Swords, sand and music at Grange Armada event

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Sword duelling, sand etchings and sand castle building competitions will form part of a special day to commemorate those lost on three Spanish Armada ships at Streedagh Beach in Sligo in 1588.

Armada pic
Saturday week, September 19, will see Grange and Armada Development Association (GADA) host a free family friendly event at Streedagh Beach, to remember the 1,100 souls who perished following the loss of three great Spanish Armada ships on the beach.

The event is the highlight of the 2015 Celtic Fringe Festival in Grange, Co. Sligo. Now in its fifth year, the festival provides a wonderful weekend of entertainment, including walks, talks, lectures and music.

“Remembering the Armada” will offer unique performances by both Spanish and Irish musicians and a remembrance wreath laying ceremony. GADA invites you to be one of the 1,100 people who will assemble on Streedagh Beach on September 19 from 2pm, returning to Grange village at 3.45pm for fantastic musical entertainment in the Celtic Fringe Festival marquee.

Sword dueling displays by Claíomh, a ‘living history’ group that re-creates a live and authentic image of medieval Ireland’s past, are something not to be missed.

Best known for their dramatic sword-fighting sequences, all blows are carefully choreographed by Claíomh and are based upon the real combat techniques employed by the masters of the late medieval period. Participants will also be invited to remember the tragic loss of 1,100 sailors and soldiers who died on Streedagh beach in September 1588 by standing alongside 1,100 symbolic crosses etched into the sand. A delegation from the Spanish Embassy to Ireland will be there to witness a remembrance wreath being brought out to sea by members of Sligo Sub Aqua club.

The event offers something for everyone with prizes for the best children’s Armada themed costume and a special sandcastle building competition. So dust off your buckets and spades!

From 5pm the festival marquee in Grange village will come to life with an array of international and Irish musicians performing for the evening. Composer and harpist Michael Rooney alongside members of Ceol Na n”g orchestra will perform excerpts from his famous DeCuellar suite.

Sligo’s very own Above and Below the Tide will play a mix of music, marrying folk, traditional, Balkan, classic and rock.

From Melbourne, Australia, Frances McGinnis O’Neill will present excerpts from her stage production ‘The Last Torch’, a new ceoldrama based on survivors from the Spanish Armada wrecks at Streedagh. And from Santiago, Spain – aCentral Folque – Galician Folque musicians will offer their unique Spanish traditional music.

The marquee will also feature many more local and international acts and promises to be an evening to remember.

“We would like as many people as possible to come along to the ‘Remembering the Armada’ event, to help us commemorate those who lost their lives there. The Celtic Fringe Festival offers something for all, from the young to the young at heart.

‘‘Please come along and celebrate our international weekend,” said Chairperson of GADA Eddie O’Gorman.

GADA would like to thank all its many sponsors, especially AbbVie, for making this weekend of cultural celebration possible.

For more information on the ‘Remembering the Armada’ event, the Celtic Fringe Festival or to get some costume ideas check out Grange and Armada Development Association on Facebook visit on the websites www.grangeandarmada.com and www.celticfringefest.com.

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