Let's Go West

Carrickfergus is a small seaside town on the north Antrim coast. It is a lovely little place, with a beautiful castle. We started investigating the links between Northern Ireland and Spain and were delighted to have found several, some of which visited on our tours during the Spanish summer schools which take place on a regular basis.. Carrickfergus was the first place we investigated, and we even found some military links in Armagh!.

There are a couple of exchange groups in Belfast, and members will have access to that information as well as the other benefits.

There are many different Hispanic cultures in the town. Mexicans and Cubans as well as Spanish. There are many people studying at different locations around the town some private study, some formal classes, Queens University of course offers classes.

Eventually we want to have our own Instituto de Cervantes in Carrickfergus, but at the moment it is a virtual Instituto with shows and tours and talks all over Ireland.  There is already an Instituto in Dublin.

Extract from Two Pairs of Blue Eyes

It was 1588.  The Spanish Armada had been pushed north from Plymouth by strong winds, and there was a storm brewing.  The sailors struggled out onto the rocks by the castle which stood proudly on the shore.  How the sailors wished they could get to the shore and off the galleon.  They had been at sea for weeks and were tired. Stores were running low and they had been chased by Sir Frances Drake’s British Navy.  It was embarrassing.  He had been playing bowls, and still he had managed to muster the might of the English fleet and chase off the pride of the Spanish fleet, the Armada Invencible, as it approached the shores of Elizabethan England.   Some would say it was the hand of God.  The monarch herself had Spanish connections.  Her mother, Ann Boleyn, having ousted Catherine of Aragon as the first wife of Henry VIII.  They should have been able to take England by now, not fleeing north to escape the wrath of Drake and his merry men with their tails between their legs.  They swept past the magnificent site of Carrickfergus, its medieval castle, site of the landing of the French in 1790, and sped up the coast towards Larne.

The rocks were getting close again. “Turn about” was the order.

More About Us

We are an enthusiastic group of Hispanophiles. In our group, we have an historian, two or three well travelled and experienced tutors, and members of the local community.

There is the potential for the group to grow and thrive. We are at the early stages of development of the Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus, but Tina has been working with many estate agents, accommodation providers, and other businesses in Spain for over 30 years. She ran her own solar energy company in Competa in the 1980s and bought her first house there in 1986.

Contact Us for the programme for 2019 / 2020.

Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus

The Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus adheres to the General Data Protection Act 2018. If you would like to add yourself to the list, just email me your name and surname, email address and telephone number and I will add you to the list.

The Spanish summer school is the first event of the newly launched Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus.
Some of the aims of the Society are to seek cultural and heritage links between Northern Ireland and Spain, to promote those links to a wide audience and to raise the profile of Carrickfergus as a tourism destination.

The benefits of the Society are:

  • To offer Spanish lessons at a reduced rate
  • A card will be provided with the following:
    • Discounted trips to Spain
    • Access to Spanish books not in the library system
  • Free talks
  • Regular newsletter
  • Discounted Spanish lessons in Spain
  • Discount on tours organised by the Society
  • Discount at the Society’s events

We can provide members with an on line test to test your level of Spanish as you progress. If your aim is to learn about the culture, history, geography and other aspects of Spain, you can join the Society.

The founder of the Society, Tina Irving, is an active member of the local Spanish community with links with all kinds of organisations.

There was a tour to the “Armada” tree and tapas cost, language lessons, a flamenco show and dinner, talks and finally a big fiesta!

This is the first activity of LetsGoWest, a partnership between commercial and voluntary sector bodies working together to bring economic benefits to Carrickfergus and the wider community of Ireland, both North and South.

JOIN our mailing list and you will receive a Paypal request for the £20 for the year.

You can join the Hispanic Society here.


The Society  also organises a number of tours throughout the year. Check back regularly for details. The Armada tree and the Spanish Armada are not the only Spanish links with Ireland. We will visit other sites as well.

There is also the story of Che Guevara…. An interesting theme!


I work with a number of estate agents and owners in southern Spain and can find you a very nice property. Watch this space for some great places.

Here is the blog to one property I developed in Canillas de Albaida. It is now sold and looks lovely!

Lovely village…Canillas de Albaida

When contacting us, please let us know what type of property you are looking for, how many bedrooms, and budget.

You should add 10% to your budget to allow for legal fees. We can advise on lawyers and help with all matters relating to the purchase of your property.