In late 1588, after defeat at the hands of the English and retreating through the North Sea around Scotland and south through the Atlantic, a large portion of the Spanish Armada were driven ashore by huge seas off the West Coast of Ireland. Fearing an alliance between the Irish and Spanish, the Queen’s government in Ireland issued stringent orders that any Spaniard to land on Irish soil be killed. Up to twenty five of the one hundred and thirty strong fleet were wrecked over a five hundred kilometre stretch of Irish coastline and it is estimated that five thousand lost their lives in Ireland.

On September 25th, 1588, three of this same fleet reached the coast at Streedagh, Co. Sligo, Connacht. Eighteen hundred from the three ships drowned and the first one hundred and forty that made landfall were killed by those loyal to the crown. There were few survivors but among them, Captain Francesco DeCuellar recorded in vivid detail the harrowing events and his remarkable escape with help from the Irish chieftains (among others) who helped him on his journey back to Spain via Antrim and Scotland. Remnants from many of the events mentioned in his account still remain to this day including the frame of a galleon landed on the beach at Streedagh and the ruins of Staid Abbey where he encountered twelve of his countrymen hanged in the ransacked church.

In early 2017, only ten kilometres from Streedagh and over four hundred years after the fatal wrecking of the ships, two Spaniards were once again at the mercy of huge seas in the Atlantic. And while their endeavours may not bare as much historical significance, their feats in the ocean and appreciation of the local community were similarly impressive.

Sit back and watch Indar and Natxo’s Irish strike as captured by Jon Aspuru. For more of Jon's work visit