Following a visit to Durrow High Cross, near Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Fianna Fáil MEP candidate for Midlands North West, Senator Thomas Byrne, has called on the tourism authorities in Scotland and Ireland to cooperate in the creation of a ‘Colmcille Heritage Trail’.

Durrow is one of the most important medieval sites associated with Saint Colmcille but he was also closely linked to places like Derry, the island of Iona and the Argyll region in Scotland, as well as Gartan in county Donegal, Strangford Lough in county Antrim, Clonard and Kells in county Meath, Glasnevin and Swords in Dublin and the Burren in county Clare.

Senator Byrne said, “There is a fantastic opportunity to develop a successful tourism and rural development project on the theme of Colmcille’s travels that would benefit many parts of Ireland. I want the appropriate authorities here, in the North and in Scotland to co-operate on a feasibility study to see how this could be done. Given that it would involve co-operation between two member states as well as cross-border co-operation between North and South, I believe there could be EU funding available in support. This is something I will pursue, if I am elected to the European Parliament.

During his visit to Durrow, Senator Byrne met with members of the Durrow High Cross Committee. He assured them of his full support for their campaign to have the Office of Public Works complete their conservation and renovation work at the Durrow Abbey site.