The Irish Naval Association

Report on trip to Sligo to attend event at Streedagh Beach.

On Friday the 21st September 2019 a party of Irish Naval Association members from Dublin and Cork, travelled from Dublin to Sligo in route to Streedagh Beach, the scene of the wrecking of several Spanish Armada Ships in the year 1588. An overnight stay at the Clayton Hotel in which a very entertaining singsong was held in the Bar.

On Saturday morning members from Waterford and Limerick joined the main group at the Hotel, all travelled by Bus to Streedagh Beach, on arrival the Wind had moved up the Beaufort Wind Scale to Force 6, wind gusts of some 41-50 Km/hr.

LE James Joyce of the Irish Naval Service and OPV Centinela of the Spanish Navy were anchored in the Bay in quite rough conditions. An overflight by a Coastguard Helicopter did an “Over Flight” of the Beach area.

Quite a large attendance on the beach area, with large numbers of timber crosses to indicate the number of Spanish Sailors who were lost when the Ships of the Armada were driven ashore in a very severe storm in September 1588.

Several Sailors from the Spanish Navy were present, also a Sub Lieutenant from the Irish Naval Service was also present Following a welcoming address by Mr. Eddie O’Gorman of the Grange and Armada Development Association, who thanked all present and welcomed the Irish Naval Association members for attending.

The Spanish Ambassador His Excellency Mr. IIdelfanso Castro and Vice Admiral Juan Luis Sobrino Pérez-Crespo.
Addressed the assembly, The Ambassador gave a background to the events that happened all those years ago and thanked all who attended, with a special mention of the attendance of the Irish Naval association in large numbers.
A gentleman from the OPW gave a brief history of the recovery of the wrecks and what progress has been made in this area.
Several members of the Orden de Caballeros de la Capa Espanola de Valencia had travelled from Spain to attend this event, all were wearing long capes, and some were wearing the Uniform of what the Army of the day (1588) would have worn.

The local school kids had made Flags, which were given out on the day.

The parade then formed up lead off by a Piper, with the Spanish Navy stepping off first, followed by some twenty-four members of the Irish Naval Association, lead out by Bryan Gildea our President.

The route was some 2-3 Km long up a steep hill to the Spanish Armada Monument, against the very strong wind, with some rain.

At the Monument the Spanish Navy fell-in on the Port Side (Left) of the Monument with the Irish Naval Association falling in on the Starboard (Right) side. Our Colours were paraded with escort and some reading in both Spanish and English were read out, with Terry Cummins reading one reading. The Chairman of Sligo County Council Mr. Tom Mac Sharry addressed the assembly.

A Wreath laying ceremony, with the Spanish Ambassador, Vice Admiral and our President laying Wreaths at the Monument.

The Spanish Navy then sang the Hymn La Muerte no es final (Death is not final) followed by Amhrán na bhFiann lead by a member of the Irish Naval Association.

We all returned to the Hotel and had a very nice dinner that evening.

Overall all I would say all enjoyed this event.

On Monday the main party returned to Dublin by Train.

Would recommend that we add this event to our list of events.


Andy Mac Sharry
Vice President,
Irish Naval Association.