Donegal’s Historic Maritime heritage brought to life

Three new maritime historical virtual reality experiences were officially unveiled by Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Liam Blaney at Fanad Lighthouse, Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium & Fort Dunree. 

The three Virtual Reality experiences have been created as part of the EU funded TIDE project.

They include ‘The Storm, The Sea – The Saldanha’ at Fanad Lighthouse, the ‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’ at Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium and the ‘Beware! Convoy Below World War 1’ at Fort Dunree.


Cathaoirleach, Cllr Liam Blaney, welcomed these new experiences and said they offer unique tourism experiences on the Wild Atlantic Way.

“They build on what Donegal has to offer visitors coming to the county.

“They are creating a new tourism product that supports and enhances our existing attractions ensuring we offer an unforgettable visitor experience,” he said.

The chair of each Municipal District welcomed visiting guests to each of the locations including Cllr. Donal Mandy Kelly, Mayor of Letterkenny-Milford MD and Cllr. Paul Canning, Cathaoirleach of Inishowen MD.

‘Beware! Convoy Below World War 1’ VR experience at Fort Dunree

Representatives from each of the centres also spoke at the event including Raymond Moore Chair of Fanad Lighthouse, Rosemarie Moulden, Manager Inishowen Maritime Museum, John McCarter, Chair of Fort Dunree and Anne Marie McLaughlin spoke on behalf of lead partner Ernact.

The events were moderated by Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development, IS & Emergency Services, Donegal County Council.


Speaking at the launch of the VR experience at Fanad Lighthouse Mayor of Letterkenny and Milford MD, Cllr. Donal Mandy Kelly said Fanad Lighthouse is one of only three signature points along the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal and has become a hugely iconic attraction for this part of the County.

“This new virtual reality experience, ‘The Storm, The Sea, The Saldanha’, will add to the lighthouse experience and by  focusing on a key event in the history of Fanad which actually led to the construction and opening of this Lighthouse in 1817, this is a really worthwhile experience for both locals and visitors,” he said.

Speaking about the Spanish Armada VR experience which is being hosted at Inishowen Maritime Museum, Cathaoirleach of Inishowen MD, Cllr Paul Canning said this new virtual reality experience, ‘Wrath of the Atlantic – Wrecks of the Armada’ takes us back to the time of the Spanish Armada that is still widely spoken about.

Anne Marie McLaughlin from Ernact, the lead partner for this project said The 7 Atlantic regions currently involved in the project are Donegal, Derry, Cantabria in Spain, & the Madeira islands, all of which are represented by local government and tourism experts.

“Then we have Devon, which is represented by their County Archaeologist & partners from the University of Cadiz, are experts in underwater archaeology and maritime heritage management.

“Technology expertise is provided by CLARTÉ, who are leading players in VR and A.R. technology in France,” she said.

Emagine Media Ltd created two of the Virtual Reality experiences on display at Fanad Lighthouse and at Inishowen Maritime Museum while Clarte, project partners in France created the World War I experience which is currently on display at Fort Dunree.

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