Wicklow Head Coast-watching service 1939-1945

Wicklow Head Lookout Post

The WW2 Lookout Post at Wicklow head which today houses Marine VHF Radio equipment, was one of 82 practically identical Lookout Posts that were situated around the entire coastline of the Irish Republic.  They were built at the outbreak of war in 1939 by the newly independent Irish Defence Force and manned by Defence Force Personnel and volunteers from the local community.  Their purpose was to observe and report on the aerial and shipping activity that was happening in the skies and seas surrounding neutral Ireland.  Manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the entire duration of the war, they played an important role in displaying and protecting Irish neutrality in the world-wide conflict.

The passage of time has not been kind to many of these buildings and as unprotected structures they are slowly disappearing from our landscape.

I am currently undertaking a Masters degree in archaeology and am focusing on these sites as the subject of my thesis.  The aim of my project is to create an archaeologically record of these buildings and their current state of preservation.  An important part of the project will be a case study of the Lookout Post site at Wicklow Head which will hopefully include information provided by people who may have experienced this building in use.  This will facilitate comparison of the archaeological evidence of these buildings with both the historical record and the human experience.  It is hoped to be able to gain a greater insight to both the period and the building through the thoughts and stories of those who have a personal memory of it.

Can you help?

I am looking for anyone who may have additional information on the Wicklow Head Lookout Post that was constructed at the beginning of the second world war.

If you or a close family member or friend worked at the Wicklow Head Lookout Post during the war years or if you have any information regarding the building that you would be willing to share, I would be delighted to meet with you.  Please contact glynis.ryan@ucdconnect.ie


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