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 coordinating 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.

Deirdre Harte, Colmcille 1500 Project Manager with Donegal County Council, said: “We’re delighted to have the website online now which will be a central base for everyone who wants to join us in celebrating this historic year.

“Particularly in the current times with COVID-19 restrictions we have faced a number of unique challenges in planning our Colmcille celebrations, and we wanted to have an online platform where we could showcase all of the virtual activities and events that are already planned while also allowing groups and organisations to get involved and submit their own events celebrating the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille which we can then promote on the website.

“Another benefit of this platform is that we can reach not only audiences here in the North West, but also on a wider national and international stage and we can also showcase events happening on other parts of the island and further afield that locals may want to participate in.

“We have such an exciting programme planned already with a diverse range of events that are sure to interest many people, and with so much more still to come I would strongly encourage anyone interested in this historic year to sign up through the website to receive all the important information about upcoming events.”

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