of the fort under guidance and direction from the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.