26 Nov Spanish Point , County Clare
In July 1588 the Spanish Armada set sail from La Coruna.
It was a fleet of 65 galleons , 25 ships with stores , and 30 smaller vessells. There were 30,000 men aboard the ships !!!
There plan was to sail to Flanders and from there support an invasion of England by a large Spanish army.
But they were scattered by the English fleet in the Channel and had to escape into the North Sea.
Eventually they rounded Scotland and headed into the Atlantic where disasters struck them.
Many of the ships were wrecked off the west coast of Ireland and thousands of sailors were drowned.
One of the worst disasters occurred on the coast of Clare in the area around the headland known as “Spanish Point”. It was there in 1588 that the “San Marcos” was wrecked. Only four of the crew survived with 405 men dead !!
The “San Esteban” was wrecked a few miles further south with only sixty survivors. These survivors were seized by Boethius McClancy , the High Sheriff of Clare. He belonged to a long line of Gaelic nobles but had gone into the service of Queen Elizabet the first. He wasted no time in hanging all of the survivors !!
This callous act shocked many and every seven years afterwards the widows of the Spanish sailors met on the steps of of a church in Spain to place a curse on Boethius McClancy.
Ireland is a very historical country with a rich tapestry of tales. Try and get behind some of these when on your Ireland tours as it will enrich your visit greatly.