About the Project

Slí Cholmcille

Slí means ‘way’, and Slí Cholmcille explores the language and heritage of Ireland and Scotland through the life of Colmcille or St Columba. It is a trail between Ireland and Scotland and between many sites associated with the saint and his followers; it links Gaelic-speaking communities in the two countries.

Slí Cholmcille is the result of connections made over a number of years and of input from many parties. It is hoped that the connections will grow and flourish in years to come.

The project has been developed by Colmcille (www.colmcille.net), an initiative named after the saint. It was set up to promote links between Irish and Scottish Gaelic in 1997, a year which saw commemorations of the 1400th anniversary of the death of the Colmcille or St Columba. It is now a partnership between Foras na Gaeilge, which promotes the Irish Language in the island of Ireland, and Bòrd na Gàidhlig which promotes Scottish Gaelic in Scotland and internationally.

Slí Cholmcille is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and also by Foras na Gaeilge and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Project Management

Particular thanks are due to the partnership of Pròiseact nan Ealan in Stornoway, web designers Design is Central and project manager Lucy Harland of Lucidity Media who has travelled and charted the length and breadth of the trail, for developing the website and bringing the project to this stage.

Historical Consultants

Brian Lacey has been generous in support and advice for the project over a number of years. He has had a key part in the initial proposals and has acted as consultant to the website and trail in Ireland. Brian set up the Museum services of Derry City Council. Since 1998 he has been CEO of the Discovery Programme, an all-Ireland archaeological research body in Dublin. He has published extensively on the archaeology of north west Ireland and on the life and legacy of Colum Cille. His publications include Cenél Conaill and the Donegal kingdoms: AD 500-800 (2006), and Colum Cille and the Columban tradition (1997). He is the editor and principal author of Archaeological Survey of Donegal (1983).

Gilbert Márkus has acted as consultant for Slí Cholmcille in Scotland. He has trained in theology as well as Celtic studies. He has written on early medieval religious poetry in Scotland, including the early poetry of Iona. One of his publications is a translation of Cáin Adomnáin a seventh-century law on the protection of innocents promulgated by Adomnán a successor of Colmcille as abbot of Iona. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Department of Celtic Studies and Gaelic and is engaged on a major research project. ‘Commemoration of Saints in Scottish Place-names’.

Buíochas – Thanks – Buidheachas

Warm thanks are due also to Risteard Mac Gabhann and the Board of the former Iomairt Cholmcille, and to a wider circle without whom the project would not exist:

Éire ~ Ireland

Liam Ó Coinneagáin of Oideas Gael; Stella McDermot of the Heritage Lottery Fund; Cathal Mac Suibhne, former Regional Manager of Údarás na Gaeltachta in Donegal and to the his team; Aodán Mac Póilín and Róise Ní Bhaoill and Iontaobhas ULTACH; Ciarán & Rita Ó Duibhín; Bridget Nic Gairbhith and Comharchumann Thoraí; Maureen Mackin; Maureen Murray; Dr Jonathan Bell; Dr Aidan Walsh; Dr Cormac Bourke, Ulster Museum; Dr Ian Adamson; Gráinne McCafferty and Áras Colmcille; Martin Egan, Gartan Heritage Centre; Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise; Margaret Edwards, Paul Ó Frighil and Bernadette Walsh, Derry City Council; Déaglán Ó Doibhlin and Liam Flanigan, Limavady Borough Council; Mark Strong, Gemma Reid and Ian Hamilton, Coleraine Borough Council; Donegal County Council.

Alba ~ Scotland

Richard Langhorne former Curator of Museum nan Eilean Siar; Annie MacSween of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis; Tony Watson and the Discovery Centre, Portmochamock; Bill Lawson and the Seallam Visitor Centre; Donnie Morrison of Comunn Eachdraidh na Pàirce; Calum Iain Macleod, Comunn na Gàidhlig; Paddy MacNeacail of Comunn Eachdraidh Lios Mòr; Caidreachas nan Comunn Eachdraidh; Dr Hugh Cheape of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; Chrisella Ross, Pròiseact na Sgeulachd; Sharon Webb, Kilmartin House Museum; Doreen Groves, Historic Scotland; Màiri MacArthur; Roy Pedersen; Iain Campell; Christine Nic an t-Saoir; Tristan ap Rheinallt; Kathanna Latimer; Gillies MacKenzie; the late Kerry Corbett of Argyll & Bute Council; Joe MacPhee and Alasdair Macleod of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

We are grateful to Penguin Books Ltd for permission to use extracts from the Life of St Columba by Adomnàn of Iona, translated by Richard Sharpe (Penguin Classics, 1995). Copyright © Richard Sharpe, 1995. Reproduced by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.

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