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Established 16/3/2000
Cannons fired at Millmount & book launch
Crowds turned out to hear the cannon
Hundreds turned out to watch the cannons being fired off at Millmount.  

December 13th 2008 was a very special day in Drogheda where a reversal of history took place at the Millmount complex. In the civil war in 1922 Millmount was shelled by cannon from across the Boyne. But in 2008 things were turned around and cannon were heard to fire from the martello tower at Millmount watched by hundreds of people. The event was organised by the Old Drogheda Society to coincide with the launch of historian Brendan Matthews' book "Tower of Strength - A History of the Millmount Complex in Drogheda".

It was a fun event, and quite loud as around eight cannon shots were fired off, some by members of the Old Drogheda Society Committee, including Betty Quinn and Don Byrne. Local history buff Frank Keogh also fired one off as hundreds of people packed the martello tower and the square below. The cannon were being fired as part of the 200th year anniversary of the construction of the martello tower, which was built in 1808 and was then known as Richmond Fort. The mound beneath the martello tower is believed to be a prehistoric passage-tomb, and much information about this is available in our book Island of the Setting Sun.

Tower of Strength - Millmount book
Hundreds turned out to watch the cannons being fired off at Millmount.  

Brendan Matthews' new book, "Tower of Strength", was launched at the Governor's House immediately after the cannons were fired. The book charts the history of the Millmount complex right from prehistory to the modern day. The book features a number of beautiful paintings and illustrations by Robert Allen which really help bring Millmount's past to life. Brendan Matthews has had a fascination with Irish history, archaeology, folklore, culture, heritage and traditions since he was young. He is a weekly contributor of historical items to the Drogheda Independent newspaper and before ill health prevented him, he used to work on archaeological excavations. He continues to carry out much research and is based in the archive at Millmount where there are many valuable historical records and documents relating to the area's past.

The book is priced at 20 euro for a hardback version or 15 euro for softback. It is available from the Old Drogheda Society, who published the book. It would make a nice Christmas present for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating history of Drogheda, the gateway to the Boyne Valley.
All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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