Minister Moran announces funding of €2 million for major restoration of Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park

13 January 20

Today, on a visit to the Magazine Fort, Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Paschal Donohoe TD., Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform announced funding of €2 million for conservation works to commence in 2020. This marks a significant milestone in the realisation of the restoration and development of the Phoenix Park’s ‘Magazine Fort,’ which dates back to circa 1736.

Minister Donohoe stated ““The Commissioners of Public Works are at an advanced stage in the development of restoration plans for the Magazine Fort and hope to lodge a planning application to develop a bespoke Military History visitor experience for the public. The Magazine Fort is a historic site of note in Dublin city and I am very pleased that with this funding, provided under Project Ireland 2040, a programme of works including roof stabilisation, priority repairs and wall restoration can now be undertaken by the OPW in 2020.”

While the plans include the restoration of the existing parapet walk, Fort walls and ground surfaces, visitor facilities such as restrooms, reception area and a small café are also envisaged. A key element of the restoration project will be the development of a state-of-the-art interpretation.  The new military history experience, when complete, will also include guided tours and historical re-enactments.

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD., Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief said “I am delighted that this project, which I have pursued through my office, is now coming to fruition and that the funds have been made available to commence work on conserving this important piece of our National heritage. I envisage that this restoration, when completed, will offer citizens and visitors alike a wonderful new heritage experience and the increased visitor numbers will benefit the tourism economy of Dublin and Ireland.”

 

Notes to Editors

The Magazine Fort (formerly called the Royal Magazine Fort) has been described as a smaller version of Charles Fort, Kinsale, Co. Cork. The Magazine Fort was constructed from circa 1736 and had been under the continuous control of the Military Authorities until the 1st July 1988 when it was transferred from the Department of Defence to the Office of Public Works.  The Fort was constructed to store gunpowder and small munitions but in more recent times only general army equipment had been stored there until the above transfer to the OPW.

The buildings are of international significance. The involvement of Captain John Corneille (military engineer) and Francis Johnston (architect) in the original design and evolution of the fort lends additional interest. It is the only Powder Magazine in Ireland with original timber floors and vaulted ceilings.

The present site of the Magazine Fort was formerly occupied by Phoenix House, a handsome Jacobean mansion with chapel, stables and a considerable amount of outbuildings along with a garden. It was situated on an eminent location and commanded fine views of the City of Dublin, the Dublin Mountains as well as the Liffey Valley and almost the entire unoccupied lands in a Western direction, thus making it an ideal location for the recreation and relaxation of statesmen.