Developing Slighe Chaluim Chille: St Columba and Argyll Conference

According to tradition, Kintyre is where St Columba or Calum Cille, first set foot in what is now Scotland. On the 27th and 28th of June, a special two day conference will explore the heritage of the saint in Kintyre and Argyll. It will also discuss how best to develop the St Columba Trail to encourage heritage and cultural tourism in Argyllshire and to promote stronger links between communities in the west of Ireland and Scotland. The conference will be in the Ardshiel Hotel, Campbeltown, Argyll, and is organised by the Islands Book Trust, along with Colmcille, a partnership programme between Foras na Gaeilge in Ireland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig in Scotland. A special sailing of the Kintyre Express will bring visitors from Ballycastle.


Those attending will be coming together to listen to St Columba experts from both sides of the Irish Sea. This is an inclusive event open to everyone, whatever their backgrounds. It will be a great opportunity to learn about the huge influence Columba had over the region and the enduring cultural and linguistic links between Scotland and Ireland.  Speakers will include Brian Morton writer and journalist, Rachel Butter and Alasdair Whyte from the University of Glasgow and  Colm O Cuaig of NUI Galway to name a few. Some talks will be in Gaelic or Irish, with simultaneous translation into English. There will also be a ceilidh, book launch, and visit to local sites associated with Columba.


People can attend for the whole event, half days, or individual sessions, and prices have been kept low to encourage as many as possible to come along, including from the local community. Conference organisers are particularly keen to encourage engagement from both Ireland and Scotland and as such have organised a special sailing of the Kintyre Express from Ballycastle to Campeltown on the morning of Saturday 27th June and returning again that evening at no extra cost to delegates (places available on a first come first served basis).


In addition to this a limited number of scholarships are available to cover the costs of travel to the conference for delegates from Ireland and Scotland (outside of mainland Argyll).  Those interested, should e-mail either Daibhidh Boag at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, if applying from Scotland or, Maolcholaim Scott of Foras na Gaeilge, if applying from Ireland.


For more information or to book please contact Mairi at The Islands Book Trust on 01851 830316 or email



  • The Islands Book Trust was formed in 2002 with two main aims: To further understanding of the history of Scottish islands in their wider Celtic and Nordic context.  To generate economic, social, and cultural benefits for local communities.
  • The Islands Book Trust publishes books on Scottish culture, history and Gaelic among other subjects for the full range please visit our website
  • For interviews in Gaelic/English please contact
  • Book sales - tel: 01851 830316      email:
  • Urras Leabhraichean nan Eilean - The Islands Book Trust is a registered Scottish charity SC032682  Registered Office: Laxay Hall, Laxay, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9PJ
  • Bòrd na Gàidhlig is the public body with responsibility for the promotion of Gaelic in Scotland and internationally.
  • Foras na Gaeilge is the body with responsibility for the promotion of Irish on the island of Ireland