Celtic Fringe Festival News

 

SPANISH NAVY SHIP TO COMMEMORATE ARMADA IN SLIGO


As part of the upcoming Celtic Fringe Festival, which commemorates Spanish Armada links with Sligo, a Spanish Navy ship will sail into Sligo Bay for the duration of the festival between September 22nd-25th next.

The OPV Centinela will join a flotilla of local boats for a Parade of Sail from Mullaghmore to Streedagh Beach to remember the 1,100 souls who perished there in 1588, when 3 ships of the Spanish Armada sank during Winter storms.

“The Parade of Sail will be an opportunity to remember all of the Spanish sailors who were part of the Armada, as we seek to continue to uncover one of the great untold stories of the history of this county,” said Eddie O’Gorman, Chairperson of the Celtic Fringe Festival ahead of this September’s events.

Boat owners interested in forming part of the flotilla to honour the Spanish Armada on Sunday afternoon September 25th are asked to contact the festival in advance on www.celticfringefest.com.

The Parade of Sail will form the culmination of the festival’s events which this year will see a series of events and lectures take place in Sligo town, in Grange and at Streedagh. Many of the events are free to the public and include guided walks along the De Cuellar Trail, the route taken by the Spanish Armada Captain Francisco de Cuellar, one of the few to escape the English after the Armada. Other highlights include nightly music events, a series of Armada lectures at the Glasshouse Hotel, and a Gala Reception at Sligo City Hall hosted by Mayor of Sligo Marie Casserly to honour the Spanish Deputy Head of Mission of the Spanish Embassy to Ireland, Mr. Rafael Soriano, Vice Admiral Fernando Zumalacárregui, Director of Naval History and Culture and Director of the Naval Museum; Lieutenant Commander Miguel Adolfo Romero Contreras and Officers of OPV Centinela, Spanish Navy (Armada).

“The Spanish Embassy is delighted to be part of the Celtic Fringe Festival”, Ambassador Rodríguez-Coso said, “and the participation of OPV Centinela will highlight the fact that the Festival has great emotional value for Spain, since the Streedagh wrecks happen to be the resting place for more than a thousand Spanish soldiers and sailors”. “I would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding work of GADA (the Grange & Armada Development Association) in the preservation of the Armada Memory in Sligo. Due to unforeseen circumstances, and much to my regret, I will not be able to attend this year´s edition of the Festival but I am happy to announce that Deputy Head of Mission Rafael Soriano will represent the Embassy during this event”.

“It’s a great honour to have our Spanish guests of honour in attendance for the Celtic Fringe Festival,” said Councillor Casserly. “This is the second visit by a Spanish delegation to Sligo to commemorate the Armada, and we are delighted that they have decided to visit us again this year to take part in the events relating to their country’s history. This is another important chapter in linking Sligo and Spain and the history we share in relation to the Spanish Armada.”

Lieutenant Commander Miguel Romero Contreras, Commanding Officer of the Spanish Navy’s OPV Centinela said “we are thrilled to be part of this celebration and be given the opportunity to pay respect, together with the people of Sligo, to all those sailors who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country”.

3 ships, the Santa Maria de Visión, the Juliana and the Lavia, sank at Streedagh Beach following the Spanish Armada retreat from the pursuing English Navy during the Autumn of 1588. Last Summer, dives at Streedagh by the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) of the Dept. of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs recovered 9 cannon and several other artefacts from one of the sunken vessels, the Juliana. These artefacts are now undergoing a lengthy restoration and preservation process in the National Museum, Dublin.

“These were most significant finds,” said Fionnbarr Moore of the UAU of the recovery of the Streedagh cannon. “It was incredible to bring to the surface cannon and other items which had most likely never been seen since the Armada sank. The cannon, in particular, are in excellent condition, and the preservation process is now well underway.”

Following on from the discovery of the Juliana artefacts in 2015, news of their retrieval became a worldwide event. Extensive print, online and TV coverage followed, including in many of the Spanish national news media. A listing of these press cuttings can be accessed at this link.

The annual Celtic Fringe Festival takes place on September 22nd-25th next at various locations in Sligo, Grange, Streedagh and Mullaghmore, and further details on the programme of events are available at www.celticfringefest.com.
 


Grange and Armada Development Association is delighted to welcome the following eminent speakers for the Armada Trail on the Wild Atlantic Way Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2016

Fionnbarr Moore is a senior archaeologist with the National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and he has been head of the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) since 1999. The UAU has a wide and varied work brief, dealing with development impacts on the underwater cultural heritage and maintaining the Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland. Investigation of sites also forms part of the work and UAU archaeologists have directed a number of dive surveys and excavations at significant wreck sites off our coast and in our inland waterways. Fionnbarr is chair of the European Archaeological Consilium’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Working Group (EAC UCH WG) and he is also a council member of the Royal society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI). He has contributed papers and chapters to a number of journals and books on underwater archaeology and maritime history. As well as the above he has a particular interest in the Early Medieval and Medieval periods and has published a number of papers on early inscriptions and on the results of major excavations at Ardfert Cathedral, Co. Kerry, which he directed on behalf of the National Monuments Service. He is currently directing the UAU investigation of the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.
Contact: fionnbarr.moore@ahg.gov.ie

An update on the Armada wreck La Juliana and her ordnance + the wreck known as the Butter Boat at Streedagh revealed
This lecture will present an illustrated update on research undertaken by Fionnbarr Moore, Karl Brady and Connie Kelleher on the bronze cannons, gun- carriage wheels, bronze cauldron and other elements of the wreck of La Juliana that were recorded and excavated by the underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) of the National Monuments Service (NMS) in the course of its work at Streedagh in 2015. The finds from the excavation confirmed that the wreck was undoubtedly that of La Juliana, the Catalan merchant vessel commandeered by Philip II to form part of his Armada’s Levant squadron. The visible elements of the La Juliana site were surveyed in detail and other aspects of the wreck, including structural elements, Iberian pottery, cannon balls and two anchors, were recorded in the process. The history of La Juliana will be presented, illustrating also how it might have looked originally. An update will be given on the on-going conservation of the excavated material in the National Museum of Ireland’s conservation facility in Collins Barracks, Dublin and an update will also be provided on recent research carried out by the UAU on these artefacts.
The Butter Boat: dating and provenance
Recent dendrochronological analysis of the Butter Boat, commissioned by the UAU has indicated a date and provenance for the boat that ties in with a number of historical accounts relating to a particular 18th century wrecking event at Streedagh. While it can now be said with certainty that the Butter Boat is not associated with the Spanish Armada, the story is still a dramatic one, involving a hazardous sea voyage that gives great insight into the dangers and challenges faced by mariners on the west coast of Ireland during the period in question. The results of these latest findings will also be presented as part of the update on the UAU’s work at Streedagh.


 

Karl Brady is an archaeologist who has been working in the Underwater Archaeology Unit of the National Monuments Service since 1999. Karl has responsibility for the management of the Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland and has undertaken surveys of several shipwrecks. Karl has published a number of articles on early maps, medieval ship graffiti, early medieval ecclesiastical remains, heritage management, logboats and shipwrecks and has also published two books on shipwrecks entitled The Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland: Louth, Meath, Dublin & Wicklow in 2008 and Warships, U-boats & Liners: A Guide to Shipwrecks Mapped in Irish Waters in 2012. More recently Karl has been directing the underwater archaeological excavations of a number of newly discovered logboats from Lough Corrib Co. Galway and is part of the UAU team investigating the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.
Contact: karl.brady@ahg.gov.ie

The Spanish Armada Wrecks off Co. Mayo

Mayo’s long standing maritime tradition is as strong today as it ever was and manifests itself in many ways ranging from active coastal communities and recreational use of the sea to a vibrant fishing industry. One of the most important aspects of this tradition is its maritime cultural heritage and in this regard of particular interest are the wrecks of the Spanish Armada which lie scattered along its jagged coastline. It’s estimated that up 6 Armada vessels lie lost in the waters off the Mayo coast but the location and identity of many of these wrecks has yet to be revealed. This talk will provide an overview of the known archaeological, historical and folkloric information regarding each wreck site with a particular focus on the better known examples of La Rata Santa Maria Encoronada, lost in Blacksod Bay and El Gran Grin, lost in Clew Bay. The talk will also give an illustrated overview of recent dive and geophysical surveys carried out by the UAU in an attempt to locate the sites of these elusive wrecks!
 

 

Dr Connie Kelleher is a member of the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU), National Monuments Service since 1999. Connie’s work has allowed her to direct archaeological surveys and excavations, including maritime landscape studies, post-medieval coastal archaeological sites and direct work on a number of specific wreck sites ranging from the 1588 remains of the Spanish Armada ship La Trinidad Valencera; an early 17th-century possible pirate vessel in West Cork; the early 17th-century wreck near Rutland Island, Burtonport in Donegal; the possible remains of one of Cromwell’s Parliamentarian ships, Great Lewis, in Waterford Harbour, to the 1697 remains of the HMS Looe in Baltimore, Co. Cork and most recently as part of the UAU team investigating the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.

A graduate of NUI Cork, her doctoral thesis from Trinity College Dublin looked at ‘The Confederacy of Pirates in Southwest Ireland in the Early 17th-Century: Trade, Plunder and Settlement – a historical and archaeological study’. She lectures part-time in the Archaeology Department in University College Cork, delivering the ‘Introduction to Underwater Archaeology’ course. Connie has published articles and chapters in books on her work to date.

A past council member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland (RSAI), she currently sits on the board of the International Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology (ACUA). She is a member of the European Scientific Diver Panel (ESDP), is currently chair of the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG) and a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (MIAI)
Contact: connie.kelleher@ahg.gov.ie

The Armada in Donegal: The wild and remote coast of Atlantic Donegal was not kind to the Armada ships and their crews that found their way there in the storms of 1588. Though numbers vary as to how many of the Armada were wrecked, what can be said with certainty is that many ships and even more lives were lost – both at sea and on lonely shores. Archaeological investigation has taken place at the known wreck site of La Trinidad Valencera both by Dr Colin Martin and later by the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU), with results informing on the richness of such sites that has further elucidated on the ship, its crew and the wealth of a nation.
Anecdotal, historical and at times artefactual evidence from other areas, like that in Loughros Bay, Mullaghderg, Castle Island and Rutland harbour, tease at our curiosity as to whether a wreck is located there or not – and if so, then where exactly? New wreck site similarly can seem to fit perfectly with the historical accounts of the loss of an Armada wreck, like the Rutland Island Wreck that was the focus of extensive excavation by the UAU over a five year period, but which itself remains shrouded in mystery, refusing still to reveal its true identity.
The paper will provide an overview of the Armada in Donegal, with particular details on known sites and, like that for the Armada losses around the rest of the Wild Atlantic Way, it will show that while many questions have been answered, many more remain.
 

 

A native of County Down, Northern Ireland, Dr Bob Curran has worked in a number of jobs including grave-digger, lorry driver and journalist He has travelled in a number of parts of the world before returning and taking up work in education. He has also written a number of books on history and folklore which have been translated into several languages including French, Hebrew, Korean, Portuguese and of course Spanish. He currently lives on the Causeway Coast with his wife and family.

The Armada on the Causeway Coast: Whilst many of the Armada shipwrecks occurred in the Irish Republic, the Northern shores were not exempt. One of the greatest, and most tragic maritime disasters of this time occurred off Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim with the loss of La Girona – the fabled Armada treasure-ship. And this may not have been the only Armada disaster in this area. Also discussed will be survivors such as Francesco de Cuellar and Pedro Blanco. Because the North has connections with Scotland it is proposed to historically examine links to the San Juan de Sicilia, the celebrated Dons of Westray and the Quoy of the Dons.

 


Dr John Tracey is a former member of the Irish Naval Service who specialises in 20th Century Irish naval and maritime policy development. John was recently awarded his PhD in History at Mary Immaculate College under the supervision of Dr Maura Cronin. John lectures on Irish naval and defence policy for agencies such as the Maritime Institute, the National Maritime Museum, the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies at NUI Maynooth and is a regular national and international conference contributor. He was recently appointed Honorary Research Officer at the Maritime Institute and the National Maritime Museum of Ireland. He is the director of the San Marcos Project and the current Chair of the Old Kilfarboy Society in Miltown Malbay. John is currently employed as a civil servant.

Lecture title: ‘Another ship is cast in at I Brickane and lost, they had both men and munitions from Flanders’; Searching for the Armada in County Clare.

On 20 September 1588, two ships of the Armada approached the area now known as the Mal Bay on the coast of west Clare. One wrecked early in the afternoon somewhere close to the entrance of the Doonbeg Creek. Word of the disaster quickly reached Nicholas Cahane, the Coroner of Thomond at his castle on Scattery Island. Cahane immediately departed for the scene of the disaster and upon reaching the White Strand at Doonbeg, he observed a second much larger vessel in difficulty to the north, off Mutton Island within sight of the first wreck. Approximately 900 men lost their lives on that afternoon, most washing ashore on the forbidding west Clare coastline. Modern scholarship has attempted to identify the two vessels, largely by process of elimination (cf. Colin Martin & Geoffrey Parker, The Spanish Armada: Revised Edition (Manchester, 1999), p.261; Ken Douglas, The Downfall of the Spanish Armada in Ireland (Dublin, 2010), p.458; Niall Fallon, The Armada in Ireland (London, 1978), pp 36-42). The San Marcos Project seeks to identify these vessels using a combination of folklore, historiographical data, underwater surveying and diving.

San Marcos Project team members brief prior to a survey dive at Seafield, Quilty, Co. ClareDr John Treacy is the director of the San Marcos Project, the search for the lost Portuguese galleon San Marcos of the 1588 Armada. The San Marcos Project is a community initiative founded in 2014 with the goal of establishing the identity of the ship wrecked at Mutton Island in 1588 and locating the final resting place of her crew. Since it was established, the project has carried out detailed sonar and dive surveys at the Mutton Island site and has conducted a landward archaeo-geophysical survey at the reputed Tuama na Spáinneach burial site at Spanish Point. The discovery of the wrecks and grave, coupled with the consideration of their context in the local geography, should cast a new light on the complex micro and macro political environment in County Clare and Ireland, during the Armada tragedy. John will discuss the reconciliation of folklore and scientific evidence in relation to the County Clare Armada narrative and detail some of the exciting results so far.

 


Mícheál de Mórdha is the recently retired director of the OPW Great Blasket Centre, which is situated in Dún Chaoin, West Kerry. He is a native of Dún Chaoin and, except for a few years in employment in Dublin, has spent most of his life up to now living and working in his native patch. He was appointed manager of the newly built Centre in 1993, and prior to that he was employed by RTÉ as a Clár Reachtaire (producer/broadcaster) with Raidió na Gaeltachta at their station in Baile na nGall. He has also done some work for television, especially for TG4. In late 2015 his book on the social history of The Great Blasket Island: An Island Community – The Ebb and Flow of The Great Blasket Island (Liberties Press, Dublin) was published and currently he is in the process of writing a book on the theme: Blasket Shipwrecks. Amongst his other passions are traditional music and song, especially ‘sean-nós’ singing; Irish language and literature and The Western Isles of Scotland. He was President of Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2010.

The Armada in Kerry: A Local Perspective of the Wrecking of the ‘Santa Maria de La Rosa’ in Blasket Sound. Some facts, folklore and enigmas

In this talk we examine the facts and the fiction connected with the sinking of a large Spanish Armada ship, the Santa Maria de La Rosa, of the Guipuzcoan squadron, in Blasket Sound, on 21 September 1588. There were several different witnesses to this tragedy: at least two other large Armada ships; a youth called Antonio, perhaps the only survivor from the Santa Maria de la Rosa; and also from the representatives of British forces on the mainland. We also examine the folklore surrounding this sorrowful event especially the once common belief that ‘the son of the King of Spain’ lies buried in Dún Chaoin, opposite the Blasket islands, having been drowned in the Sound with a lot of other ‘tall men’. Then we look at the reported discovery of the wreck of the Santa Maria de La Rosa by a team of divers in the late 1960s and the excitement and the enigma attached to these reports. But perhaps the saddest story of all is that of Don Juan Martinez de Recalde’s, admiral of all the fleet – a once acclaimed and noble navigator, who found himself and his majestic St. Juan of the Portuguese squadron, in dire straits in the lee of the Blasket island for a few days in September 1588, before he narrowly escaped the clutches of a severe storm to return home a sick and broken man, where he died a few days after reaching his native shore….

 

 

Declan M. Downey, LLM (Leiden), PhD (Cantab.), lectures in Modern European & Japanese Diplomatic History at University College Dublin, where he coordinates the BCL Law with History Degree programme. He is the first Irish citizen to have been elected to membership of the Spanish Royal Academy of History in 2009. His research and publications on Irish relations with the Spanish and Austrian Habsburg monarchies, have achieved international awards and distinctions. In 2008, King Juan Carlos I conferred the Encomienda en la Orden de Isabel la Católica on him. Dr Downey is the CoSecretary of the Council for Spanish-Irish Historical Studies, and he is a Trustee of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

Irish participation in the Armada of 1588: Emigre ambitions and Spanish strategists, and local responses’.

Abstract: Contrary to the traditional Anglophone historiography of the Armada of 1588 which regards Philip II’s invasion project as being entirely focused upon Elizabethan England, and that the disaster that befell the Armada on the Irish coast was tragic collateral damage, this presentation provides a corrective revision. Drawing from primary source evidence in the archives of Simancas, Brussels and Vienna, this paper will demonstrate that there was considerable Irish involvement in the planning and preparation of the Armada from as early as 1583. Also, it will explore and examine the significant roles played by Irish personnel in the Armada, and in its aftermath in the Spanish naval, military and political establishments. It will conclude with a critical assessment of local Irish responses to the Armada and its impact.



Grange and Armada Development Association are delighted to welcome Rolly Read to Grange for the Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015

Rolly Read, Head of Conservation, National Museum of Ireland

Rolly Read joined the Museum in 1997 from Leicestershire Museums Service. As Head of the Conservation department he is responsible for the conservation of the 4,000,000 pieces in the collections across all the Museum’s sites. He is a graduate (BSc in Archaeological Conservation), with postgraduate qualifications in Museum Studies and Architectural Conservation.

In the course of his work at the National Museum of Ireland he has developed a particular interest in the more unusual archaeological finds that have come from the Irish bogs and their incredible preservative properties, leading and working on such notable projects as the Faddan More Psalter and the bog bodies.
His many publications include writings on bog bodies and ‘The Faddan More Psalter – Discover, Investigation and Conservation’, published by the National Museum of Ireland

Lecture Title: Recent Recoveries from La Juliana: The Conservation Process

In this paper, I will look at the work that has already been done on the finds from La Juliana, that have been transferred to the conservation labs in Dublin. I will then discuss the Conservation processes still to come, that will be carried out to stabilise, investigate and clean the finds. I will also look at the conservation of the 3 cannons retrieved from the vessel in the 1980’s which underwent a similar process and are now on exhibition.

 


The De Cuellar Trek  

Walk and Talk and Bus Tour: Friday 18th September 2015

Walk and Tour Coordinator : Eddie O’Gorman B.A., H.D.E., Teacher, Local Historian, 
Community Radio Producer and Broadcaster of Making History Series at Western Waves Community Radio. Contact No. 086 080 2623

Time Line
10.00 Crowd assembly in Car Park at Streedagh Beach.
                Walk commences to mid point of beach to view Streedagh Point, Carraig na Spaineach, Innishmurray Island, Donegal Bay, Site of Wrecks etc (5 mins)
10.05 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
10.15 Toilet / Board Bus at Car Park (5 mins)

10.20 Bus departs Car Park
10.25 Walkers disembark bus and are led up lanes with panoramic views of landscape to Staad ruins (15 mins)
10.40 Re-assemble at Staad. Talk/Pageant (5 mins)
10.45 Board Bus.
10.50 Bus departs Staad for Glencar Lake (20 mins)

11.10 Arrive Glencar Coach Park
Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
11.20 Toilet / Board Bus
11.25 Depart Glencar for O’Rourke’s Castle at Castletown. (20 mins )

11.45 Arrive Castletown. Short walk through gate and field to Castle (5 mins)
11.50 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
12.00 Return to Bus
12.05 Bus departs for Keelogues (20 mins)

12.25 Arrive at Keelogues
Talk/Pageant (5 mins)
12.30 Depart Keelogues for Rossclogher (Mc Clancy’s Castle) (20 mins)

12.50 Arrive Rosclogher. Walk to shoreline of Lough Melvin (15 mins)
13.05 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
13.15 Return to Bus (15 mins)
13.30 Depart for Streedagh (30 mins)
14.00 Arrive back at Streedagh

Notes: All of the walking is undemanding but it would be advisable to wear walking boots or stout shoes as some of the ground covered is uneven e.g. green roads and farmland.

Tour is limited to 50 people so early booking is vital to secure your place.
 



Culture, Creativity and Connection

Celtic Fringe Festival 2015. Saturday 19th September. 6pm.
“Culture, Creativity and Connection”

Connecting cultures through shared history and music.

The musical “The Last Torch” is a new ceoldrama, which premiered in Melbourne, Australia in 2014

The creator and composer of this amazing ceoldrama will be attending the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015 giving a presentation which will include:

Background: How an Australian lass came to dream of shipwrecks in Sligo, and wrote a musical based on the Spanish Armada events of 1588.

The artwork: A presentation of images and why the composers father, a retired Scottish engineer, became enchanted by the story creating these artworks.

The music: Irish soprano Tríona Walsh will sing two songs from the musical.

From her first inspiration, Frances O’Neill will discuss how “The Last Torch” evolved, from the crowd funding experience, the worldwide support and the sell out performances, the journey of “The Last Torch” is epic.

The Celtic Fringe Festival presentation will include scenes and music from the stage production.

This trip to Ireland will be documented on film.

Artists

Frances O’Neill (nee McGinnis) – Composer/Vocalist/Educator

Frances studied at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAPPA) majoring in voice. She has studied classical and jazz music at tertiary level and has a wealth of experience in the performing arts. She recently completed master’s research in intercultural music studies, gaining a distinction. With a keen interest in the study of culture and history she aims to connect others with the root of who they are through music. As the child of immigrants she is able to understand the loss of cultural identity and its redemption through, and embeddeness in musical practice.

Tríona Walsh – Vocalist/Educator

Tríona moved to Australia from Ireland in her teens where she met the McGinnis family with whom she had a close relationship. She started Irish dancing at a young age and completed grade 2 Flamenco exams. Tríona studied at WAAPA majoring in classical vocal performance. Since returning home to Ireland she has worked for Shannon heritage as an entertainer at Bunratty and Dungaire castles. Tríona was chairperson for RosCre Bao Festival for three years, and was a driving force behind its inauguration. She is currently teaching music with Music Generation, Offaly, West Meath.

Condensed synopsis of The Last Torch

The Last Torch is set in 16th century Ireland, where survivors of a shipwreck from the Spanish Armada have washed ashore, setting the stage for forces of love, liberty, sovereignty, spirituality & magic to collide. With a mixture of Spanish and Irish music, this musical tells of the last clan leader standing against the English. Descended from Irish royalty, he was an extremely learned and handsome clan leader who made a last ditch attempt to push the English out of Ireland nearing the full conquest by the British crown. Although historical, the musical contains strong mythical and spiritual themes.

On many levels The Last Torch is a love story. It tells of the love of the Irish for their culture and land, the love for their children and their love for each other. It is romance and passion on the backdrop of conflict. This story pays homage to the fallen, to the men and women who have fought for their independence against dire odds and have given their lives in the name of freedom. It explores Indigenous, colonization and power issues all of which are relevant today.
 


Grange and Armada Development Association are delighted to welcome Fionnbarr Moore and Connie Kelleher to Grange for the Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015

Fionnbarr Moore is a senior archaeologist with the National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and he has been head of the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) since 1999. The UAU has a wide and varied work brief, dealing with development impacts on the underwater cultural heritage and maintaining the Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland. Investigation of sites also forms part of the work and UAU archaeologists have directed a number of dive surveys and excavations at significant wreck sites off our coast and in our inland waterways. Fionnbarr is chair of the European Archaeological Consilium’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Working Group (EAC UCH WG) and he is also a council member of the Royal society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI). He has contributed papers and chapters to a number of journals and books on underwater archaeology and maritime history. As well as the above he has a particular interest in the Early Medieval and Medieval periods and has published a number of papers on early inscriptions and on the results of major excavations at Ardfert Cathedral, Co. Kerry, which he directed on behalf of the National Monuments Service. He is currently directing the UAU investigation of the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.
Contact: fionnbarr.moore@ahg.gov.ie

Karl Brady is an archaeologist who has been working in the Underwater Archaeology Unit of the National Monuments Service since 1999. Karl has responsibility for the management of the Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland and has undertaken surveys of several shipwrecks. Karl has published a number of articles on early maps, medieval ship graffiti, early medieval ecclesiastical remains, heritage management, logboats and shipwrecks and has also published two books on shipwrecks entitled The Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland: Louth, Meath, Dublin & Wicklow in 2008 and Warships, U-boats & Liners: A Guide to Shipwrecks Mapped in Irish Waters in 2012. More recently Karl has been directing the underwater archaeological excavations of a number of newly discovered logboats from Lough Corrib Co. Galway and is part of the UAU team investigating the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.
Contact: karl.brady@ahg.gov.ie

Dr Connie Kelleher is a member of the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU), National Monuments Service since 1999. Connie’s work has allowed her to direct archaeological surveys and excavations, including maritime landscape studies, post-medieval coastal archaeological sites and direct work on a number of specific wreck sites ranging from the 1588 remains of the Spanish Armada ship La Trinidad Valencera; an early 17th-century possible pirate vessel in West Cork; the early 17th-century wreck near Rutland Island, Burtonport in Donegal; the possible remains of one of Cromwell’s Parliamentarian ships, Great Lewis, in Waterford Harbour, to the 1697 remains of the HMS Looe in Baltimore, Co. Cork and most recently as part of the UAU team investigating the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.

A graduate of NUI Cork, her doctoral thesis from Trinity College Dublin looked at ‘The Confederacy of Pirates in Southwest Ireland in the Early 17th-Century: Trade, Plunder and Settlement – a historical and archaeological study’. She lectures part-time in the Archaeology Department in University College Cork, delivering the ‘Introduction to Underwater Archaeology’ course. Connie has published articles and chapters in books on her work to date.

A past council member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland (RSAI), she currently sits on the board of the International Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology (ACUA). She is a member of the European Scientific Diver Panel (ESDP), is currently chair of the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG) and a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (MIAI)
Contact: connie.kelleher@ahg.gov.ie

Lecture Title: La Juliana – 1588 Spanish Armada wreck: its rediscovery by and follow up investigation by the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU), National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht by Fionnbarr Moore, Karl Brady and Connie Kelleher (to be delivered by Fionnbarr Moore, project director)

In April 2015 the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) undertook a series of dive inspections in the general location of the three Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, in Co. Sligo. The sites were first identified 30 years ago. The reported locations of La Lavia and Santa Maria de Vison were dived but no identifiable wreck remains were recorded; the wreck of La Juliana, however, was clearly exposed on the seabed with two cannon visible from the surface.

On diving the site the number of finds quickly increased to four bronze cannon, a number of carriage wheels, part of a gun carriage, two anchors and structural elements of the wreck itself. This discovery was brought to the attention of Minister Humphreys and resources were immediately made available for a follow up investigation involving survey, excavation and recovery of the more vulnerable artefacts. This work was carried out in June and July of this year and in all 9 highly decorated bronze cannon, one carriage wheel, a bronze cauldron and a number of smaller items were excavated and recovered. The wreck site was surveyed in detail, with other elements of the shipwreck including pottery, cannon balls and the two anchors recorded in detail. The artefacts recovered by the UAU are now undergoing conservation in the National Museum of Ireland’s conservation facility in Collins Barracks, Dublin.

This talk will present an illustrated summary of the excavation and artefact recovery along with initial observations on the finds, assessment of the site dynamics as observed in the course of the UAU investigation, the post-excavation research and proposed future management plans for the wreck sites by the National Monuments Service.
 


Grange and Armada Development Association are delighted to welcome Hiram Morgan to Grange for the Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015.

Born in Belfast in 1960, Hiram Morgan was educated at St Catharine’s College Cambridge and now teaches at University College Cork. He has written Tyrone’s Rebellion (Woodbridge, 1993) and has edited Political Ideology in Ireland, 1541-1641 (Dublin, 1999), Information, Media and Power through the Ages (Dublin, 2001) and the Battle of Kinsale (Bray, 2004). He was a founder and co-editor of History Ireland, Ireland’s illustrated history magazine. He is director of CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts of Ireland and is currently working on a biography of Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, for publication by the Royal Irish Academy.

Lecture Title: The Impact of the Spanish Armada in Ireland

This paper looks at how the Armada’s shipwreck in 1588 affected the political situation in Ireland. Even though the Armada had failed against England directly in the Channel, its accidental encounter with Ireland had important indirect consequences for England. Whilst many Spaniards were drowned or killed on the coasts of Ireland, the survivors who reached various Irish chiefs inland – O’Rourke, O’Flaherty, McSweeny and O’Neill – had a significant impact on native resistance. They taught new military tactics and helped to get messages through to the Spanish authorities. When the Spanish again took a serious interest in Ireland in 1596, they found six Armada survivors still living in Ireland, including Tyrone’s famous servant Pedro Blanco shipwrecked at Streedagh. He passed back and forward through the lines at Kinsale prior to the decisive battle and then accompanied O’Neill on the Flight of Earls.

Besides the fate of Gaelic Ireland in the short term, the paper concludes by reflecting on some of the myths about the Armada survivors and more recently about the rediscovery of its artefacts.


Grange and Armada Development Association are delighted to welcome Steven Birch to Grange for the Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015.
Steven was the leader and driver of the Streedagh Diver Group who rediscovered the Streedagh Wrecks in 1985. It is particularly exciting that he is visiting and contributing a paper in the light of the recent recovery of artefacts from the Juliana. We look forward to an intriguing exchange of ideas and information on Sunday 20th September as he joins with Dr. Hiram Morgan of UCC and personnel from the Underwater Archaeology Unit and the National Museum in dissecting the recent work and recoveries from the Streedagh Wrecks site.

Steven Birch

Having a passion for maritime archaeology, in particular the Spanish Armada of 1588, Steven conducted research into the Enterprise of England over a number of years resulting in the formation of the Streedagh Armada Group. The group of divers discovered the remains of the three Armada ships off Streedagh Strand in May 1985 and successfully recovered a number of artefacts off the seabed including three cannons from La Juliana and a breech-loading swivel gun from La Lavia. Other objects were recorded on the wreck sites including the complete rudder of La Juliana and two bronze guns still mounted on their composite wood and iron carriages.

Steven is now Director of West Coast Archaeological Services (WCAS), a Highlands-based archaeological business established in January 1998. Steven graduated with an MA in Scottish Archaeology from the University of Aberdeen in 2005 and recent posts have included being a member of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (2006 to 2008) and the Scottish Archaeological Research Frameworks (ScARF), sitting on the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Panel (2009 to 2010).

WCAS provides contract archaeology services to a wide-variety of public sectors, including construction, engineering, utilities and forestry, as well as private individuals and community groups throughout the Highlands & Islands. They also provide consultancy services, which includes desk-based assessments and research for heritage projects

Steven has also recently co-directed two research-based excavations on the island of Skye in Scotland; at High Pasture Cave and the Fiscavaig Rock Shelter. Both projects have provided a wealth of detail relating to prehistoric settlement and ritual activities in Skye. Current projects include the Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project, which has been running for the past three years, investigating the settlement, economy and trade of a Royal Burgh.

Lecture Title: Prelude to Disaster: a biography of the Spanish Armada Transport vessels wrecked on Streedagh Strand in 1588

The lecture will present details relating to the Spanish Armada vessels La Lavia, La Juliana and Santa Maria de Vison, lost off Streedagh Strand in September 1588. This will include a brief history of the ships including their role in earlier military campaigns, their embargo to take part in the Armada campaign of 1588, along with details relating to the provisions, supplies and armaments loaded on board prior to their passage into the English Channel. 

 


Armada Interpretive Centre needed urgently

Grange and Armada Development Association (GADA) has welcomed with delight the announcement of Minister for Arts Heritage and The Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries, of funding for the preservation of the Streedagh Wrecks site at Grange, Co. Sligo.
“This development is something that we have being working towards for the past five years,” said Chairman of GADA Eddie O’Gorman.

Recent survey findings have revealed the vulnerability of the Armada Wrecks at Streedagh and GADA is determined to assist and support the State authorities in the recovery and preservation of precious artefacts contained in the endangered wrecks.
“We are appealing for funding for a number of developments which will enhance this unique tourist resource and attract international visitors to the north Sligo region.
“The first step is the urgent upgrade of the old courthouse at Grange to provide a state of the art Armada Interpretive and Visitor Centre which will act as a focal point for the work on the Streedagh Wreck site,” said Mr O’Gorman.

The group also feels the development of a secure holding facility in Grange to house the necessary ancillary vessels and equipment is of vital importance.
“This could also contain a temporary conservation facility to accommodate artefacts recovered from the wreck,” said the GADA Chairman.

“In the medium term a modest conservation project open to the public could be developed in partnership with a third level institution. A citizen science educational facility,” Mr O’Gorman said.

Meanwhile the long term aim of GADA is the establishment of a museum space, as resources become available, for the display of artefacts that have an intrinsic connection to the North West Region.

Ever since the loss of three great ships of the Spanish Armada and over 1,100 men, including soldiers, sailors, and noblemen, on the beach at Streedagh on September 21, 1588, the people of North Sligo have commemorated this world history event in folk memory. Through the work of Grange and Armada Development Association locals have marked the story of this maritime disaster in many ways over the years. GADA’s mission is to establish Grange as the Armada Centre for Ireland through the protection and conservation of the Armada Wreck site at Streedagh, the development of an Armada Interpretive Centre, and to host an annual series of events commemorating the Armada story.

The Celtic Fringe festival, now in its fifth year, has promoted the Armada and De Cuellar stories through lectures, music and drama, walks, and tours and this year, the headline event will be a re-enactment of the aftermath of one of the greatest maritime disasters in world history.
”Reviving the Armada” takes place on Streedagh beach on September 19.


 

The Festival kicked off on Thurs 18th September with two guided walks at Streedagh with Seatrails’ Auriel Robinson. Auriel shared her research and knowledge of the geography, geology, flora and fauna, history and heritage with an enthusiastic group of walkers who were blessed with glorious sunshine.

Later that evening Dr Prannie Rhatigan entertained a crowd that filled to capacity Eithna’s By the Sea Cookery Space in Mullaghmore. Prannie introduced us to seaweeds: we met them, we ate them, we loved them. As always the Seaweed Doctor gave a relaxed and hugely informative talk on the benefits of this resource that is prized by other nations but is often undervalued in Ireland. Eithne provided the space and culinary skills and we all sampled generous portions of nutritious and, most importantly, delicious food-starter, main and dessert - all enhanced by the addition of seaweed ingredients.

Later still at the Firesider’s Sessions at Barry’s Public House local and visiting musicians provided an eclectic mix of acoustic music and song in a relaxed atmosphere to an appreciative audience.

On Friday, Drama visited Grange. Five local Primary Schools told the thrilling story of Armada Captain Francisco De Cuellar: Hero. Grange Hall was packed to capacity as pupils from the senior classes of Grange, Rathcormack, Carns, Magherow, and Cliffoney Schools regaled the audience with stunning performances of the highest quality. Remarkably these five individual dramatic pieces were produced in less than three weeks. The Teachers involved, enthusiastic and inspiring, gave their pupils a fantastic induction and immersion in the dramatic arts. Without a doubt, this experience will be a springboard for a new generation of acting talent.

Spanish Food night at Barry’s Public House was sold out. Flamenco Kitchen provided the best of Iberian cuisine at this pop up location and feedback (sic) from satisfied gourmands was overwhelmingly positive.

The Festival Club followed and local group LOKI performed a stunning set of new arrangements of traditional Irish music. Keep an eye out for these talented young award winning musicians because they are very special and will go on to much bigger stages and fame.

The Lecture Series “The Armada Wrecks in Ireland” attracted an international audience to Grange Hall on Saturday morning. Little wonder, as the line up of eminent Armada experts included Dr Doug McElvogue and Dr Nessa O’Connor, both of whom were involved with the wreck site at Streedagh when it was discovered back in the mid 1980s. Dr Mark Gardiner of Queens University Belfast completed the roster and he gave a fascinating insight into the economics and politics of the North West in 16th Century Ireland. Dr McElvogue presented new research on La Juliana and La Lavia and exhorted the local community to get behind the promotion of the world heritage site we have here at Streedagh.
Dr O’Connor pledged the support of the National Museum for the ongoing work of the Grange and Armada Development Association in developing a Spanish Armada Interpretive Centre at the Old Courthouse in Grange.
The lectures were linked by classical music pieces of the period performed by virtuoso flautist Robert Tobin on his golden flute, baroque flute and tin whistle. “Sunday Miscellany on a Saturday” at the Celtic Fringe Festival.

In an afternoon of brilliant sunshine a bus load of Armada enthusiasts were guided around the various sites associated with Capt. De Cuellar - Streedagh, Staad, Glencar, Castletown, Glenade, and Rossclogher. Eddie O’Gorman explained the background and landscape. Theatrical encounters with De Cuellar (Luke Devaney) and various Irish char- actors (sic!) (Anthony Brennan) brought the travails of the famed adventurer to vivid life.

The Festival Club was hosted in Moran’s Bar and Marquee from 9.00pm till late. Oddsocks, Sligo’s finest four piece rhythm and groove band, gave it socks to the huge crowd of punters rocking the night away.

Sunday morning festival goers had the choice of Sean McDonald’s Cycle Event, Dr Prannie Rhatigan’s Seaweed Walk, or The Gleniff Horseshoe 8 mile run and 4 mile Walk. All three events on the anniversary date of the Wreckings at Streedagh were well attended and enthusiastically enjoyed. The sun shone, no sign of storm.

All returned to the village for Fiesta Sunday from 2pm to 6pm, the Family Fun Day in Grange Playground, Park and Monster Marquee. Marshalled by Tom Hayes and assisted by hardworking committee members and an army of volunteers, a cornucopia of events unfolded throughout the afternoon. Gourmet Food Stalls, Children’s Sporting Events, Bouncy Castles, Drumming Workshops, Puppet Show, Face painting, Kids Disco. All free except for the food offerings!

Festival club moved to Lang’s iconic Front Bar in the evening and packed to the rafters revelers enjoyed the best of Irish traditional music and song from a talented group of local musicians which brought down the curtain on a magical Celtic Fringe Festival 2014.


 

Celtic Fringe Festival took place 3 weeks ago and the committee is already working on next year’s festival. The success of the festival was the result of the hard work, support and commitment of the committee members, friends and volunteers. Grange and Armada Development Association would like to say: Thank you All. Thank you, because your enthusiasm is the key to the success of Celtic Fringe Festival.
 

Thank you to:
 

Wayne Mulcahy for 6 days of uncomplaining and invaluable assistance, billboards and traffic management.
North Sligo Agricultural Show for providing us with the magnificent marquee and crash barriers and also for erecting and dismantling same.
Sligo Co.Co. for traffic cones and use of car park.
Eimear Lowe who was assigned from Sligo Volunteer Centre and travelled from Carrick on Shannon to help us at Family Fun Day.
Ursula Duignan and Kate Hayes for supervision and help when needed.
Also the four Civil Defence volunteers who were on hand to provide medical assistance that day.
Paul Mc Carthy for providing the disco free of charge.
The Gallagher School of Irish Dancing for providing us with wonderful music and dancers.
Eithne O Sullivan and Liz Doherty for their excellent work at the bbq stall. Prannie Rhatigan for lovely cakes and amazing seaweed snacks. Both Eithne and Prannie for a wonderful Thursday night at Eithne’s By The Sea. Prannie also for supporting the festival committee during the preparation of Celtic Fringe Fest and help with a number of events.
Barry O’Flynn for providing an AED machine. Also Barry and Mona O'Flynn for their help with organising the cycle tour.
Angela Leonard at Lissadell House for facilitating the cycle group and for providing them with much needed teas, coffees and scones.
Mel Casserly for organising the Horseshoe Run and Walk and his great work as Ice-Cream Man.
Carmel Roberts, Mairead Gillen, Helen Gillen, Luke Casserly, Elizabeth and Steven Wood for helping with catering, marshalling and timekeeping at the Horseshoe Race.
Micheal O Connell for sponsoring the water for runners and walkers.
Bernie Brooks, Samantha Nicholson and Nanette Francis for their help in the School Hall at the Armada Youth Drama.
Nicola Gillen Davis for the backdrop painting and also for the preparation of the hall along with Paddy Davis.
Sean Nicholson for lighting at the Armada Youth Drama.
Mick Woulfe for his professional work as stage manager and also his assistants Anthony Brennan and Adrian Devaney.
Again Anthony Brennan for compering and introductions at the Armada Youth Drama and also for his wonderful performance along with Luke Devaney during the Bus Tour.
Thomas Gillen who was a Walk Leader and Ewan Davies who played a drum.
Michael Waters for providing a blacksmith apron and Michael Brennan for providing blacksmith tools.
Mary Casey who helped at the Bus Tour.
For giving permission to use their land: Tommy O'Donnell (Land Owner Castletown), Mary Siberry (Land Owner Glencar), Martin Branley (Land Owner Largydonnell), Damien Foley (Land Owner Rossclogher).
Elaine Hanson for designing and manufacturing the streamers.
Ita Charles for wall hangings refurbishment.
Dermot Feeney for outdoor decoration.
Sinead Mitchell for liaison at Lang’s.
Edward Moran for providing us with a lectern.
Dr John Pender for moderating panel discussion during the Lecture Series.
Jimmy Keogh for providing us with the loan of a screen.
Flautist Robert Tobin for an extraordinary performance during the Lecture Series and assisting at Prannie’s stall.
Auriel Robinson for organisation two Streedagh Walks.
 


 

The De Cuellar Trek

Walk and Talk and Bus Tour: Saturday 20th September 2014

Walk and Tour Coordinator : Eddie O’Gorman B.A., H.D.E., Teacher, Local Historian,
Community Radio Producer and Broadcaster of Making History Series at Western Waves Community Radio.

Contact No. 086 080 2623
 

Time Line
14.30 Crowd assembly in Car Park at Streedagh Beach.
          Walk commences to mid point of beach to view Streedagh Point, Carraig na Spaineach, Innishmurray Island, Donegal Bay, Site of Wrecks etc (5 mins)
14.35 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
14.45 Toilet / Board Bus at Car Park (5 mins)

14.50 Bus departs Car Park
14.55 Walkers disembark bus and are led up lanes with panoramic views of landscape to Staad ruins (15 mins)
15.10 Re-assemble at Staad. Talk/Pageant (5 mins)
15.15 Board Bus.
15.20 Bus departs Staad for Glencar Lake (20 mins)

15.40 Arrive Glencar Coach Park
           Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
15.50 Toilet / Board Bus
15.55 Depart Glencar for O’Rourke’s Castle at Castletown. (20 mins )

16.15 Arrive Castletown. Short walk through gate and field to Castle (5 mins)
16.20 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
16.30 Return to Bus
16.35 Bus departs for Keelogues (20 mins)

16.55 Arrive at Keelogues
           Talk/Pageant (5 mins)
17.00 Depart Keelogues for Rossclogher (Mc Clancy’s Castle) (20 mins)

17.20 Arrive Rosclogher. Walk to shoreline of Lough Melvin (15 mins)
17.35 Talk/Pageant (10 mins)
17.45 Return to Bus (15 mins)
18.00 Depart for Streedagh (30 mins)
18.30 Arrive back at Streedagh

Notes: All of the walking is undemanding but it would be advisable to wear walking boots or stout shoes as some of the ground covered is uneven e.g. gree

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