Scattery Island: The Visit of the Spanish Armada
Clare County Library
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The most prominent family associated with Scattery Island were the Keanes, Kanes, or O'Cahanes. The stone ruin facing the pier is all that is left of the O'Cahane Castle which was 'a new castle partly builded' in 1576. Nicholas Cahane, Coroner of Thomond, left an interesting account of the visit of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Four large Armada ships and three small ones sailed safely into the Shannon and anchored in the Scattery Roads. They were well-handled and probably navigated by a pilot who knew the coastline. A furious, but cautious, Boetius Clancy - High Sheriff of Clare - surveyed this mini-Armada from the shore. He had already hanged, and would hang more, Armada survivors, but he steered clear of this well-armed mobile group. He could only watch and wait for developments. For several days the Spaniards stayed at this safe anchorage while necessary repair work was carried out under the eyes of Queen Elizabeth's officers. To such a state of weakness had the Spaniards been reduced that they offered Nicholas Cahane an entire ship, the Annunciada, with all her gear and guns in return for fresh provisions and material to make repairs. He refused. A few days later the Annunciada was stripped and set on fire by her owners. The captain of this vessel was Ohmucevic Iveglia, a famous seaman from Ragusa (Dubrovnik). The entire company of the ship, which burned to the waterline before sinking to the bottom of the Shannon estuary, was taken on board the Barca de Danzig. All remaining ships sailed together from the Shannon on a brisk north-east wind on September 11th. The safe return of the Barca de Danzig was recorded in Spain and it is highly probable that the other vessels in whose company she sailed likewise made a safe landing on the Spanish coast.




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Armada Door

Armada Door - The carving of a
cornucopia is reputed to have been washed ashore at Spanish Point following the sinking of an Armada ship.