No. 3 NAI DT S4978
DUBLIN, 31 March 1926
MEMORANDUM ON THE POSITION IN REGARD TO THE COASTAL DEFENCE OF IRELAND CREATED BY ARTICLE 6 OF THE TREATY OF 1921
5. THE PROBLEM OF THE MOMENT AND THE FIRST STEPS WHICH SHOULD BE TAKEN
The most urgent matter in the development of our Coastal Defence Scheme is the taking over of the Harbour Defences at Lough Swilly, Berehaven, and Cobh. The taking over of these defences definitely puts us on the road to complete control of our Coastal Defence. It is presumed, but is probably a matter for legal consideration, that these Defences will be handed over without charge by the British Government. Possibly the armament of the batteries as distinct from the buildings may have to be paid for. The garrison for these Defences should be organised as soon as possible. Steps should be taken to fortify the ports of Dublin, Waterford and Sligo in the manner outlined above. The actual work and cost could be spread over a number of years.
The nucleus of Protective Units should be allotted from the existing forces and, in addition to the reservists which these units will have under the Scheme already approved of, a Territorial Protective Unit should be formed at each fortified port and given such training (say a month per annum) as is possible pending the development of a more comprehensive scheme for reserve and territorial forces.
The engineer units required at the fortified ports which are now held by the British should similarly be detached from the Army Corps of Engineers and incorporated in the Nautical Defence Units at these ports. The formation of units for those additional ports which are recommended for fortification can be undertaken as required.
The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
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