29 Sept 2022

WATCH: 'Curragh to Iona' The story of St. Columba (1963)

On the anniversary of St. Columba we feature a documentary filmed in 1963 entitled 'Curragh to Iona'

Born in Gartan, Co. Donegal, on 7 December, 521, Columba took up a monastic life, and departed Ireland in 563, when he travelled to Scotland with twelve companions in a wicker currach covered with leather to spread Christianity.

As part of the Columban celebrations of 1963, it was planned a currach, which was built in Donegal, would depart from Derry and travel the treacherous 100 mile journey St Columba had taken to Iona 1400 years earlier. 

This documentary was produced at the time, entitled 'Curragh to Iona' as thirteen young men were selected from across the four provinces, to retell the journey he took in 563

Every June 9, St Columb’s Wells in the city is blessed and St Colmcille is asked to protect his followers, ‘who walk where he walked and pray where he prayed’.

The name of Derry’s patron saint is found throughout the city in street names and historic buildings, sometimes in the Latin form of Columba, Anglicised as Columb, or in the original Gaelic – Colmcille.

He has been especially venerated at St Columb’s Well and St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.

Video: Lee McDaid

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