1 Pound

Provincial Bank of Ireland Limited, Belfast


Obverse: Boy at right, County arms at bottom
Reverse: The Girona

La Girona was a galleass of the 1588 Spanish Armada that sank off Lacada Point, Northern Ireland, on the night of 26 October 1588. The wreck is noteworthy for the great loss of life that resulted in 1588 and the treasures later recovered in 1967.

La Girona was named after the Girones family, who at the time had just become Dukes of Osuna and viceroys of Naples. La Girona had anchored with a damaged rudder in Killybegs Harbour in the south-west of Tír Chonaill, a Gaelic túath that covered most of the then newly established County Donegal in the west of Ulster. With the assistance of an Irish chieftain, MacSweeney Bannagh, she was repaired and set sail for the Kingdom of Scotland on 25 October, with 1300 men on board, including Alonso Martínez de Leyva, knight and trece of the Order of Santiago. A gale struck and La Girona was driven on to Lacada Point and the “Spanish Rocks” (as they were known, thereafter) in the north-east of Ulster on the night of 26 October 1588. Of the 1300 souls on board only nine survived. 260 bodies washed ashore and were buried in a common grave at the local churchyard.
Between 1967 and April 1968, off the coast of Portballintrae (Port-na-Spaniagh Bay), a team of Belgian divers (including Robert Sténuit, the world’s first aquanaut) located the remains of the wreck and brought up the greatest find of Spanish Armada treasure salvaged up until that time. Gold and silver coins, jewelry, armaments, and utilitarian objects from La Girona are on permanent display at the Ulster Museum (part of the National Museums of Northern Ireland) in Stranmillis in Belfast.