North Sligo Maritime Museum must be established
Sligo News File Online
Following the discovery of priceless cannon and other important artefacts at the site of the Armada Ship La Juliana off Streedagh, Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has called on Arts Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Museum of Ireland to ensure that all Armada artefacts, including the recently recovered cannon, are returned to the north Sligo community.
Senator Mac Sharry commented, “The work done by the Grange Armada Development Association together with the broader North
Sligo Community in highlighting the significance of the Armada wrecks off the Streedagh shore must be appropriately recognised. It is great that the National Museum is finally intervening to undertake site preservation and artefact recovery following the detrimental effects that recent storms have had on the sea bed and integrity of the wreck and its relics. This intervention is long overdue.
“The Armada story is one of vital global maritime significance and the communities of Streedagh and Grange are a very significant part of that history. As such I am calling on Minister Humphreys and the National Museum to return all relics from the Armada to the north Sligo community for display. Naturally it is important that the appropriate study and analysis takes place given the incredible archaeological significance and it is incumbent on Government to ensure that the necessary resources are provided to maximise site preservation and artefact recovery.
“I believe the most appropriate way to honour the work of the community and in particular the members of the Grange Armada Development Association, not least the great mariners and soldiers lost to the Streedagh Armada wreck, would be by establishing a National Maritime Museum and interpretive centre in north Sligo, where the recovered artefacts can be put on secure permanent display.
“This will require significant resources but there would be no better location for such a worthy and important initiative. In reality the National Museum has no space to accommodate the current volume of artefacts that it houses, and are forced to alternate their displays at the Kildare Street site. The Courthouse in Grange could serve as a temporary home until funding is secured for an Armada Maritime Museum.”
“This opportunity is too big to let pass and so I am calling on Government to do the right thing. The importance and potential of
archaeological tourism to Ireland is completely unrealised. From globally significant maritime sites such as Streedagh’s Armada, to the countless other land based sites such as Carrowmore and Carrowkeel, the North West region has untapped tourism resource that should be harnessed and built upon”.