1500 years ago, one of Ireland’s most famous sons was born in Gartan, Co. Donegal. With strong roots in the North West of Ireland, Colmcille (or St. Columba) went on to blaze a trail of cultural and social change around the world. He became one of Ireland’s three patron saints, the patron saint of Derry and his influence extends to this day. You can get to know more about the man by scrolling through the historical timeline below.

Donegal County Council and Derry City & Strabane District Council came together, with support from the North West Development Fund, to commemorate Colmcille’s remarkable life and legacy. Celebrations took place from 7th December 2020 to 7th December 2021, with some activities extending into 2022, and with Colmcille’s legacy brought to life through music, spirituality, heritage, literature, language, drama and art. This website provides some highlights and resources of the year including:

  • A short souvenir bookletA Year in Highlights’
  • A short highlights video which incorporates beautiful drone footage from Gartan, Gleann Cholm Cille and Derry
  • A list of all events that took place for Colmcille 1500 (local, regional and national partners)
  • Online or legacy resources that were created for Colmcille 1500
  • A map of key places in Ireland and Scotland linked to Colmcille.

History of Colmcille

See a list of Colmcille 1500 events and links to online events hosted during the 1500th anniversary.

Online resources and useful links.

See Press releases from Colmcille 1500.

Find out about the projects awarded funding through the Colmcille 1500 Grant Scheme.

Stories and illustrations of Colmcille’s life and legacy.


You can find a table of historical and background information used for social media here.

English (UK)