Irish boat may be part of doomed Spanish Armada fleet

Tests are being carried out on a boat located off the west coast of Ireland to see if it was part of the Spanish Armada fleet.

Streedagh Strand, co Sligo, Ireland where the Spanish Armada wrecks remain since 1588

Streedagh Strand, co Sligo, Ireland where the Spanish Armada wrecks remain since 1588 Image by Pao Link / CC BY 2.0

The 'Butter Boat', as the vessel is known locally in Co Sligo, has lain on Streedagh beach for over 100 years.

The Irish Independent reports that the site is beside the spot where three ships of the Spanish Armada sank. The vessels, Santa Maria de Vison, La Livia and La Julianna went down in 1588 during a storm as they returned from a failed invasion of England. An estimated 1,100 people were lost in the multiple shipwrecks.

Locals believes the ‘Butter Boat’ may be the fourth ship from the Armada and tests are now being carried out to ascertain the age of the boat.

Members of the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) from an Irish government department have taken samples and will undertake a dive within the next month to assess the condition of the wrecks.

The Grange and Armada Development Association (GADA) wants a survey of the site following on from storms which threw up huge amounts of timbers. The group is worried that these could belong to one or more the ships and are being lost to the sea.

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