Very interesting news from Co. Sligo where archaeologists working for the National Monuments Service have uncovered artefacts relating to a Spanish Armada Vessel, La Juliana, which sank off the Sligo coast in 1588.
The material includes a number of cannons that are described as being in excellent condition. Two of the cannons have been lifted, one of which bears a dedication to and depiction of St Matrona who was particularly venerated by the people of Catalonia and Barcelona. The cannon also bears the date 1570, the year La Juliana was constructed, putting the identity of the ship beyond doubt. The recovery operation is expected to last a number of weeks.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, stated: “We have uncovered a wealth of fascinating and highly significant material, which is more than 425 years old. The National Monuments Service believes that all of the material has come from La Juliana, one of the three Armada ships wrecked off this coastline in 1588. On current evidence, the other two wreck sites remain buried beneath a protective layer of sand, but the wreck of La Juliana is now partly exposed on the seabed along with some of its guns and other wreck material.”
“This material is obviously very historically and archaeologically significant. My Department’s priority is to safely recover the artefacts, so they can be conserved and safeguarded by the National Museum, whilst at the same time also recording the wider wreck site. I would like to sincerely thank the local community in Streedagh, who have been extremely supportive of this project. They have helped to keep watch over the site, and I am very grateful for their ongoing support. I would also like to particularly thank the Grange Armada Development Association and Sligo Sub Aqua Club for their vigilant work.”