Cathaoirleach commends ‘exceptional’ Armada film

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry has commended the production team behind the film Armada 1588 : Shipwreck & Survival’ . The story of the Spanish Armada wrecks at Streedagh Beach has been widely praised at home and abroad since it was launched online at the weekend.

‘It was an exceptional production from start to finish, and I am not surprised by the widespread plaudits it has received, including in the national Spanish media. The fact that it was produced by a voluntary group is even more remarkable, and their professionalism and attention to historical detail is evident throughout. Sligo County Council was honoured to support this project, which has greatly enhanced our appreciation and understanding of this fascinating episode in our local history.’

Three Spanish Armada ships were wrecked at Streedagh on September 21st 1588, and while over 1,000 unfortunate Spaniards lost their lives, one of the few survivors, Captain Francisco de Cuéllar managed not only to escape, but wrote a lengthy account of the event, and this was the basis for the new film.

International media

Some of the main daily newspapers have highlighted the film’s success, including El País and ABC in Spain. Both newspapers highlighted the fact that while Spain has a difficult association with the Armada, they find it uplifting to see that in a county far away from their own shores, the history of one of their most significant historical battles is remembered. Every September this memory is recalled during a moving parade which takes place between Streedagh beach and the Armada monument when the victims of the Spanish Armada are remembered. (the Cathaoirleach spoke during last year’s event. It’s likely this September’s event will be online only, depending on restrictions.)

Global audience

The film has been downloaded by people in more than 20 countries already, and the response has been universally positive. It’s a wonderful film, directed by Al Butler of Mediacoop, produced by Colin Norris, Max Carpio and local producer Micheál Ó Domhnaill, who co-wrote the script with Al Butler. It stars Spanish actor Fernando Corral, who did an incredible job in the role of Francisco de Cuéllar, and the film included a large cast and crew drawn from Sligo and elsewhere.

Social history

This story is part of Sligo’s social history, a 422 year old first hand account of an incredible tale of tragedy, adventure and escape. This film will help bring the story of Sligo and the Spanish Armada to many more people around the world. The film was part financed by Sligo County Council with the Department of Rural & Community Development through the Town & Village Renewal Scheme. It will be available free to viewers who visit the Spanish Armada Visitor Centre in Grange (currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions), and is currently available as a video download from, cost €4.99, the proceeds of which will be invested in the development of the Armada Centre in Grange.

Sligo County Council

25th May 2020