St Moluag’s weekend
The Isle of Lismore hosted its first St Moluag Weekend, celebrating the founder of the island’s Celtic church monastery, with services on his saint’s day Sunday June 25.
The festivities, organised by Rev Iain Barclay, minister of the parish of Lismore and Appin, and Lismore Historical Society, began on Saturday morning with talks from Bob Hay and Douglas Breingan about the Saint’s life and work.
Mr Hay’s two talks focused on ‘ What we know about St Moluag’ and the findings of the first archaeological dig of the cathedral nave in 2016 and the plans for the second excavation on July 15-22 led by Dr Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology.
Mr Breingan also gave a talk on ‘The Founding Of The Diocese Of Argyll’ and led a guided walk of the cathedral area and recent medieval accessions in the museum, such as the Achinduin artefacts from the castle dig, granted to Lismore under Treasure Trove.
Folk then gathered at the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre for evening of music, talks and song, hosted by bean an taigh Katy Crossan. The day’s events were finished off with a traditional hòro-gheallaidh provided by Lismore Ceilidh Band, consisting of Arthur Cross, Rachel Cross, Shona Wright and award-winning artist, Mairi Campbell.
One of the Heritage Centre’s founding members, Duncan Livingstone entertained with a couple of traditional Gaelic songs, a rare sound for today, while host Katy also sang a few
puirt à’ beul throughout the programme.
The audience was regaled with poems and stories by the island’s Minister, Reverend Iain Barclay and a tale or two from Bob Hay about St Moluag’s claiming of Lismore.
Sunday saw worship in the Reformation tradition with the choir, followed by a recital by Ayman Jarjour, a world famous classical guitarist who studied at the Julliard School of Music in New York, and finally songs of praise with the choir and Mairi Campbell and her friends.
The island will be holding a festival in September combining a number of phenomenally talented artists and authors, encompassing a variety of different genres and styles. Host Mairi Campbell will be presenting her own story Pulse among many others performing.
Just some of the lineup includes Liz Lochhead, Donald Meek and James Kelman. The aptly named ‘Taproot’ festival will start on September 14. For more details go to Lismore Taproot Festival’s Facebook page.
Archaeologists who excavated the nave of St Moluag’s Cathedral on Lismore.
A ceilidh dance at Lismore’s first St Moluag weekend.
The nave dig.