3 Day Conference: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd June 2014

Venue: Ostán Loch Altán, Gortahork  (Loch Altan Hotel, Gortahork, Co. Donegal) with a visit to Oileán Thoraigh (Tory Island)

Following the footsteps of Colmcille – in Tullaghobegley and Tory.

On the 20 – 22 June people 2014 from Scotland and Ireland will gather in Gort an Choirce and Tory island as part of Slí Cholmcille, a route from south-west Donegal to the Isle of Lewis in north-west Scotland. Colmcille is probably Donegal’s most famous son and emmigrant, and Slí Cholmcille is a ‘camino’ or trail in the footsteps of the saint. It can be seen online athttp://www.colmcille.org/. Better still to come on the 20 – 22 June to the places associated with the saint and his counterparts, Beaglaoch and Fíonán.
The trail links communities from Gleann Cholmcille Cille to the Outer Hebrides. Contributors from Ireland and Scotland including Brian Lacey and Máire Herbert will discuss the stories and archaeology of the saint. Many of the sites in Donegal are on the Wild Atlantic Way, and a central concern will be the role of Slí Cholmcille in promoting tourism. There will be visits to the medieval churches at Tullaghobegley and Ray, and on Sunday the 23rd, the King of Tory will welcome the visitors to Tory with its medieval monastery and ancient tau cross.

Tory Island, photo by Joe Ryan

Tory Island, photo by Joe Ryan

The event is organised by the Islands Book Trust of Scotland in association with Colmcille which promotes links between Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, and with Comharchumann Thoraí. It is partly a conference, but like all the Islands Book Trust events, the community has a key role. There will also be a cèilidh in the old sense of a social evening with conversation, music, songs from Ireland and Scotland and some dancing. There will be a modest charge to cover the costs of tea and coffee and lunch, and  it is also possible to get a residential package, flights from Glasgow to Donegal with car hire and a package for the visit to Tory.