Donegal projects awarded funding as part of Colmcille 1500 Community Grant Scheme

18 projects across Donegal and Derry have been awarded funding as part of the Colmcille 1500 Community Grant Scheme.

The scheme is part of the year-long commemoration marking the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille.

The successful applicants will bring Colmcille's legacy to life through a range of themes including history, music, drama, literature, art, archaeology, spirituality, storytelling and folklore.

Among the nine Donegal projects that were successful are several that will take place in the Gartan area where Colmcille was born. Donegal Chamber Music Society will perform a special composition ‘Mobhi’s Belt’ based on the very topical story of the dramatic effect of a pandemic on Colmcille’s monastic career. Filmmaker Brenda Kelly will create an original short film ‘Colmcille’s Childhood in Gartan’, showcasing the many historical sites where the saint grew up and the Colmcille Gospel Choir will bring together singers from different generations and areas with well-known musicians and artists to sing in celebration of Colmcille 1500 in Gartan and Glencolmcille.

Oideas Gael secured funding to gather folklore and produce an interactive digital map showcasing the rich tapestry of minor placenames associated with the saint in Gleann Cholm Cille - such as field names and man-made features.

Explore Inishowen will deliver a Colmcille Walking Festival to celebrate his footprint in Inishowen with walks focused around places of interest such as Portcille where Colmcille left from to go to Scotland. While in Fanad, Clondavaddog Parish will commission an icon and publish a brochure mapping key sites and directing people to the unspoken (‘Guth Colmcille’) chapter of the saint’s life, his time in Fanad.

Funding was also secured by Disert Heritage Group to carry out an archaeological excavation at the early medieval church site, graveyard and holy well dedicated to St Colmcille which will inform national and international discussion on the nature of the early Church and the work of Colmcille. Teach na nAmhrán, The Song House Ireland, will deliver online literary events led by Irish and Scottish award winning poets while Beltaine Productions will produce a short film ‘Colmcille, Myths, Legends and Truths’ exploring the Donegal landscape and culture into which the saint was born, presented by Dr. Brian Lacey, one of Ireland’s leading authorities on Colmcille.