Friday photo; St Michael’s RC Church, Eriskay

This week’s Friday Photo shows St Michaels RC Church in Eriskay, which next year will celebrate 110 years since it was completed.  It was built under the office of Father Allan Macdonald, who became well known for his work collecting local folklore and study of Gaelic, as well as a poet in his own right.  Father Allan can be seen in this image at the top of the path leading to the church.

Father Allan came to be the first resident priest of Eriskay in 1893, having previously served as priest for Daliburgh from 1884.  He served on the Public School Board there, and was also instrumental in encouraging his parishioners to speak up for themselves against unjust treatment by landowners.   Sadly the records of the School Board seem to have not survived, though we live in hope that they will be one day appear!

Father Allan is still fondly remembered in the Uists as being a kindly, attentive and just priest, and has been the focus of much study, including a recent book by Roger Hutchinson.  Father Allan passed away at the young age of 46, though his love for South Uist and Eriskay live on in his poetry.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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