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McArts Fort

Parish Church Of St George
April 13, 2020
Kelly Cellars – Teach Uí Cheallaigh
July 14, 2020
Parish Church Of St George
April 13, 2020
Kelly Cellars – Teach Uí Cheallaigh
July 14, 2020

McArt’s Fort sits at the peak of Cavehill popularly but inaccurately known locally as ‘Napoleon’s Nose’, after the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte.

It is said the names comes from Art O’Neill, a sixteenth century Gaelic soldier and chieftain, but also has an older name, Lios Tulach Ard, meaning ‘the fort of the high mound’. It is likely that this was used for ceremonial rather than defensive purposes, and it appears to date from around 3000 years ago.

In May 1795 members of the United Irishmen in Belfast, including Henry Joy McCracken, Samuel Neilson, Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell met at this spot and swore an oath of allegiance to fight for the freedom of Ireland from England;

“Never to desist in our efforts until we had subverted the authority of England over our country, and asserted our independence’”.

The Cavehill itself was a popular attraction for the McCracken family over many years and other middle class families in the city, providing an open space and nature in contrast to Belfast’s growing industrialised city centre. The McCracken’s often entertained Wolfe Tone on these very hills.