Washed-up Armada remnants highly significant

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The remnants of a Spanish Armada shipwreck which washed up on Streedagh Beach last week are regarded as highly significant pieces of archaeological evidence.

ARMADA: The washed up wooden beams from the Spanish Armada ship are carefully recovered at Streedagh Beach by locals, including Donal Gilroy (left) of the Grange Armada Association.

Two large fragments of wood, measured at 13 feet and 16 feet respectively, were exposed following recent storms and are understood to have come from the rib of one of the boats.

The three wrecks have been buried under this body of water since 1588 and the beach has been considered one of the most important maritime archaeological sites in the world since their rediscovery in 1985.

This is the second discovery of its kind after part of a 20 foot rudder was washed ashore last year in the same area.

Wooden material is not the only evidence to have turned up on the beach last week, with a more unique item appearing on the beach days later as Donal Gilroy of the Grange Armada Association revealed.

“There were low tides again and we had visitors here at the weekend who were experts in their field and identified that a lot of ballast from the boat, which is the stone used to stabilise the ship, is natural Iberian granite and should not be found anywhere north of Southern France and they did not get here without interference from man.”

The security of the three wrecks have however become a cause for concern and the GADA are calling for more to be done to preserve the site.

“A team will be coming in a number of weeks to perform an underwater assessment when weather conditions become appropriate. That is not just related to last week’s findings, this concerns the priority of the site,” Mr Gilroy said.

“There is nothing that can really be done right now. The only way they can be protected is for them to be brought ashore and preserved and unfortunately the resources are not available nationally to do this right now.”

“We are hoping they will priortise this site before any more damage is done but there seems to be an attitude that because it has survived storms since the late 16th century it should be able to withstand more.”

The underwater survey will determine how the wrecks can be protected and anything found that is deemed to be facing immediate danger will be salvaged.

“The survey will determine what has to be done to protect the wrecks. They have to go down and find what exactly is there,” Donal Gilroy explained. “If they go down and find something they consider being in immediate danger of damage, they will do everything to protect it but the plan is not to disturb the site, but the chronicle what kind of movement has taken place since the last major survey took place in 1988

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