Armada cannonball washes ashore

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ANOTHER artefact from the Spanish Armada wreckage has been found washed up on Streedagh Beach.

CANNONBALL: Donal Gilroy of the Sligo Armada Development Association visits the Sligo Weekender offices with the cannonball found at Streedagh beach.
CANNONBALL: Donal Gilroy of the Sligo Armada Development Association visits the Sligo Weekender offices with the cannonball found at Streedagh beach.

A cannonball, believed to have been used in swivel cannons due to its size, was discovered by Donal Gilroy of the Grange Armada Development Association.

This is just the latest item from the wreckage to have been brought ashore by the winter storms, with a 20 foot rudder and granite ballasts also being found in February.

Donal explained how he found the cannonball and offered some insight into their knowledge of the relic.

“The cannonball showed up on March 20 and I reported it to the National Monument Service who will be in Sligo in three or four weeks to collect it.”

“It is about 80 millimetres in thickness and around 210 grams in weight. It is not very big, it is a small cannonball, it was obviously never fired but it would have done it’s fair share of damage if it struck the side of boat.”

“It is made of what we believe to be granite stone which would have been common for the area it came from. These type of stone cannonballs would have been made by children who were known as ‘Powder Boys’. Their job would have been to bring powder to the cannons during battle and they would have used their free time to chip away at stones to make the cannonballs.”

He also revealed that a seperate study is currently underway which concerns the Butter Boat which also ran aground on the same beach.

Analysis is being carried out to determine if the boat may in fact have been part of an Armada fleet and not a 19th century boat as it is currently believed to be.

For more on this story pick up this week’s Sligo Weekender- in shops now.

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