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Story about Naomh Blianain blessing the graveyards of the Long Isle [Western Isles], 28 May 1869

Identifier: Coll-97/CW150/60

Scope and Contents

Story collected from Duncan MacLellan, mason and crofter, Carnan [Càrnan, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist]. The story tells how Rìgh Lochlann's two children Mor and Aula Dearg were playing outside one day when they found a 'coit an dà ramh' [small boat]. They got into it and although the day had started pleasantly a wind soon got up and carried them away. They landed at Amhuinn Hough [Abhainn Thobha Mòr/Howmore River]. They grew up and Mòr died and was buried at Hough [Tobha Mòr/Howmore]. When her brother Aula died he was buried at Cill Aula [Cill Aulaidh/Kilaulay]. Rìgh Lochlann had sent messengers across Europe to find out what had happened to his children and one day he heard that they had died in South Uist. 'Know[ing] that this was a sav[age] place' Rìgh Lochlann offered the Pope a lot of money if he would send someone to bless the graves. The Pope send Naomh Blianan who, 'took with him as usual a sackful of uir na Roi [earth from Rome]' an put a spadeful into Mòr's grave and consecrated and thus Howmore derives it from Tunga Mòr , meaning Mòr's tomb. When he caught sight of the knoll which marked Aula's grave he removed his hat and blessed the grave which became known as Cill Aulaidh. 200 yeards south of th at is known as Beannacha Blianan where he put two spadeful's of Rome's earth, deemed to be a great honour. Naomh Blianain went through the whole of the Long Island [Western Isles] including Carnish [Cairinis/Carinish, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist] consecrating graveyards but Cill Aulaidh was the only one which received two spadefuls of earth. The text has been scored through in ink as if transcribed elsewhere.


  • Creation: 28 May 1869

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 64 folios ; 17 x 20.3 cm