Pan Celtic Unity - Irish President Welcomed To Scottish Hebrides Island of Iona

The Irish Independent reports that the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, Irish speaker and champion of of the Irish tongue, has visited the Scottish Hebrides island of Iona. "President Higgins was welcomed to the Island by Scottish Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslup who said the visit was a fitting way to celebrate Scotland's links to Ireland."

President Higgins visited Iona to mark the 1,450th anniversary of St. Colmcille's arrival on the island.  The Irish missionary is recognised as a founder of the Christian faith in Scotland.  Secretary Hyslup, a member of the Scottish National Party,  acknowledged the shared identity of the two Celtic Nations in the following statement; " St. Columba's journey to Iona is just one of the many events which have created our strong bond with Ireland and it's important that we recognise and celebrate this bond."

The bonds between Iona and Ireland truly are ancient and deep.  Saint Colmcille, born into the aristocracy of Ulster at Gartan in Donegal, travelled to Scotland when Iona was part of the kingdom of Dal Riata which spanned parts of Northern Ireland, the Hebrides and the Scottish Highlands. This period of history is today reflected in the similarities between the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages.