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July 5, 2012

Clan Currie Video Tours Archaelogical Site

Fundraising Campaign Underway to Erect a Memorial Cairn at "Baile nam Bàrd"

As part of their fundraising campaign to erect a memorial cairn (a type of stone monument common throughout Scotland) to the MacMhuirich bards of Stilligarry, South Uist, the Clan Currie has produced a short video tour of the site. The video can be seen on YouTube and in the Video Vault section of the Clan Currie Gathering site.

Stilligarry, or Baile name Bàrd (Township of the Bard) as it is known in Scots Gaelic, was the home of Clann Mhuirich, progenitors of Clan Currie, the Hereditary Bards to the MacDonalds of Clanranald. It was from this site in South Uist that multiple generations of MacMhuirich bards penned the Gaelic literary masterpiece, the Red Book of Clanranald.

The cairn will be built by members of the Clan attending the annual MacMhuirich Symposium (Aug. 24-26, 2012). For those who cannot attend, kinfolk from around the world have been invited to submit a stone from a destination befitting their own Currie ancestry. In this way, it is hoped the memorial will reflect how far this distinguished Clan has reached all four corners of the globe.

Stones alone, however, are not enough to build a Cairn suitable to memorialize these giants of Gaelic literature. Financial support is also required. According to Society president, Robert Currie, “The costs associated with this project include the installation of a concrete pad, stone cutting fees for the granite inscription, extra stone to complete the cairn and the expert assistance of a local stone mason to help ensure this monument can withstand the sometimes brutal elements of this Outer Hebridean island. Additional funds will be needed to produce a weatherproof historical marker which will provide deeper interpretation of this important site.”

The MacMhuirich symposium, being held at iochdar school in the village of iochdar, will bring a new perspective to the role of the MacMhuirichs in Scottish literary history. The MacMhuirichs, a name later anglicized to ‘Currie’ and in some parts of Scotland as ‘Macpherson’, ‘Murray’ and even ‘MacMillan’, served for over 700 years as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles, and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald. Members of the public are cordially invited to attend this event.

The prestigious programme for the symposium will chaired by the Rev. Dr. David Currie, Chaplain of the Clan Currie Society joined by speakers Dr. Michael Newton of St. Francis Xavier University, Dr Alan Titley of University College Cork, Western Isles Council Archaeologist Deborah Anderson and Uist and Benbecula historian Angus MacMillan.

The Clan Currie Society extends a warm welcome to all interested learning about this important bardic dynasty. For further details and information on how to register for each event visit: