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Snap election thwarts King of Spain visit

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Snap election thwarts King of  Spain visit thumbnailThe mayor of Sligo, Marie Casserly (left) and Causeway Coast and Glens Mayor, Maura Hickey, prepare to lay a wreath to commemorate the sinking of the Girona at the Giantís Causeway on Friday. A number of commemorative events were held in the area to mark

THERESA May's snap election has scuppered a dramatic attempt to bring the King of Spain to the north coast, The Chronicle can exclusively reveal this week. Causeway Coast and Glens Council had hoped to persuade Felipe VI to attend a Girona memorial event during a state visit to the UK this week. Around 1,300 Spanish sailors died when the Armada galleas foundered near the Giant's Causeway in 1588.
However, with a Westminster election campaign in full swing, a royal state visit was deemed 'inappropriate.'
“Officers were exploring the possibility of extending an invitation to the King of Spain during his state visit," explained a council spokesperson.
“There had been contact with the Spanish Embassy but the election of June 8 resulted in the postponement of the King's visit."
The planned royal visit was seen as a huge opportunity to promote cultural links between Spain and Ireland. However, officials believe the story of the ship wreck and subsequent recovery of treasure has the potential to significantly increase tourist traffic from the continent.
It is a strategy which is already paying off in the west of Ireland where there are many more Armada wrecks and where in 2016 the Spanish Navy attended a wreath laying ceremony near the county Sligo town of Grange.

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