Massereene Barracks is a former military installation in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Massereene Barracks
Antrim, Northern Ireland
Platform on Lough Neagh which was almost certainly used for naval training purposes
Massereene Barracks is located in Northern Ireland
Massereene Barracks
Massereene Barracks
Location within Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°43′18″N 6°13′51″W / 54.7216°N 6.2307°W / 54.7216; -6.2307
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Operator British Army
Site history
In use1942-2010
Garrison information
Occupants3rd Infantry Brigade

History Edit

The site was acquired from Clotworthy Skeffington, 11th Viscount Massereene for a shooting range in 1893.[1] In 1942, during the Second World War, the Admiralty commissioned a torpedo factory there such that Mark 8 torpedoes could be manufactured in the factory and then tested on Lough Neagh.[2] After the War the site became the Royal Naval Armaments Depot Antrim.[3] 33 Independent Field Squadron Royal Engineers arrived at the barracks in July 1974[4] and, after 33 Independent Field Squadron was absorbed into 25 Regiment Royal Engineers, that regiment took over the barracks in 1992.[5]

The site was subsequently handed over to the Royal Marines and, from 1993, it was used as a base for the Royal Marine vessels Grey Wolf and Grey Fox which were deployed in counter terrorism and police operations on Lough Neagh and inshore waterways in Northern Ireland;[6] the barracks were the subject of considerable further development in 1998.[7]

The site then passed to the British Army and became the home of 38 Engineer Regiment in July 2008.[8] On 7 March 2009, two off-duty British soldiers of the regiment were shot dead outside the barracks.[9][10] Two other soldiers and two civilian delivery men were also shot and wounded during the mass shooting. A dissident Irish republican paramilitary group, the Real IRA, claimed responsibility.[11][12] After 38 Engineer Regiment moved to RAF Aldergrove in 2010,[13] the barracks were demolished and the site sold to Randox Laboratories in December 2013 for use as a science park.[14]

References Edit

  1. ^ "Shooting range on the Massereene Estate". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 17 March 1893. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Antrim". Down Memory Lane. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Torpedo Production and Test Facility, Antrim". The Second World War in Northern Ireland. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  4. ^ "33 Squadron". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ "25 Regiment - 2 Division Regiment". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Are Royal Navy's aging Gibraltar assets fit for purpose?". Panorama. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  7. ^ "British Forces (Northern Ireland)". Hansard. 3 November 1998. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  8. ^ "38 Engineer Regiment". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Two soldiers shot dead in attack on Antrim barracks". The Irish Times. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  10. ^ "How the barracks attack unfolded". BBC News. 8 March 2009. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  11. ^ "Two die in 'barbaric' Army attack". BBC News. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  12. ^ "'Real IRA was behind army attack". BBC News. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Massereene army barracks sold off". Belfast Telegraph. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Randox Science Park hosts Secretary of State". Ministry of Defence. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2017.