The Galleass Girona

The Galleass Girona

Girona Teresa Godfrey Betsie

Photo by Richard Sloan

It is October 1588, and the Spanish Galleass Girona has survived fire, ships in the English Channel and storms as it retreats north, round Scotland and down the west coast of Ireland. Seven hundred survivors, mainly from nobility from the Encoranda and other ships, join the Girona setting sail from Killy Begs along the treacherous north coast of Ireland to Catholic Scotland heading straight into another violent storm.

The ship built for five hundred crew was now carrying one thousand three hundred people. At the same time, a small community living on the north coast is about to witness the most extraordinary event in their lives. Father O’Connell is meeting with the local chief, Sorley Boy Mc Donell, at Dunluce Castle to discuss the alarming news of the fleet of the Spanish warships. Betsie who works in the kitchen overhears the conversation. As the ship comes too close to the shore, Betsie is horrified by what she sees.

This recording is an extract of a play written by Geraldine Fitzgerald called ‘The Girona’, read by Teresa Godfrey. Photo by Richard Sloan.

This record was collected as part of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust’s Uncharted Histories of the Causeway Coast Project. Please click here to learn more about this project.