A MULTI-LINGUAL event at a newly refurbished museum will mark the opening of a special exhibition about St Columba.

Displayed throughout Ireland in 2021 to mark the 1500th anniversary of the saint’s birth, the exhibition is now coming to Kilmartin Museum in Argyll.

It has been loaned by Donegal ­Museum to tour Argyll and will be at Kilmartin from April 1-23. The tour ends at Iona on June 9, the saint’s feast day.

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St Columba and 12 companions sailed from Ireland in AD563, ­landing in Argyll and going on to found a monastery on Iona which became one of the most important and influential in the British Isles.

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The exhibition celebrates the ­cultural, historical and religious ­inheritance of St Columba, who holds significant prominence in the early history of Christianity.

Revered as one of Ireland’s three patron saints, his life has become ­interwoven with folklore and legends.

As it tours, the exhibition is ­being ­accompanied by a wide range of ­Gaelic culture and language events ­organised by Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll and Isles (Charts).

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The partnership project between Argyll and Ireland has been made ­possible through joint support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge to further build relationships between Gaelic speakers in Ireland and Scotland. The project to date has included workshops and events with opportunities for participation by Irish and Scots Gaelic artists and ­cultural practitioners.

On March 30, Charts will host the exhibition’s opening evening with a multi-lingual event in the ­museum featuring performances and talks from Gaelic tradition bearer James ­MacDonald Reid and ­music from harpist Aoibheann Devlin and ­guitarist Déaglán Ó Doibhlin. The event is free but registration is ­necessary.

Charts director Kathleen O’Neill said: “We are delighted to develop this partnership with the joint ­support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge and look forward to ­forging ever more links between Ireland and Argyll.

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“The significance of Gaelic culture in Argyll and Bute cannot be underestimated, and we look forward to continued collaboration in the future.’’ The network’s Gaelic cultural ­officer, Àdhamh Ó Broin, added: “It will be splendid to share the ­heritage of Kilmartin Glen in the land to which it belongs.

“It shall also be a great pleasure to welcome our friends from ­Ireland on behalf of Charts on this latest ­cross-Straits of Moyle leg of the ­Touring St Columba exhibition.

“And all of this will happen in the marvellous new Kilmartin Museum building with stories and fun from James MacDonald Reid as MC.”