About the Coastal Watch

The Coastal Watch was set up in 1939 to guard against invasion of Ireland, declared neutral, via the sea. More than 80 sites around the coast from north Louth to Donegal were selected, and look out posts were located on these sites. A team of men carried out watch duties over the sea from these sites.

Each site was numbered from 1 through 82, with number 1 being located in Ballagan Point, County Louth, and number 82 in Inishowen, County Donegal.

Initially, the watchmen were housed in tents; however these did not provide great shelter so eventually a standard pill box was erected at each site. These were tiny boxes with room for a small fire and six windows facing towards the sea. Each was equipped with a telephone. The men, generally locals, kept a constant watch on activity at sea and noted the movement of ships and aircraft throughout the duration of the war.

In 1942-43, they were tasked with the building of marker signs near their look out posts. This site is about those marker signs, called the EIRE signs, the EIRE markings, and the neutrality signs.

5 thoughts on “About the Coastal Watch

  1. John Craig

    Guarding Neutral Ireland a book by Michael Kennedy in 2008 gives comprehensive details of the 82 Look Out Posts around the irish coast. It includes names of NCO’s and Volunteers in most cases.

    My particular local interest is the LOP at Dunmore, Portnoo in South West Donegal.

  2. Chris Parks

    Great that you are documenting this aspect of Irish history during WW2. Have learned something new about 20th Century Ireland. Very interesting.


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