- A delightful family picnic area on the N69 serviced with all-weather benchtables and clean running water from which to take in the magnificent view of Tarbert Bay, from where in 1776 the American Naval hero John Paul Jones, in the heat of the War of Independence and captaining the warship USS Providence, escaped the deadly clutches of two of Her Majesty’s British gun ships under cover of darkness by employing a deception so bold almost unfathomable.
John Paul Jones was an American naval hero who preyed on British shipping during the Revolutionary War, he had a reputation as a resourceful and successful raider. So notorious did he become that he was known to the British as “The Yankee Pirate”. In 1776, after sinking a ship in Carlingford Lough he was pursued by two British gun boats. Weather conditions were very bad and he was forced to take shelter in the Shannon Estuary – in Tarbert Bay.
The gunboats anchored outside the bay and kept watch through the night. They intended to capture John Paul Jones at dawn. The ever resourceful John Paul Jones sent his men ashore with instructions to hang the ships lanterns high in nearby woods. The marines assumed that the lighted lanterns were those of the anchored “Providence”. The daring colourful hero, John Paul Jones sailed out of Tarbert Bay under cover of darkness past the waiting gunboats. It was not until dawn that the marines realised that once again they had been out manoeuvered by John Paul Jones.