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.