Date: 21.04.’23

Spanish Armada TIDE International Conference

Armada experts from across Europe will converge on Sligo on May 24-25th next for the Spanish Armada TIDE International Conference. The conference, titled Turning the Tide – revealing the past through new eyes, will feature speakers from Spain, Ireland, the UK, France and Portugal who will deliver insights on a range of topics from Armada history to other maritime links between Spain and Ireland.

Three Armada ships sank at Streedagh Beach in Sligo in 1588. The wrecks were first discovered in 1985 and a supervising member of the dive team, Dr. Colin Martin, will provide one of the key conference talks. Fionnbarr Moore, who led the Underwater Archaeology Unit when the wrecks were rediscovered in 2015, will also speak.

As new material is published and discussed, the conference will also hear of the fate of Armada prisoners, 3,000 of whom were captured, as well as documentation which provides new insights on the Armada story, along with other interesting topics like how the Armada soldiers and sailors faced enormous challenges to stay alive even after the conflict with England had ended.

In addition, broader themes will include a study of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile), who lived at the time of the Armada, as well as a focus on the aftermath of the Flight of the Earls, with a particular focus on the O’Donnell clan, whose path to Spain and Portugal resulted in their establishing military connections in both countries that last to the present day. And we’ll hear of centuries of naval expeditions between Spain and Ireland, and the possible DNA links between the countries.

And the conference will provide insights into the modern museum experience and how we expect to engage with our history into the future. This will include a lecture on virtual and augmented reality, and a new Spanish Armada diorama of the Streedagh wreck site will also be unveiled.

Tickets for the Armada Lecture Series, and for a production of Cannon in Sea, a musical interpretation of the Armada, are now available on Eventbrite or at The lectures, which will take place at the Glasshouse Hotel in Sligo on May 24th and 25th next, have limited capacity, and we urge Armada enthusiasts and those with a broad interest in our shared history with Spain, to book tickets as we expect to be at capacity for all lectures. Tickets are FREE and limited to 2 tickets per booking.