The town of Kells plans to celebrate St Columcille this year on the 1,200th anniversary of the re-establishment of the monastery which was the original home of the Book of Kells.
The year-long celebrations will culminate in a weekend of ecumenical
services, lectures, readings, tours, workshops and music around the
feast day of Columcille on 9 June 2014.
However, it is not yet known whether the famous book itself will make an appearance.
A spokesperson said that while it would be lovely to have some of the
Book of Kells on display for the celebrations, “we completely
understand Trinity’s concerns on moving such a national – and
international – treasure.”
Kells housed the Book of Kells for more than 800 years before the manuscript was moved to Trinity College for safekeeping.
The famous book was almost returned in 2000 but conditions for its display were deemed inadequate.
in 2011, a campaign to have at least one of the Gospels of the famous
book returned was launched by locals including the Kells Tourism Forum,
which is also involved in organising this year’s celebrations.
“Columcille, also known as Columba, was a Christian of noted
significance in both Ireland and Europe,” according to Lucy O’Reilly,
chair of Kells Tourism Forum.
“Columcille was foremost in the monastic tradition, the building of monasteries and the spread of learning.”
The Saint founded monasteries in many places in Ireland, including Kells and Derry as well as Iona in Scotland.
The noted English historian, St Bede has stated that that
Columba/Columcille led many to Christianity by his “preaching and
He was much admired for his physical as well as spiritual strength.
He was unflagging in his missionary and pastoral journeys throughout his
seventy-six years of life.
a committee has been established to organise the celebrations.
includes members of the Church of Ireland; the Catholic Church; Kells
and District Tourism Forum; Kells Town Council; Kells Archaeological and
Historical Society; Denis McCarthy; Kells Silver Band; Kells Local
Heroes; Kells Chamber of Commerce; and Craobh Cholmcille de Chonradh na