Year after year, Grange remembers the castaways of the Great Armada of 1588

The homage of a town in Ireland to the sailors of the Spanish Navy who fell there

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On September 23, 1588, three ships of the Great Spanish Armada (also known as the Invincible Armada) were shipwrecked off the beach of Streedagh, in northwestern Ireland, during a campaign aimed at the invasion from England. Those ships were the "Lavia", the "Juliana" and the "Santa María de Visón". Between the three of them they had about 1,100 crew members, but there were only a hundred survivors of that shipwreck. A large part of those castaways were able to survive thanks to the help of the Irish Catholics who lived in that place, and who had He placed his hopes in Spain to liberate his country, since then the entire island of Ireland was occupied by England.

For years,the inhabitants of the town of Grange, in the county of Sligo (where the aforementioned beach is located), have held annual acts of homage to those Spanish sailors who were shipwrecked on their shores. During these celebrations the so-called Twilight Parade is held, in which these Irish countrymen go to the Streedagh silver to remember those who fell from the Spanish Armada.

In the case of Ireland, the sound of the bagpipes could not be missing. In this case it was the traditional Irish war bagpipe (a descendant of the famous Piob Mhor), very similar to the Scottish bagpipe.

As every year, some Spaniards have also attended this tribute to remember their fallen compatriots in Ireland. This year, the events were held from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September. And as usual around these dates, in Sligo the flags of Spain were waving again.

In addition to the Spanish and Irish flags, this year in the tribute there was also a large Ukrainian flag, in support of that country that is being the victim of a military invasion by Russia.

During these events, and like other years, a tribute was paid to the fallen of the Spanish Armada at the monument there in their honor, near Streedagh beach. Here we see the mast that is in the monument with a flag with the Cross of Burgundy, the insignia of the Spanish Empire.

The tribute included the placement of two crowns of red and yellow flowers, the colors of the Spanish flag.

As you can see, the affection for Spain shown by these Irish countrymen is truly moving.

As in other years, the events included a conference at the small museum in Grange dedicated to the Great Army.

This museum is like a piece of Spain in Irish lands. There are flags, morions, photos and information panels telling the story of those shipwrecked.

They also have a reproduction of the red, white and yellow flag that the ships of the Great Armada waved.

The acts also included a concert, in a venue decorated with flags of Spain.

And since this is Ireland, a good dance couldn't be missing. This traditional Irish dance piece is known as "The Siege of Ennis", and refers to the Siege of Ballyalla Castle, near Ennis, in 1642, during the Irish Rebellion started the previous year.

Many thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to this people of Ireland for this moving tribute that they pay every year to our sailors. It is really impressive and moving to see that there they still remember our compatriots who were shipwrecked in the Great Armada.


Photos: Spanish Armada Ireland, Grange, Co. Sligo / Charlie Brady Photography.

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