Neil Munro Society on Islay

Over 30 members of the Neil Munro Society arrived on Islay on the 19th of June on their first official visit to the island. For those of you who don't know the man, Neil Munro is an author and wrote the Para Handy Books which were also filmed and became famous on television. Some of these films are available from youtube and I have also included some episodes on Islay TV. There's a comprehensive biography on the Society website.

On arrival, the members of the Neil Munro Society headed for Finlaggan, ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles, followed by a visit to Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle where they enjoyed a talk and progress report on puffer restoration by Duncan MacGillivray, manager of Bruichladdich Distillery. This was followed by an insight into the making of the film ‘The Maggie’ by David Hammond, preceding a special screening of the 1954 Ealing Studios comedy. Continue reading...

A tour of Bruichladdich Distillery took place as well followed by a trip to Loch Gruinart to learn more of the clan battle between the MacDonalds of Islay and the MacLeans of Mull that took place in this location in 1598. A ‘must see’ trip to the Round Church at Bowmore followed, and the day ended with an in-house ceilidh in the Gaelic College. The Port Ellen area was covered on Sunday morning, with a visit to the Kildalton Cross and lunch at Ardbeg Distillery. The group then took the afternoon ferry back to Kennacraig.

This Society was founded in 1996 with the objective of republishing all of the Inveraray-born author and journalist’s books including his evergreen Para Handy stories. This objective was achieved last year, with the publication of ‘Fancy Farm’. The Society also maintains an archive which is available to students and others interested in the writer’s life and works. It presents an annual medal for the top student in Scottish Literature at Glasgow University. “And if Dougie was here he would tell you himself”.

This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper.

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