Look Out Posts Log Books Collection

Administrative / Biographical history:

Following the handover of the Treaty Ports in 1938, Irish coastal waters were largely unprotected.  As such, the Marine and Coastwatching Service, was established in 1939. A network of 83 Look Out Posts (LOPs) were built around the coast of Ireland and manned by members of the Local Defence Force (LDF). The Coastwatchers were responsible for identifying and reporting on shipping and aircraft movements and also on any communications between ship and shore. The Marine and Coastwatching Service was disbanded in October 1945.

Scope and Content:

This collection is comprised of the log books recorded by men serving in 83 LOPs around the coast. The log books record the name of the post, date, time and detail of any incidents sighted in the air or at sea from that post.

Publication Note

Kennedy, Michael. Guarding Neutral Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008.

Archivist Note

During Michael Kennedy’s extensive research within Military Archives using the Look Out Posts Log Books Collection, he recognised the need to create a guide for reading, analyzing and interpreting the log books.  The purpose of his work is "to explain what readers can expect to find in a LOP logbook and to provide suggestions on how to go about searching the initially confusing mass of entries that each log book contains and then interpreting and analyzing the material within." The map below contains 83 pins indicating the approximate location of the LOPs. 81 of the pins contain a hyperlink leading to a sample LOP log book. Unfortunately, Military Archives never acquired the log books for LOP 10 Kilmichael Point and LOP 39 Sybil Head. The Look Out Posts Log Books Collection is an extensive collection that comprises 481 log books. We have selected the first log book from each LOP as a sample for you to download. Please note that full access to this collection can be gained by making an appointment with Military Archives.