Following footsteps of St Colmcille

Last weekend the final leg of a three-week ‘Proof of Concept’ Walk through parts of Donegal and Derry by Bishop Alan McGuckian finished in the little harbour of Greencastle. The walk followed in the footsteps of St Colmcille and it’s hoped this will become the ‘Túras Colmcille Camino.’

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 9:23 am
Enjoying a well-earned cup of tea before the final leg are from left, Sue Divin (DCSDC) , Anne Magowan, Maolcholaim Scott, Maureen Curran, Fr Oâ€TMHagan, Bishop Alan McGuckian, and Geraldine Oâ€TMConnor, The Churches Trust. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)
Enjoying a well-earned cup of tea before the final leg are from left, Sue Divin (DCSDC) , Anne Magowan, Maolcholaim Scott, Maureen Curran, Fr Oâ€TMHagan, Bishop Alan McGuckian, and Geraldine Oâ€TMConnor, The Churches Trust. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

The event was supported by the Churches Trust’s ‘Celebrating Our Common Christian Heritage’ project who were delighted to take part in the final stage from Moville and around the Inishowen Head Loop.

The project, spearheaded by Bishop McGuckian along with a team of extremely dedicated volunteers saw many people join with the bishop during various stages of the long 240km walk. The local cleric hopes the event will one day become the Irish Camino also referred to as ‘Slí Colmcille’ with a route through many parts of Donegal and Derry.

Next year marks the 1500th anniversary of the birth of the Saint Colmcille (Columba) who founded more than 60 churches and monasteries across Ireland and helped spread Christianity throughout Scotland.

Bishop Alan McGuckian (left) pictured with some of the walkers on the final leg in Moville last weekend.

This illustrious figure is one of the three patron saints of Ireland, and the patron saint of the city of Derry – where he founded a monastic settlement in 540AD.

Extolling the merits of the walk and its potential, Bishop McGuckian commented: ‘Most of the work to date has been done through the Donegal routes although there immense potential to naturally extend this route through Derry, and indeed on to Iona in Scotland.’  Father O’Hagan, Parish Priest of Moville and Rev Alison Gallagher, Inishowen Methodist Minister also joined in a Blessing at the beginning of the final walk outside St Eugene’s Hall in Moville and although there was incessant rain most of the day it did not deter the pilgrims in tracing the steps of the saint.  

Indeed, the final Blessing was marked by representatives from different denominations present at the memorial outside The Maritime Museum at Greencastle. 

Fiona Fagan, Chief Executive of the Churches Trust thanked the dedicated team of people who have worked tirelessly to bring the concept to this stage.

Sue Divin, Derry City and Strabane District Council, interviewing Bishop Alan during last weekâ€TMs final stage at Greencastle.

“It is imperative that we endorse the achievements to date with public support to deliver an iconic legacy of the year of commemorating the1500 th anniversary of the illustrious Saint Colmcille/Columba,” she said.

“The potential economic and social benefits of the Túras Colmcille Camino are immense.”

Bishop Alan McGuckian pictured with some of the walkers during a stop at Shroove.
Two of the triumphant walkers completing the final stage of last weekendâ€TMs walk, Brian McGarvey (Turas Colmcille Camino group) and Anne Magowan. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)
Some of the walkers pictured making their way towards Shroove.
Members of all faiths and denominations join the Bishop in a final blessing at Greencastle. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)
Bishop Alan McGuckian pictured with Rev Mervyn Peoples, Deaconess Marlene Skuce and Rev David Houlton after the Final Blessing at Greencastle last weekend.
HAPPY BISHOP. . . . .Bishop Alan McGuckian delighted after completing the 240km walk in Greencastle last weekend.
SOAKED BUT HAPPY!. . . . . .Geraldine Oâ€TMConnor, Sue Divin, Brian McGarvey, Maolcholaim Scott and Claire McGreevy make their way around the Inishowen Loop last weekend.