Margaret Storey | Donegal County Council
Coming soon… we are excited to announce that there will be three Virtual Reality experiences launched in Donegal (Ireland) this summer! The second VR experience dates back to the 16th Century - Spanish Armada era.
England and Spain were at war – a fleet of more than 130 ships sailed from Lisbon for England in 1588. King Philip 11 had planned to overthrow Queen Elizabeth 1 and her establishment of Protestantism that was interfering with Spanish Netherlands. After the Battle of Gravelines, due to winds and storms, the wind direction changed and the fleet managed to sail North, past Scotland around Ireland and back to Spain. Many ships were grounded or shipwrecked along the journey with many not surviving. Sadly, only 67 ships with fewer than 10,000 men survived the journey – dying of starvation, captivity or of diseases.
Donegal County Council's Virtual Reality experience focuses on two ships that moored in Donegal: La Girona and La Trinidad Valencera. La Girona travelled into Killybegs Harbour to repair her rudders. Almost 1,500 men from nearby shipwrecks travelled by foot to Killybegs to seek passage back to Spain. The Captain took a fateful decision to remove cannons from the ship and take on 800 aristocrats leaving oarsmen and their oars back onland. They headed for Scotland but sadly met their fate at Lacada Point in Antrim where sadly, most lost their lives.
The Virtual Reality Experience focuses on La Trinidad Valencera where the Captain deliberately ran the boat ashore at Kinnagoe Bay after fighting with 7 feet of water in her bows for days. They met the friendly Irish who ferried them to shore over two days and gave them food in exchange for salvage from the boat. The VR experience finishes with footage from a BBC documentary where items were salvaged from the shipwreck by the Derry Scuba Diving Club in 1975.
Artefacts from La Trinidad Valencera will be launched on 17th June 2022 and on display for the summer months. Find out more!