The Turas Colmcille committee in Donegal and Derry is seeking to develop Slí Cholmcille as a network of walking trails linking the main Columban Heritage sites across the two counties. The Camino-style walk across Donegal and Derry will take twelve to fourteen days. There has already been significant community engagement. A ‘proof of concept’ walk to destination in 2020. The committee seeks tenders for a Development Marketing and Business Plan. The deadline for tenders is the 24th May 2021 and the details can be found here.
There is much to learn from Colmcille and the legacy of his communities, and there are also materials to draw on:
Learning materials and competition from Donegal:
Maureen Curran of Loretto Community School, Milford, Donegal, has developed cross-curricular educational materials. It is linked to sites associated with Colmcille or Columba, and provides a model which can be adapted for use in many places. A competition based on the materials is being organised by Maureen with the Diocese of Raphoe, in conjunction with Claire Murray at the Church of Ireland National School in Gartan, birthplace of St Columba. The deadline for submissions has now been extended to the 15th October 2021.
Range of resources on padlet
Maureen and Claire have been part of a working group along with Gabrielle Fitzsimons and Gráinne Duggan who teaches at Rathdonnell National School near Gartan. Gráinne has compiled a range of other educational and heritage resources from a range of institutions and organisations which can be accessed online here.
Donegal County Council has developed a range of materials for other commemorative events, including the Flight of the Earls and 1916. The Council is preparing an educational pack and colouring book which will be available in the spring 2021.
In Northern Ireland CCEA has a range of materials in Irish and English:
Scripture Union NI has produced material entitled “The Way of the Peacemaker” for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in NI which explore “the life of Colmcille and the Biblical principles of peace.” It consists of videoas available here , and worksheets which are available from Rachel Millar.
Áras Cholmcille in Derry has learning materials available here .
As part of its multi-faceted commemoration of the 1500th anniversary of Colm Cille’s birth, the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) has commissioned seven new artworks. The commissions are in the visual arts, music and literature and have been commissioned by the RIA with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The artists carrying out the commissions are:
• Timothy O’Neill, a master calligrapher, will celebrate Colm Cille’s work as a scribe in an artwork reflecting his contribution to the manuscript tradition.
• Róisín de Buitléar, an award-winning glass artist, will draw her inspiration from Colm Cille’s belief that there are ‘three ways to draw people to belief’.
• Internationally celebrated musicians and singers, Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, will – as a music collective – compose a new song inspired by Colm Cille’s life and work.
• Biddy Jenkinson, a prominent Irish-language poet and dramatist, will write a drama titled ‘Iona’ which will reflect on the dilemmas Colm Cille faced when called to make his most important decisions.
• Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird, a prolific Irish-language writer, will produce a novel that re-imagines Colm Cille’s youth in Ireland and the circumstances that led to his departure to Iona.
• Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones, who currently holds the title of Crowned Gaelic Bard in Scotland, will work on a suite of poems based on Colm Cille’s experiences and the influence and legacy of his life.
• Simon Ó Faoláin, an accomplished poet, is working on a series of poems looking at the various and contrasting stages of the life of Colm Cille.
The artworks are due to be completed around the time of Colm Cille’s feast day on 9 June and will be unveiled later in the year. The Royal Irish Academy will also host a public lecture series in the autumn, which it is hoped to make available subsequently as a series of podcasts. Supported by the Irish-Scottish partnership, Colmcille.net, this series will be accompanied by a digital exhibition.
Foras na Gaeilge, Museum nan Eilean and Donegal Language Planning Officers will host an Ireland and Scotland Cèilidh on April 30, 2021 – 8 pm live on Facebook.
The event will consist of songs, music, and storytelling from Ireland and Scotland in the Gaelic of both countries.
The event will be presented by Shona MacLellan from South Uist, Scotland and Aodán Ó Cearbhaill from Gaoth Dobhair, Ireland.
Some of the guests taking part on the night will include Martin Mac an t-Saoir, Linda NicLeòid, Lea MacLeoid and Aileen Elder from Scotland. Sinéad Breathnach agus Colm Breathnach, Ciarán Mac Feilimí, Conor Ó Gallachóir, Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair and Niamh Ní Dhubhgáin from Ireland.
Follow the link below to enjoy the ceilidh on Colmcille ‘s Facebook page.
This is an historic year – the 1500th anniversary of the birth of St Colmcille.
A new website has been set up by Donegal County Council and Derry City & Strabane District Council which will be a hub for events taking place in Ireland to mark the occasion.
Visit the website here.