Castle Saunderson

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Castle Saunderson
Castle Saunderson

Castle Saunderson International Scouting Centre is an international Scouting Scout centre near Belturbet, County Cavan, Ireland, opened in 2012.[1] It is located on the grounds of the castle, the family seat of the Saunderson family. The centre provides indoor accommodation and campsites covering 34 acres of land. It is open to Scouts year round, as well as to non-Scouts for most of the year.


Family Home[edit]

The Saunderson family acquired the original castle in 1573 during the Ulster plantation. The original castle was inhabited by the O'Reillys of Breffni and formerly known as Breffni Castle since the 14th century. The present castle dating from the 1840s.[citation needed] A notable member of the family born there was Edward Saunderson, founder of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Captain Alexander Saunderson sold the Castle in 1977 to a businessman, who planned to use it as a residence, but this never transpired. It later served as a hotel, but was damaged by fire, the third fire to occur at the Castle.

International Scout Centre[edit]

In 1997 the castle and its grounds were acquired by Scouting Ireland (CSI). The subsequent formation of Scouting Ireland and financial difficulties had delayed its development as a cross-border Scout campsite, but substantial progress occurred with the announcement in November 2008 of EU funding for the project, amounting to over €3 million.[2]

Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, opened the €3.7 million European-funded Castle Saunderson International Scouting Centre in Cavan on 18 August 2012. The President was joined by dignitaries from both sides of the Border, including Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Jonathan Bell, Nelson McCausland and Jennifer McCann and Minster of State in the Republic Fergus O’Dowd.[1]

The Saunderson Castle estate (currently only 103 acres)[citation needed] has an entrance in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These grounds include a church and family grave yard.

In February 2015, Minister Heather Humphreys announced the approval of the restoration by Waterways Ireland of the Canal, connecting the site to the Erne basin. [3]


  1. ^ a b "Scouts' honour: President cuts ribbon at €3.7m scouts' centre". The Irish Times. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Campsite Locator". Scouting Ireland. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Minister Humphreys secures Government approval to restore Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Castle Saunderson" (Press release). Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

External Links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°07′30″N 7°21′07″W / 54.125°N 7.352°W / 54.125; -7.352