Bere Island Military Heritage Festival

The 2024 Bere Island Military Heritage Festival will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June at the Drill Hall Rerrin, and features a packed programme of speakers along with an exhibition on the island’s military heritage.

Bere Island is one of the most fortified islands in Western Europe and has featured in a number of high profile military campaigns against over the year. In 1602, Sir George Carew landed his forces on the eastern end of the island ahead of the Siege of Dunboy, following the the attempted French invasion of Bantry Bay in 1796 by a French Armada four Martello Towers being constructed on the island, which was followed in the early 1900s by construction of Fort Berehaven by the British Admiralty with it’s seven gun batteries. During World War One, US Navy warships anchored off Bere Island whilst protecting Atlantic convoys Bere Island also played a significant role during the War of Independence, with local companies of the IRA and Cumman na mBan, and the presence of an internment camp on the island during 1921. Following the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty in 1922 Bere Island became one of Ireland’s Three Treaty ports, until the Handover of the Fort on 26th September 1938. To the present day Bere Island is used by the Irish Defence Forces for training camps.

The Bere Island Military Heritage Festival is funded by Cork County Council’s West Cork Islands Amenity Fund and The Heritage Council’s Heritage Organisations Support Fund 2024.

For further information contact Helen Riddell at or on 027 75099.