St. Colmcille, also known as St. Columba, is one of Ireland's patron saints, a distinction that he shares with St. Patrick and St. Bridget. St. Colmcille was born in Gartan, County Donegal on December 7, 521 A.D. or 520 A.D. There are many sites associated with his life and many more that are dedicated to him.
In 545 A.D., St. Colmcille founded his first monastery in Derry / Doire Cholm Cille. St. Colmcille and twelve monks sailed from Derry to the island of Iona in Scotland in 563 A.D. He died on Iona on June 9, 597 A.D. and his feast day is commemorated on that date every year.
With this year marking the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille, a new website has been set up which will promote all of the celebrations taking place as part of the historic occasion.
The website will be a central hub for people in the North West to collectively promote activities and events for the 1500th anniversary, while also providing a collaborative platform to engage with national and international audiences and to share other events taking place elsewhere marking the importance and legacy of the 6th century saint in the North West and around the world.
Donegal County Council and Derry City & Strabane District Council are co-ordinating a programme for the year which is being supported by key partners including the North West Development Fund, in conjunction with and supported by The Executive Office and The Irish Government.
The website is part of the wider Colmcille 1500 project which began on 7th December 2020 and will run until the same date this year.
The programme covers a range of projects, events and activities including a community grants scheme. It is being delivered in partnership with a range of local, regional, national and international organisations and builds on an Audit of Columban Heritage undertaken in 2018, aiming to raise knowledge and understanding of Colmcille as well as establishing a lasting legacy.
Virtual events already planned include exhibitions, short films, conferences and digital projects. Follow link below for details.
Highlight Events include:
Exhibition of an Cathach
March - December
Film of St Columba Heritage Trail Derry
Colmcille 1500 Exhibition Launch
May 4th – May 11th
Amarican Centre of Irish Studies Conference
Colmcille 1500: Texts & Traditions - Lecture Series
25 August– 13 October
Colmcille Digital Schools Folklore Project