Colmcille Folklore with Gearóidín Breathnach
Colmcille has a special place in the folklore of Ireland and Scotland. For this reason, Foras na Gaeilge asked the renowned storyteller Gearóidín Breathnach and LIGID TV Productions to make a series of short videos, Seanchas Cholmcille, as part of Colmcille 1500. In each video, Gearóidín Breathnach visits a location in Donegal associated with the saint, and she tells a story and local traditions about him:
- The birth of Colmcille
- Eithne’s Well, Termon and the birthplace of Colmcille
- How Colmcille got this name
- Ray Cross and the Great Cross.
- Colmcille’s Turas and Well in Gartán
- How the Leannan River got its name
Subtitles for the videos are available in Irish and Scottish Gaelic and in English, and it is possible to view them without subtitles.
Gearóidín is from a well-known family of storytellers from Rann na Feirste in West Donegal. She has twice won Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge, the most important competition for traditional singing in Irish, along with the main prize for story telling. This last prize is named after her father, Neidí Frainc Mac Grianna, who first inspired her love of storytelling. Gearóidín has spent many years promoting storytelling and traditional singing among young people, and has an important place in the traditional singing and storytelling of Donegal.
The signature tune for the series is a piece of the song Ainnir Dheas na gCiabhfholt Donn, sung by Aodh Mac Ruairí, another singer from Rann na Feirste. The verse tells of advice from Colmcille, and it can be heard in its entirety at the beginning of the first video:
Is é ‘dúirt Colm Cille linn go hIfreann nach dtéid fial
Lucht an tsaibhris go gceileann siad a bpáirt mhór le Dia
’S nach mór an tubaiste d’aon duine a ndearnadh riamh
‘Oiread a chruinniú is a choinneodh as Parthas é.
Colmcille said that the generous do not go to Hell.
The rich deny their affinity with God
What a catastrophe for any one ever made
To gather as much as would keep him from Paradise.
A series of nine on-line ‘Colmcille 1500’ lectures organised by Donegal Library Service with guest speakers Dr. Brian Lacey, Christy Gillespie, Donal Mac Polin, Tim Stampton, Paula de Fougerolles and Joe Brennan.
These lectures are free of charge and will be streamed online on the Donegal County Council YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/wwwdonegalcocoie/videos
Further details at www.donegallibrary.ie
MEITHEAL CHOLMCILLE – 8th AUGUST 2021
Islander artist Cathal Mc Ginley will curate an art project on Inisdooey as part of the ‘Colmcille 1500’ celebrations this year. The theme of the project will be influenced by local folklore and the connection of Saint Colmcille and Saint Dubhthach to the local islands. Cathal will be joined on the 30th July by the children of Club Óige Mhachaire Rabhartaigh to complete the art project.
On the 8th August there will be an exhibition of both the children’s and Cathal’s artwork. There will also be a guided walk and boat trip around Inis Bó Finne with songs, stories and refreshments provided. – Further information @ 087 656 1879
Cosán Choilm Cille ‘Art and Poetry Walk
Earagail Arts Festival is a multidisiplinary summer festival which traditionally takes place in July throughout County Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way on the north-west coast of Ireland.
As part of this year’s festival is ‘Cosan Choilm Cille – Art and Poetry Walk’ – a production by ‘The New Age Bards’ under the stewardship of Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde.
Come on a short walk with Scottish and Irish writers and artists to the top of Cnoc na Naomh. Along the way you can see their work and listen to their poems and stories. The work has been inspired by the folklore and mythology around Saint Colm Cille. It is a great chance to engage with the art and poetry in a relaxed outdoor setting with majestic views of the Donegal landscape from the Derryveagh Mountains around to Tory Island.
Artwork by the artists Seán Ó Flaithearta, Kim Sharkey, Derek Robertson and Norman Shaw.
Newly composed writing by Meg Bateman, Rody Gorman, Daireana Ní Chinnéide and Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde.
A commemorative booklet with the words and images will be given to all those who take part.
All information at: https://eaf.ie/events/cosan-choilm-cille/