'˜Father of Democracy' is celebrated by '˜First Lady'

The life of times of Scotland's '˜Father of Democracy' will be celebrated in song, talks, walks and entertainment later this year.

Moya Brennan Thomas Muir Festival 2018
Moya Brennan Thomas Muir Festival 2018

The 2018 Thomas Muir Festival will once again train the spotlight on one of Scotland’s greatest sons – who was persecuted and eventually banished in 1793 for his work to champion reform, freedom of speech and voting rights for all.

The inspirational figure’s strong links to East Dunbartonshire are 
celebrated every year by the Friends of Thomas Muir, who organise the festival in his memory – supported 
by East Dunbartonshire Council, local businesses and the local community.

Now in its eighth year, the 2018 Thomas Muir Festival will offer a range of events including:

Saturday, November 3 – Join The Purple Poncho Parade and walk the Thomas Muir Heritage Trail – raising funds for Alzheimer’s Scotland.

Wednesday, November 7 – Boclair Academy in Bearsden will host the annual Thomas Muir Symposium. This year’s theme is ‘The People’s Voice’ and it will feature speakers from the academic community, secondary school pupils and members of local history societies. The afternoon includes a talk and music by pupils.

November 17 to December 24 – East Dunbartonshire Schools Art Exhibition will be held again at the Thomas Muir Coffee Shop, Huntershill Village. Artwork submitted by schools from across the authority area will be shortlisted by a panel of judges. The overall winning pupil and school will be announced. Ages - P1 to S6.

Friday 23 November – Moya Brennan – The Voice of Clannad and ‘First Lady of Celtic Music’ – will be performing at Cadder Parish Church, a unique, intimate venue with superb acoustics. Stevie Lawrence and Fiona Cuthill will be supporting. Tickets are available for £25.

Festival organiser Jimmy Watson said: “We’re delighted to announce this year’s festival events – which combine art, walking, education, entertainment and talks.

“The festival offers an eclectic mix – shining a light on the life and times of a true Scottish hero.

“We’re particularly delighted to announce that famed Irish international singer/songwriter Moya Brennan, of Clannad, will be performing at Cadder Church in Bishopbriggs – celebrating Muir’s links with Ireland and his service as an elder at the church.

“The concert offers a unique opportunity to hear a world-class artist in an intimate venue with superb acoustics.”

Accompanying Brennan will be Cormac De Barra (harp and vocals), Aisling Jarvis (guitar, bouzouki, whistle and vocal), Lia Wright (violin and vocal) and Paul Jarvis (keyboards, percussion and vocals).

Mark Hanniffy, the Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, will be in attendance to open and welcome those attending.

He said: “I’m delighted that the music of Moya Brennan will feature so prominently and bring an Irish theme to this year’s Thomas Muir Festival.

“Thomas Muir himself had a strong connection with Ireland through his links to the Society of United Irishmen, and the political ideals he espoused found prominent expression in Irish political traditions.

“It is very apt that in commemorating Thomas Muir’s legacy those Irish dimensions are recognised.”

Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the East Dunbartonshire Council’s Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets Committee, said: “I am very pleased that the Council is continuing to support the Thomas Muir Festival, which celebrates the life and times of a man with strong links to Bishopbriggs.

“It’s great that East Dunbartonshire schools and young people are once again involved in celebrating Thomas Muir through a number of interesting and innovative events.”

For more information visit the website www.thomasmuir.co.uk or find the festival on Facebook and Twitter.