Sligo Celebrates Colmcille 1500

The year 2021 marks the 1500th anniversary of the birth of the 6th century Irish abbot and missionary Saint Colmcille (Columba), founder of the monastic community of Iona in present-day Scotland. Most associated with Donegal, Derry, and Iona, his influence extended farther afield including to Sligo where he is attributed with the founding of Drumcliffe monastery in 575AD.

The Sligo Colmcille 2021 programme is a community-led initiative to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille through a year-long series of individual events and projects inspired by the story (and stories) of the saint, specifically his association with Sligo through the Battle of the Book, his establishment of a monastery at Drumcliffe, and local folklore. You can find out more on the website

Sligo Colmcille video by Conor Doherty

The year of commemoration will include events but also commissioned artworks, including the Battle of the Books march by Michael Rooney in association with Cos Cos Festival; a stone sculpture by Martha Quinn, a new meditative garden in Rathcormac and the creation of “The Book of Sligo” with Blue Raincoat Theatre Company. Find out more about events as they are added during the year on

Sligo Hub