New website launched celebrating Derry’s patron saint St Columba

With 2021 marking the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille, a new website has been set up which will promote all of the celebrations taking place as part of the historic occasion of the patron saint’s birth.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 2:06 pm
A statue of St Columba at the Calvary scene outside St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.  DER2320GS - 003
A statue of St Columba at the Calvary scene outside St Columba’s Church, Long Tower. DER2320GS - 003

The website will be a central hub for people in the North West to collectively promote activities and events for the 1500th anniversary, while also providing a collaborative platform to engage with national and international audiences and to share other events taking place elsewhere around the world.

Born in Gartan, County Donegal, Colmcille or St. Columba went on to blaze a trail of cultural and social change around the world. He became one of Ireland’s three patron saints alongside St. Patrick and St. Brigid, and is the patron saint of Derry.

Donegal County Council and Derry & Strabane District Council are co-ordinating a programme for the year which is being supported by key partners including the North West Development Fund, in conjunction with and supported by The Executive Office and The Irish Government.

Deirdre Harte, Colmcille 1500 Project Manager with Donegal County Council, said: “We’re delighted to have the website online now which will be a central base for everyone who wants to join us in celebrating this historic year. Particularly in the current times with COVID-19 restrictions we have faced a number of unique challenges in planning our Colmcille celebrations, and we wanted to have an online platform where we could showcase all of the virtual activities and events that are already planned while also allowing groups and organisations to get involved and submit their own events celebrating the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille which we can then promote on the website.

“We have such an exciting programme planned already with a diverse range of events that are sure to interest many people, and with so much more still to come I would strongly encourage anyone interested in this historic year to sign up through the website to receive all the important information about upcoming events,” she added.

The website is part of the wider Colmcille 1500 Project which began on December 7, 2020 and will run until the same date this year. The programme covers a range of projects, events and activities including a community grants scheme. Virtual events already planned include exhibitions, short films, conferences and digital projects.

To visit the Colmcille 1500 website, go to