Cork, as a harbour city of strategic significance, has always been at the epicentre of military turmoil in Ireland.
From the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 through to the War of Independence and Civil War of 1919-1922, Cork has played a major part in every troubled chapter of the nation’s history. The city and environs are dotted with buildings and monuments which exemplify this rich heritage. Gaelic and Anglo-Norman tower houses sit with star-shaped forts and martello towers and in the suburb of Ballincollig lies the now dormant Gunpowder Mills, pivotal to the campaigns of the Royal Navy during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The 17th century Elizabeth Fort, also provides a fascinating insight into Cork’s military past. Cork today is home to the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service, situated on Haulbowline Island in the inner harbour, itself a site of historical significance.