Grange and Armada Development Association (G.A.D.A.)
Ever since the tragic loss of three great ships of the Spanish Armada and over 1,100 men; soldiers and sailors, noblemen and commoners; on the beach at Streedagh on that fateful day, 21st September 1588, the people of North Sligo have commemorated in folk memory the plight of all those poor lost fellow souls.
Despite the risk of persecution from the forces of Queen Elizabeth the first of England some Irish chieftains like O’Rourke of Briefne and McClancy of Dartry offered sanctuary to the few survivors that struggled ashore. The real heroes were, perhaps, the ordinary peasant people who, for no other reason than empathy for those in distress, gave shelter, food, and succour to strangers from a foreign land.
The people of Streedagh, Grange and North Sligo have, over the years, marked the story of this maritime disaster on our shoreline in many ways. The 400th Anniversary in 1988 saw the launch of the booklet still in use today “The Spanish Armada 1588- The Journey of Francisco De Cuellar- Sligo to the Causeway Coast”
Grange and Armada Development Association organised a very successful series of events throughout that year including Music and Dance events, a pop up Museum, A Symposium, visits by Spanish Dignitaries and interests, Walks etc. Of particular importance was the development of The De Cuellar Trail through the North West to the Causeway Coast.
The re-constituted Grange and Armada Development Association along with the Celtic Fringe Festival have ambitious plans to develop a tourist offering based on the Armada and De Cuellar stories. We hope to enlist Spanish Associations and Interests in furthering these plans.
To establish Grange as the Armada Centre for the whole of the Island of Ireland through:
- The protection, conservation and promotion of the Wreck site at Streedagh – a world heritage site
- The development of an Interpretive Centre for the Spanish Armada of 1588 at the Old Courthouse Grange
- The establishment of a tourist hub for the North West in Grange Village
- The promotion of the De Cuellar story and trail