Members of the Donegal TIDE partnership, including TIDE Project Officer at Donegal County Council Margaret Storey, met in Killybegs (Ireland) to review Maritime Historic themes (Spanish Armada, Emigration, World Wars and Napoleonic era).
The first visit was to Fintra Beach, a couple of kilometres outside of Killybegs. In 1944, during World War 2, the Rowan crew crash landed their new B-17G-20-VE at Fintra Beach. As a curiosity, one of the engines is nowadays located in the Clock Tower Hotel restaurant!
The next visit was to St Catherine of Alexandria Church (in Ireland known as Patron Saint of Killybegs, Sea Farers, Martyr – believed to help against sudden death and unmarried women). The Church, from the 15th Century, was built in her memory, possibly, by Egyptian Monks who travelled from Spain.
A nearby Well is also dedicated to St Catherine by three priests who were present in Rome when she was canonised. They were caught off Donegal in a sea storm and prayed to St Catherine for their safety.
Both the Well and the Church link to two of our TIDE project themes where Sea Farers from the Spanish Armada and the World Wars would visited these sites for prayer. There is a plaque at these sites commemorating the visit from the Spanish Armada crews – after the sinking of two ships and the 1,300 crew that boarded the Girona before it headed for it’s tragic journey returning to Spain.