A Spanish television network has been to Derry to record a feature on the historic links between Derry and Spain.
Earlier this month saw the launch of Templemore Archaeology’s Derry-Spanish Project and, within days, a fully-equipped six-man crew from a Spanish television company, made an unexpected visit to the city to see what all the fuss was about.
The new project, a voluntary and cross-community venture, involves three stages and is envisaged to stretch as far as the autumn of 2015.
The first of these is the planned publication of an illustrated history entitled “The Spanish Armada and the Irish Connection”, which is nearing completion. Stage two aims to complete on-going investigations as to the exact location of a mass grave of massacred ship-wrecked sailors and soldiers of the Spanish Armada who surrendered near Derry in 1588.
The final stage will have as its central focus the “Crowning Stone” at Belmont House and the re-enactment of an ancient Celtic inauguration ceremony of An Taoiseach of Inis Eoghain/Chieftain of Inishowen.
Barcelona-based Televisio Espanyola crew, with the assistance of an interpreter, were keenly interested in historical, archaeological and cultural Irish-Spanish linkages and Derry, in particular.
During their visit to the Crawford Square office of Templemore Archaeology, they filmed a series of interviews and focused on a recently discovered artefact, a bell, which is believed to be from a Spanish vessel named ‘Anna Dorotea’.
At the TV crew’s request, the bell, dated 1771, was sounded several times. Its engraving reveals what is believed to be the name of its foundry-makers, I.A. Kiempe.