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Sli Cholmcille is a visitor trail linking places associated with St Colmcille or Columba, one of the greatest Irish saints. It can be followed in County Donegal in Gleann Cholmcille, Gartán and Tory island.
Slí Cholmcille is a visitor trail linking places associated with St Colmcille or Columba, who has a special place in the heart of people in County Donegal and the North West of Ireland. One of the greatest of all the early Irish saints, Colmcille was born to the royal family of Donegal or Tara, but left Ireland as a monk in 564 for Scotland where he founded the monastery of Iona. His monasteries shaped the history and culture of both Ireland and Scotland, and produced early works of art such as the Book of Kells.
The trail can be followed online at www.colmcille.org. It stretches from south-west County Donegal through Derry and the Causeway Coast to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. There are three trails in Donegal: Gleann Cholm Cille in south-west Donegal, in Gartán, north-west of Letterkenny and the third trail is in northwest Donegal and includes Tory island and the adjacent mainland.
Gleann Cholmcille in southwest Donegal is an ancient place of pilgrimage with important carved stones and crosses. Tory island has important remains of early monasteries, and is reached by ferry from An Bun Beag or Machaire Rabhartaigh. On the mainland there are notable sites near Fál Carrach dedicated to Saints Fionnán and Beaglaoch who are part of the Colmcille story. Gartán the saint’s birthplace has long been a place of pilgrimage.