Chair of Spanish Armada Ireland, Eddie O’Gorman was invited to speak at the recent prestigious Spanish Armada International Conference in Cartagena, Spain.

Taking place in April 2019, the conference featured many of the renowned Armada experts, and it was a great honour for Eddie not only to attend, but also to speak on behalf of the people of Grange and Sligo. He outlined much of the work that has been done here in recent years to grow and develop the links between Sligo and the Spanish Armada. As many of you will know, three great Spanish Armada ships sank at Streedagh Beach near Grange in 1588, with the loss of over 1,100 lives.

Eddie has compiled a report on the conference and the response to his paper – this can be read below.


The Spanish Armada of 1588 and The English Counter Armada of 1589
Report on the International Congress Cartagena 23-26 April 2019
by Eddie O’Gorman

Grange and Armada Development Association (GADA) was invited to present a paper at this prestigious congress in April this year.

Spanish Armada Conference - Cartagena, Spain April 2019 © Museo Arqua

Spanish Armada Conference – Cartagena, Spain April 2019 © Museo Arqua

The Congress was attended by many of the Armada experts who came to Sligo in September 2017 for the Spanish Armada International Conference “A Gathering Storm” including Dr. Colin Martin, Dr. Paula Martin, Dr. Ivan Negueruela, Dr. Miguel San Claudia Santa Cruz, Dr. Francis Kelly UCC, Dr. Augusto Salgado Lisbon, and our friends from the Underwater Archaeology Unit, Fionnbarr Moore and Karl Brady.

Also presenting papers were: Dr. Hugo O’Donnell Duke of Estrada and President of the Royal Academy of History in Spain; Dr. Declan Downey UCD; Dr. Luis Gorochategui La Corunna; and Armada experts from Spain, UK, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, France, Croatia and USA.

Eddie O’Gorman, Chair of GADA, gave a presentation entitled “A Village Remembers: Grange and the Spanish Armada. The Story of Grange and Armada Development Association.” Declan Bruen also represented GADA at the Congress.

Eddie O’Gorman (centre) at Spanish Armada Conference © Declan Bruen

Eddie O’Gorman (centre) at Spanish Armada Conference © Declan Bruen

The talk was book-ended by two short videos of “Remembering the Armada 2016 & 2018. The international attendance, that included representatives from the Spanish Naval Service and also from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, enthusiastically applauded the work of GADA committees, past and present, in preserving the memory of the fallen at Streedagh Strand in 1588.

It was a great honour for GADA to be invited to join with all the distinguished speakers and delegates and an invitation was issued to all attendees to attend our Heritage Weekend “Remembering the Armada 2019” 20-22 September.

Following the Congress, Eddie and his wife Mary spent five days in Madrid, visiting many of the historic sites associated with the 1588 Armada including the Escorial of Philip 2nd and the Royal Palace under the expert guidance of GADA friend and benefactor, Joaquin Estades Seco.

Eddie and Mary were invited to an arranged tour of the Spanish Naval Service (Armada) H.Q. and museum and enjoyed a lunch with the Chief of Staff Admiral López Calderón: Almirante Jefe del Estrado Mayor de la Armada (AJEMA);

Eddie & Mary O’Gorman with Joaquin Estades Seco and senior Spanish Navy personnel in Madrid, April 2019

Eddie & Mary O’Gorman with Joaquin Estades Seco and senior Spanish Navy personnel in Madrid, April 2019

Admiral José Antonio Ruesta Botella: Presidente del Tribunal Marítimo Central; Admiral Juan Rodríguez Garat: Director of the Naval History Institute and Director of the Naval Museum.

Admiral Calderón thanked GADA for their outstanding work in remembering the fallen of the Armada of 1588 and he promised, (work permitting) to attend the heritage weekend in September accompanied by Admiral Ruesta.

On behalf of GADA, Eddie thanked ADJEMA for arranging the attendance of a ship of the modern Armada for the past three years at Streedagh and presented the Chief of Staff with a book and painting to mark the occasion.