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An 18th century fort in Phoenix Park is to be renovated and turned into a visitor attraction

Under the plan, the entire Magazine Fort will be repaired and restored after Dublin City Council granted planning permission.

image (1) A CGI image of the restored Magazine Fort Source: Office of Public Works

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL have approved plans by the Office of Public Works (OPW) to restore the Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park and for it to be turned into a visitor attraction.

The OPW filed for planning permission in December to restore the former military ammunition store and permission was granted at the end of June.

The fort, which was built in 1737, was used by the British forces to store both gunpowder and ammunition. There were several occasions where the fort was raided, including on Easter Monday 1916 during the Easter Rising.

It was taken over by the Irish Defence Forces in 1922 after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, but the site itself was demilitarised in the 1980s and has since fallen into disrepair.

Under the plan, the entire Magazine Fort will be repaired and restored to allow for the public to visit.

In a statement to The Journal, the OPW said: “The Office of Public Works (OPW) has extensive plans for the restoration and re-development of the Magazine Fort, Phoenix Park, and was delighted to receive the necessary planning permission from Dublin City Council.”

“The OPW is currently tendering for the Structural Stabilisation and Repair Works to the rampart walls, and some other buildings which have been prioritised for conservation attention.”

According to the OPW, construction at the Magazine Fort is slated to begin in early 2023.

Under the approved plans, there will be repair and conservation of the Johnston Ravelin building within the Magazine Fort, which contained officers and sergeants quarters, a sentry box and the men’s hut.

magazine fort 503 Exterior walls of the Magazine Fort Source: Sam Boal

The work includes re-roofing and repairing the outside brickwork of the building, with the outside courtyard set to be refurbished with some salvaged gates and railings.

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The officers and sergeant quarters are set to be turned into visitor and staff facilities, with a visitor reception, tea room and locker room included.

A metal walkway within the fort is also being planned to allow visitors to walk along both the ground level and along the ramparts, looking out towards Phoenix Park.

The Bakery Building will be turned into an exhibition space, with room for visitors to gather in larger groups.

The Magazine vaults are also set to be turned into exhibition spaces, with “immersive audio-visual installations” within two of the three vaults.

The Magazine Fort had opened for guided tours in 2016 as part of the Decade of Centenaries but these have since been cancelled and are not scheduled to resume until further notice.

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Tadgh McNally

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