Did the Spanish Armada get lost before the tragic sinking off Sligo?
Why did three ships of the Spanish Armada sink at Streedagh in 1588?
hese reasons – or at least one of them – will be explored in detail during the next series of talks at Remembering the Armada, September 16-18 in Grange.
There are several reasons why three ships ran aground on Streedagh beach on September 21, 1588.
The first was that the ships were caught in a torrential storm known as The Great Gale.
Another was that they were likely to have been damaged in the naval battle against the English the previous month.
But perhaps the main, and hitherto unexplored, reason was the lack of reliable maps that the Spaniards could use to return to Spain after the defeat against the naval forces of Queen Elizabeth 1.
This topic will be among the points of debate and discussion next Saturday, September 17 at the Spanish Armada Visitor Center (formerly Courthouse) in Grange.
“The Manuscript Maps of Modern Ireland” is the title of a lecture given by Dr Annaleigh Margey of the Dundalk Institute of Technology in which she will describe how the lack of accurate maps has been one of the main reasons for which up to 26 Armada ships sank. off the coast of Ireland, resulting in the deaths of approximately 5,000 soldiers and sailors of the Spanish Armada.
At Streedagh alone, Armada survivor Francisco de Cuéllar estimated that up to 1,100 people died in what was the greatest loss of life on these shores.
Additionally, the story of another Streedagh shipwreck, The Greyhound of Whitby, known locally as the Butterboat, will be discussed.
It was originally thought to be an Armada ship, carbon dating has proven otherwise, and the origins of this ship, and its tragic end at Streedagh, will also be described by George Gale, who has traveled from the English coastal town of Whitby for the conference. .
Another connection between Whitby and Sligo will be described in that Bram Stoker, author of the infamous novel Dracula (whose mother was from Sligo), also had connections to Whitby.
It was while on holiday in Whitby in 1890 that Stoker witnessed another tragic shipwreck, and soon after he began writing his seminal masterpiece, Dracula.
Remembering the Armada will feature a host of interesting events from music and rides to concerts, céilí and more as it returns as an in-person festival this weekend.
Majorcan-born guitarist and singer Felip Carbonnel will be joined by a host of excellent musicians to trace the history of Spanish music from the 16th century to the present day.
The members of the Dartry Céilí Band will give us a lively Céilí, and several other events will also be present during the weekend, offering a varied range of content for everyone.
These include an 8km Armada road race, a talk about finding a medieval timber boat, a climate change event at Streedagh beach and a walk along the along the De Cuéllar trail.
Each evening, after the official events are over, locals and visitors will flock to Moran’s and Lang’s bars in the village to wrap up the day’s events.
The central event will be the Remembrance Parade itself which will take place between Streedagh Beach and the Armada Monument next Saturday at 3pm.
The public is invited to take part in this march which honors the memory of all those unfortunate people who died in the shipwrecks of the Armada in 1588.
They will be joined by HE Ildefonso Castro, Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, and many other Spaniards and Irish, who will come together to commemorate the common heritage.
“As always, we would like to thank our patrons, sponsors and volunteers, who have helped over the past decade and more to bring this weekend of events to life,” said Eddie O’Gorman, Chairman of Spanish Armada Ireland.
“After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, we look forward to extending a Céad Míle Fáilte to our visitors from Spain and the many Spaniards living here in Ireland who attend each year.
“We look forward to seeing many of our locals involved in all the events as well, as we seek to give this unique piece of Spanish and Irish history the public attention it deserves.”
Remembering the Armada, September 16-18, 2022. Tickets and event details at www.spanisharmadaireland.com