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This article is about the place in Irelandmarker. For the city in the United Statesmarker, see Duncannonmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker.

Duncannon ( ) is a village in southwest County Wexfordmarker, Irelandmarker. Bordered to the west by Waterford harbour and sitting on a rocky promontory jutting into the channel is the strategically prominent Duncannon Fort which dominates the village.

Primarily a fishing village, Duncannon also relies heavily on tourism and is situated on the clearly signposted and very scenic Ring of Hook drive. Duncannon boasts a mile long, blue flag recipient golden beach and is a very popular spot with locals and tourists alike.

Duncannon Fort, which was built in 1588 incorporates a maritime museum, Arts centre, café and craft shop and is open daily to visitors from June to September. Guided tours are available. Cinema buffs might be interested to know that Duncannon and Fort was the location for the opening scenes of the 2002 remake of 'The Count of Monte Cristo', starring Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris.


According to legend, the settlement at Duncannon dates back to the time of Fionn mac Cumhaill (pop: Finn McCool) and the Fianna in the 3rd century AD.

Duncannon was of vital strategic importance as its fort commanded the bay giving sea access to Waterfordmarker Harbour. As a result it was centrally involved in wars and sieges during the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the Irish Confederate Wars (1641-1652), the fort at Duncannon was initially occupied by English soldiers and used as a base for an attack on nearby Redmond's Hall (now Loftus Hall). During this period it was besieged three times. In 1645 it was taken by an Irish Confederate army under general Thomas Preston. Its English garrison surrendered after lengthy bombardment, during which their commander was killed and a ship trying to bring supplies to the garrison was sunk (see Siege of Duncannon). During the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Duncannon was besieged again, as part of the Siege of Waterford, firstly in November 1649 by Oliver Cromwell and Michael Jones in 1649. The fort's Irish garrison held out and the siege was abandoned in December of that year. However in July 1650 Henry Ireton renewed the siege and the fort and town surrendered after the fall of Waterford, but before their food and supplies had run out.

In the Williamite war in Ireland (1689-91) James II, after his defeat at the battle of the Boyne, embarked at Duncannon for Kinsalemarker and then to exile in Francemarker. Later his son in law and enemy William of Orange, marched on its cobblestones as the town and fort surrendered to his army without resistance.

The fort at Duncannon was one of the few places in county Wexford that did not fall to the rebels during the 1798 rebellion though a force sent out from the fort to defend Wexford town was defeated at the battle of Three Rocksmarker. The fort and town then became a sanctuary for fleeing loyalists and troops in south Wexford and was also used as a prison and place of execution for suspected rebels.

Duncannon's strategic importance continued to be recognised throughout the 19th century. Napoleon sought and got intelligence on its strength and weakness, in preparation for a possible invasion of Ireland.

Duncannon fort was used by the FCA (Irish army reserve) as a barracks and training facility until recent years.

See also


  1. McKeiver
  • Philip McKeiver, "A New History of Cromwell's Irish Campaign", Advance Press, Manchester 2007, ISBN 978-0-9554663-0-4

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