Monday 18 February 2019

Rosslare ghost fort stirs memories of days long past

Rosslare fort
Rosslare fort
Rosslare Fort today
Sheil family thatched cottage on Rosslare Fort

By David Tucker

The descendants of a family featured in an article on the submerged Rosslare Fort in last week's issue of this newspaper, say interest in it never wanes and while many people are intrigued by the story others are finding out about it for the first time.

'The photos which accompanied your piece were of our grandparents Jack & Mary Anne Sheil and our great grandparents Edward & Anastasia Sheil,' said Anne Sheil from Rosslare Harbour.

'The Sheils lived in the thatched cottage, often visible on maps of the Fort. Many of the local seafaring families can trace their ancestry back to Rosslare Fort, families such as the Wickhams, Duggans, Walshes and others,' said Anne.

She said the fort can be seen at various levels, depending on the wind, tide and after-effects of storms.

'In September, 2009, we took a trip out there when the remains of the buildings were much more visible than they are at the moment.

'It was a weird and wonderful feeling to be walking where our great grandparents and grandparents had lived and worked for many years, on a ground that appears and disappears depending on the mood of the sea,' said Anne.

The fort, which was once home to 30 families, was finally abandoned in 1925 after the sea breached its defences.

In recent days it has been visible, with members of Wexford lifeboat taking some extraordinary pictures as they clambered on its ruins.

Wexford People

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