18 Aug 2022

Adding colour to the heritage of St Colmcille

Adding colour to the heritage of St Colmcille

The County Donegal Heritage Office with support from The Heritage Council has produced a free, 36-page colouring book entitled ‘Illuminating Colmcille / Léargas ar Cholm Cille’ as part of the implementation of the County Donegal Heritage Plan.
The free colouring book was launched on the 1,500th anniversary of the birth of St. Colmcille on Tuesday, December 7 at the Colmcille Heritage Centre in Gartan and is available from libraries, the County Museum, the Donegal Education Centre, the
County Donegal Heritage Office and on-line at

“The colouring book highlights some of the heritage sites, places, objects and archives associated with aspects of St. Colmcille’s life and legacy” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.

“It was researched and written by Neil Jackman and Róisín Burke of Abarta Heritage and is beautifully illustrated by Sara
Nylund with contributions by Donegal-based artists Tara McLaughlin, Mark Mac Grory and Barry Britton. The colouring book is a novel way of engaging people of all ages in the story of Colmcille and all the illustrations have captions that explain the
relevance of the aspect of archaeological, built or cultural heritage and its associations with St. Colmcille.”

Some of the heritage sites and places featured in the colouring book are Gartan, Lacknacoo, Templedouglas, Kilmacrennan, Doon Well, Gleann Cholm Cille, Disert, Toraigh Island, Ray Church and St. Eunan’s Cathedral in Raphoe. Many of the
heritage sites associated with Colmcille are archaeological monuments protected under the National Monuments Acts (1930-2004). Among the objects and archives featured are the Life of Colum Cille, the Cathach, the Book of Kells and the Book of

The County Donegal Heritage Office has been involved in a number of Columban heritage initiatives over the past year including the production of a bi-lingual audio guide on ‘St. Colmcille’s Donegal / Dún na nGall Cholm Cille’, a 3D virtual tour of Turas Cholm Cille in Gleann Cholm Cille and conservation works to Kilmacrennan Abbey and St. Colmcille’s Chapel at Gartan. Free copies of the colouring book available from libraries, the County Museum, the Donegal Education Centre, the
County Donegal Heritage Office and on-line at

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