Royal Family to travel from Islay

The Royal Family uses Islay for setting off on a holiday cruise around the Western Isles. They left Port Ellen today and are guided by a Royal Navy frigate. Young and old on Islay waved the Queen, Prince Philip and other Royal Family members goodbye wishing them a wonderful cruise. They paid £125,000 to hire the Hebridean Princess for a week. The Hebridian Princess was once a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and is now owned by the company Hebridian and normally sails from Oban to the Scottish Isles or Norway.

The pictures in this article are courtesy of Islay Studios Photography in cooperation with Brian from The Ileach

Islay Birding - A trip to remember

It's not more than logical that a Birding Trip on Islay is great fun with an entertainer like Jermey Hastings. Jeremy knows his way around Islay and is an expert in Islay wildlife. It's therefore a great compliment for Jeremy that he was mentioned today in the Online Independant. I can very much agree on that and as a participant I can only say the trip is fantastic, with so much to see and learn about Islay and Wildlife.

For those who like more info and book a trip with Jeremy you can contact him through the Islay Birding Website.

The battle of Traigh Ghruineard by Arra Fletcher

The battle of Traigh Ghruineard in 1598 was the last big Clan battle to be fought in the Island of Islay, and it was between Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean, the 14th Chief of Duart and his nephew Sir James MacDonald of Islay.

They fought over possession of the Rhinns in Islay which Lachlan Mor claimed was the dowry given to his wife in 1566 by her brother Angus MacDonald, chief of Clan Donald South, and the most powerful branch of Clann Dhomhnuill. Later, MacDonald gave the land of the Rhinns to Brian Vicar MacKay, lieutenant to the MacDonalds, and for years MacLean had demanded the return of the Rhinns to his wife.

At long last MacLean decided that the only way to settle things was to invade Islay and do battle with Angus' son James.

At that time no chief would go into battle without consulting a ban-fhaidh (wise woman) and this MacLean did. He was very annoyed when she told him not to go to Islay, and when he insisted that he was honour bound to go she closed her eyes, and raising her hands intoned this warning: "In spite of my plea you will set sail for Islay, do not arrive on a Thursday, do not fight on the shores of Loch Gruineard, do not drink from the well known as Tobar Niall Neonaich (the well of strange Niall) or else you will surely die."

Islay House Bridgend

A Follow up on a story about Islay House from Armin's Islay Blog. During our Birding Tour with Jeremy Hastings we were told that Islay House is now owned by a retired American Navy Pilot and he lives there on his own in that huge House. The new Owner of Islay House donated the Walled Garden to the Islay Community and is now in use as Kitchen Garden and has undergone a huge transformation. The Ileach already reported that the first potatoes from the new Kitchen Garden are for sale and more vegetables will follow soon.

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