Crosshaven’s Camden Fort Meagher postpones re-opening until 2021

July 31st, 2020 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The volunteers had a host of special events planned to mark their first decade in operation. (Photo: Tom Swanton)

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A host of special events had been planned to mark the tenth anniversary of the stunning tourist attraction and haven for history buffs which is run by a very small team of dedicated volunteers

ONE of Cork’s leading tourist attractions, Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven – which was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year – has confirmed that it will not now be re-opening until next year.

Run by a small team of dedicated volunteers, the historic fort usually opens at weekends from June until September.

But recenlty a spokesperson posted online that it was a difficult decision not to open the venue until next year.

‘After careful consideration we realised it would not be possible to get the fort to a point where it is ready to welcome visitors while ensuring everyone’s safety in the limited time we have left in the summer.’

The volunteers had been working on opening up several new areas, as well as some extra attractions, to add to the overall visitor experience, until the lockdown in March paused all work.

‘When the order came we, like everyone else, had to drop tools, leaving all the jobs unfinished and untouched until now. The problem we will have when we return is that we will find ourselves back at the stage where we left everything in March with several months’ work remaining to get the place ready for visitors,’ said the post.

The volunteers and staff at the fort would also have needed to carry out  a considerable amount of further changes to ensure everyone’s safety and to comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines.

‘The fort is operated by a small group of dedicated volunteers who have worked pretty much every weekend for 10 years to get us to where we are. But today we have come to the realisation that to carry out this amount of work in such a short time while keeping everyone safe is not going to be possible – even for our amazing crew,’ said the spokesperson.

‘To not open this year is especially difficult, as 2020 marks the 10th anniversary since we opened the fort to the public for the first time and started the work to bring it back to its former glory.’

The volunteers had a host of special events planned to mark their first decade in operation.

Newly-elected chair of the Carrigaline Municipal District, Fine Gael councillor Aidan Lombard said he is very sorry to hear that the fort is not opening this year.

‘Camden Fort is only open due to the huge amount of work done by volunteers and it brings tourism into our area on a weekly basis,’ said Cllr Lombard.

And he added that community-run attractions need more support. ‘I think voluntary-run tourism destinations have not been supported enough during this pandemic. They are a real driver in our tourism dependent economy and we need them more than ever now,’ he said.

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