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

Innismurray Island

The Book of Sligo

Established in Sligo in 1991, the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company is Ireland’s longest running theatre ensemble. For 2021, the Blue Raincoat is planning a curated book “representing 1,500 years of history, a symbol of our time here in the northwest” … Read More

Colmcille in the Dock – Sligo Youth Theatre

Sligo Youth Theatre will present a dramatized re-imaging of the events surrounding and leading up to the  Battle of the Books, which is recorded to have taken place on the lower slopes of Benbulben in 560CE. The battle came about … 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 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

Tread Softly 2021

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. In 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