20/07/2015 : Minister Humphreys Reports Further Progress with Recovery of Spanish Armada Guns off Sligo Coast
Dive project to recover artefacts from Spanish Armada wreck off Sligo Coast concludes
Minister describes material recovered as ‘remarkable’
Monday, 20th July 2015: The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., has today (Monday) described the quality of artefacts recovered from the Armada wreck La Juliana, off the Sligo coast, as ‘remarkable’.
A team from the Minister’s National Monuments Service has been carrying out a recovery operation for the last month to remove material which had become exposed on the seabed as a result of storms over the last two years. The material will be conserved by the National Museum of Ireland after the recovery operation winds up this week.
Minister Humphreys, who visited the dive site last month, said:
“This material, which is more than 425 years old, recovered from the seabed off the coast of Streedagh is in remarkable condition. The latest phase of the project has seen the successful recovery of a variety of significant artefacts, including six bronze cannon,a gun carriage wheel, cannon balls, a ship’s cauldron and a number of smaller items.
“The variety of guns being recovered graphically illustrates the history of the ship itself, from its origins as a trading vessel when it was built in 1570 to its use as a warship during the ill-fated Spanish Armada campaign of 1588.
“The entire operation, which will conclude this week, has been very successful. The artefacts recovered will now be conserved by the National Museum, ensuring their safe keeping for generations to come.
“I would like to once again thank the local communities in Streedagh, Grange and Mullaghmore, including the Grange Armada Development Association and the Sligo Sub Aqua Club for their continued support and assistance during the project: They continue to maintain a watch over the sites, and I am very grateful for their vigilance and support.
“I know there is a huge amount of interest in these objects locally and that the community organisations would like to see the material exhibited locally. I know that the National Museum would not stand in the way of such a proposal and that the local Development Association is actively exploring how suitable facilities could be developed. However, the conservation process means it will be up to 2 years before any of the artefacts would be ready to go on display, regardless of the location.”