Curragh to Iona



Derry, Inner Hebrides, Iona




Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage





24min 00sec




British Film Institute, Waddell Media

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Waddell Media

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Join a fearless crew on a spiritual maritime adventure from the shores of Derry to Iona, as they follow in the wake of St Columba.

This spiritual quest, funded by the Church of Ireland to commemorate the 14th centenary of St.Columba’s journey of self-exile, took four years to prepare. The narrator Wallace Clark was an insatiable seafarer and talented skipper who motivated this fearless crew to brave the 100 mile journey in a simple canvas covered boat. He regarded this voyage as the highlight of his life. Cannon John Barry said ‘there was not one of us who would not sail with him to the edge of the world’.


This film by E. T. Green is courtesy of Waddell Media. Watch ‘St Columba’ on the BFI player to discover more about the life of the tempestuous saint and experience the pilgrims' voyage to greet this crew at the end of its journey. This tradition of re-enacting historic voyages continues in Ireland with seafaring currachs like Bovinda built by the Boyne Currach Heritage Group. Wallace Clark went on to participate in a restaging of the Brendan voyage and this journey to Iona was replicated by a new generation in the Colmcille Curragh during 1997.


Produced by E.T. Green

Directed and Edited by Jack Neilsen

Narrator: Wallace Clark

On-screen Participants: William Jenkins, Jim Boyd, Richard Mc Cullough



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