An Long Chaillte (The Lost Ship)

1 x 52 min. HD Docudrama

An Long Chaillte / The Lost Ship is a history / science docudrama. A film crew follows a team of Underwater Archaeologists and Scientists for three years as they explore the hull of an ancient shipwreck of the coast of Donegal. As the wrecked vessel and its contents are unearthed and preserved, the viewer will take a journey into the past.


  • Executive Producer – Stephen Rooke
  • Producer – Dave Farrell
  • Director – Keith Farrell
  • Production Manager – Laura Danaher
  • Director Of Photography – Christian O’Brien
  • Editor – Keith Walsh
RELEASE DATE: January 2015
GENRES: Docudrama, Science / History
SERIES FORMAT: 1 x 52 minute


  • Five , TG4

In 1588 five ships of the Spanish Armada fleet rounded the coast of Donegal, only three of them made it home, the other two disappeared into the night never to be seen again. In 2010 American diver Liam Miller discovered the hull of an ancient shipwreck off Rutland Island in north Donegal. Could the shipwreck be one of the lost ships of the Spanish Armada fleet? In this science/history docudrama a Tile Film’s crew follows the team of Archeologists and scientists over a 3 year period as they seek to uncover the mystery of the Lost Ship.

It is very rare the hull of a 400 year old shipwreck is found almost intact. The discovery was widely reported in all media as an Armada wreck, the first new one to be discovered in more than 30 years. For Connie Kelleher, Underwater Archeologist with The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her task is not just to excavate and preserve the wreck but try to determine its origin and how it came to be off Rutland Island. It also fell to Connie to determine whether it was actually an Armada wreck. Connie assembles a team of Archeologists and Scientists and over a three year period pieces together the likely origin of the ship and what may have happened to her.

As the wrecked vessel and its contents are unearthed and preserved, the viewer will take a journey into the past. The unfolding story is set against the simmering war between the two great rivals of the late 16th century, Protestant England, ruled by Queen Elizabeth I, and the Catholic Spain of Philip II, the superpower of the day. This would be a war that would decide the fate of the western world.

As the dig at the wreck site progresses it becomes clear the vessel was armed and of a size consistent with the smaller ships of the Armada and of the privateers who were plundering the seas in the late 16th and early 17th centuries but is she Armada or could she be a privateer?

The Rutland Island wreck acts as a living, breathing prism through which the story of the great maritime conflicts off Irelands shores at that time can be told. With the excavation of the wreck as the backdrop the wider story of turmoil in Europe and its impact in Ireland can be told in archive and dramatisation of some key events.


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