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Bringing Donegal’s historic maritime heritage to life 13.07.22

THREE new maritime historical virtual reality experiences will be unveiled today, 13th July 2022, at Fanad Lighthouse, Fort Dunree and Inishowen Maritime Museum.
The three virtual reality experiences have been created as part of the EU funded TIDE project, and include ‘The Storm, The Sea – The Saldanha’ at Fanad Lighthouse, the ‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’ at Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium and the ‘Beware! Convoy Below World War 1’ at Fort Dunree.
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‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’ will be launched at Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium. This VR experience takes you back in time to the Spanish Armada era dating back to the 16th Century.
This experience focuses on two ships that entered Donegal’s waters: La Girona and La Trinidad Valencera. La Girona travelled into Killybegs Harbour to repair her rudders. Almost 1,500 men from nearby shipwrecks travelled by foot to Killybegs to seek passage back to Spain. 
At Kinnagoe Bay, the VR experience takes you on the journey where the Captain deliberately ran La Trinidad Valencera ashore after fighting with 7 feet of water in her bows for days. They met the friendly Irish who ferried them to shore over two days and gave them food in exchange for salvage from the boat.
The VR experience finishes with footage from a BBC documentary where items were salvaged from the shipwreck by the Derry Sub Aqua Club in 1975. Some of these artefacts are on loan from the Ulster Museum today and can be seen at the Inishowen Maritime Museum for the summer months.
Take a trip on the Spanish Armada’s journey and enter into the world of Spanish ships as you go back in time!

Speaking in advance of the launch and welcoming these new experiences Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Liam Blaney said: “These new experiences not only help share the story of Donegal’s unique maritime history but also enhance the appeal of attractions such as Fanad Lighthouse, Fort Dunree and the Inishowen Maritime Museum. By using this type of technology we can take people on a journey back in time to really understand and appreciate key events in our history and these will not only be of interest to visitors to the county but also to local people and most importantly to our children and young people”.
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‘Beware! Convoy Below’ Virtual Reality Experience will be launched at Fort Dunree. The Virtual Reality Experience takes you back in time to the First World War era in the early 1900’s. This exciting VR experience which takes the ‘Lieutenant’ into a Kite Balloon which is part of a convoy of merchant ships coming from North America and heading for Lough Foyle.
You are welcomed onto HMS Margaret, a Royal Navy Destroyer which was launched in 1917 by Captain McConnell. Their mission is to secure the convoy that will resupply precious goods such as food and necessities to the forces at the front of the battle.
The Lieutenant will have to keep a watchful eye for U-Boats or even mines for several hours. Once the Kite Balloon is hooked up, the basket, balloon and Lieutenant is raised up to over 1,000 feet!
Get familiar with Destroyers, Cruisers, Naval Trawlers, Minesweepers, Airships & Aircraft as you travel past Malin Head and Inishtrahull.

The TIDE project focuses mainly on the Napoleonic, Spanish Armada, World Wars & Atlantic Migration eras. In Inishowen, the public are invited to visit Fort Dunree in Buncrana and the Maritime Museum in Greencastle to enjoy these virtual reality experiences.
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