Sligo Colmcille 2021 is a year-long programme of events, initiatives and projects inspired by the life and legacy of Colmcille and the stories, folklore, and traditions relating to his (reputed) associations with Sligo. Please click on the individual tabs below to learn more about each community-led commemorative project taking place during the anniversary year.

Turas Damhsa Cholmcille

Marking the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille, a series of four music and step-dance workshops involving artists and participants from South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Derry, Donegal, and Sligo will be delivered via Zoom during the month … Read More

A little Book of Blessings

As part of its 1500th anniversary celebrations, the Cos Cos Festival committee has published a small book of blessings originally composed as part of the 2013 Colmcille Pageant and ‘Battle of the Books’ project. Written by project participants themselves at … Read More

‘Colmcille 1,500 years on’

The Legend of Colmcille will be explored by author & Colmcille scholar Brian Lacey

‘Sub Nomine Columbae’ (In the Name of Columba)

The Cos Cos Festival is delighted to have Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist (and copyright lawyer) Ronan Sheehan present a talk exploring the subject of Colmcille and Irish copyright tradition as part of the 2021 festival programme. The talk … Read More

The Book of Sligo – A Blue Raincoat Theatre Company-led Creative Arts Initiative

The Book of Sligo is an exciting and unique community-based creative arts initiative scheduled to take place in November 2021. See: Inspired by the life of Colmcille, the 1500th anniversary of who’s birth occurs in 2021, and his reputed association with … Read More

Print Project

Visual artist Catherine Fanning will create two prints to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of Colmcille’s birth as part of the 2021 Cos Cos Festival programme. One will be a black and white Lino print of Drumcliffe’s 10th century Round Tower, … Read More

Cos Cos Festival 2021

Returning to Rathcormac in May 2021, the annual Cos Cos Festival is a week-long celebration of Irish traditional music, dance, heritage, and community spirit. For more information visit:

The Battle of the Books / Selected Artists Exhibition at the Hamilton Gallery

Colmcille and the Battle of the Books, which took place at Cúl Dreimhne in 561AD, is the inspiration for this exhibition in the Hamilton Gallery ( Selected artists from across Ireland and Northern Ireland have been invited to give their … Read More

Journal Book Artwork by Artist Catherine Fanning

Journal Book Artworks, a collection of handmade journal books, the pages of which are filled with original artwork, a selection of collage, print and mixed media. The inspiration for the work comes from the story of Colmcille, The Battle of … Read More

‘The Battle Of The Battle Of The Book; six stories in search of an ear’ – A Tread Softly 2021 event

Tread Softly is a festival inspired by the landscape, mythology and people of County Sligo. The festival works with writers and artists providing a platform for unique and large-scale collaborations between artists and communities within the Sligo landscape. The 2021 … Read More

Colmcille Statue Rathcormac

The Colmcille Meditative Garden

As part of the anniversary celebrations, a new garden dedicated to the saint will be established adjacent to St. Colmcille’s church in Rathcormac. A partnership project of the church and Drumcliffe Rathcormac Tidy Towns Committee, and funded by the Department … Read More

The Battle of the Books March

Commissioned specifically for the anniversary year from Sligo-based composer Michael Rooney by the Cos Cos Festival, the Battle of the Books March is inspired by the event that occurred on the lower slopes of Benbulben at of Cúl Dreimhne which … Read More