A powder magazine, Johnathan Swift & The Christmas Raid

Magazine Fort is located on the south side of Phoenix Park. This is the location where a house called Phoenix Lodge once stood. In 1734 the house was knocked down and the Duke of Dorset directed that a powder magazine be provided for Dublin. It, however, was never really used for this purpose and just became a symbol of British occupation. Johnathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) proclaimed… ‘now’s here’s a proof of Irish sense, here Irish wit is seen, when nothing’s left that’s worth defending, we build a magazine’! The term ‘Christmas Raid’ is a name used within the folklore of the IRA to describe the theft of a huge quantity of weapons and ammunition from this fort. This raid took place on 23rd December 1939 and was immediately prior to the passing of the emergency powers act in Ireland. A total of 1.084,000 rounds of ammunition were taken away in 13 lorries with no casualties. Most of the ammunition was recovered in 2 weeks turning it into a PR disaster for the IRA.