Long-lost pirate's treasure could be hidden off Irish coast
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/5/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Two locations in the Republic of Ireland, uncovered by archaeologists, are believed to have been used by a group of 17th century pirates and smugglers. As they have remained unexcavated, a possible treasure trove of ill-gotten gain may be resting nearby.
Archaeologists have discovered two sites that they are sure were used by pirates, one of which is located at a place known today as 'Dutchman's Cove,' east of Baltimore in county Cork.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The clandestine spots could have been used by a powerful alliance that was destroyed in a huge battle in 1614 when at the height of its power.
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The area was dominated by English pirates in the 17th century as there was a crackdown on pirates in southern England by James I. Private sailors who had made a living fighting the Spanish once peace broke out moved to Munster, which at that time was a British colonization experiment.
The local economy was buoyed by the booty stolen by pirates. They escaped the long arm of the law because of Munster's location and cooperation by local officials.
It was a good economic setup for the locals. Pirates typically paid three times the price for local goods in return for smuggling their loot ashore without any problems, so that local business people grew rich. This arrangement helped fund exploration and colonization projects in the Americas, such as Jamestown in Bermuda.
"Legitimate businessmen and merchant venturers were deeply involved, as it was assured access to venture capital, that was, in turn, invested in colonial ventures elsewhere in the New World, which was opening up to the maritime empires globally at this point in time," underwater archaeologist Connie Kelleher, who discovered the site, says.
The alliance was wealthy and elected its own admiral, but was ultimately destroyed by a Dutch fleet, according to historians.
Kelleher says the area would have been "used over a very long period by pirates, smugglers and others who wanted to do secret things."
Another site nearby, called Gokane Point led to a subterranean cavern that could be accessed by a boat via a small waterway, which would be the best place for unloading treasure.
Kelleher, who works for the Ireland National Monuments Service's underwater archaeology unit, said that "One pirate haul is said to have been worth, in today's money, some $7 million. This was an amazingly lucrative commercial venture, and this is why it was so successful."
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