step off the beaten track...

We are delighted that you have decided to DiscoverKells and we know that you will not be disappointed. Explore our website and find out why Kells in Co. Meath should be your next holiday destination in Ireland's Ancient East.

Nestled on the River Blackwater in the heart of the Boyne Valley which is renowned for it's heritage wonders, Kells and its environs are rich in archaeological, monastic and natural heritage and very proud to be a central part of that history.  The secret charms of Kells will captivate you.  Before you leave, you will already be planning a return visit.

Check out our 48 hours in Kells itinerary for some inspiration.

Located within an hours driving distance from Dublin, Carlingford, Slane and Drogheda, Kells is an ideal base to unwind and explore the Boyne Valley, Ireland's Ancient East and Ireland's HIdden Heartlands regions at your leisure.


November 19th - December 18th,  2021

'In Search of Colmcille'  an Art exhibition by local artist: Ina Olohan

Venue : Eureka House

The exhibition represents the artist’s journey to learn about Saint Colmcille in this year of the 1500th anniversary of his birth. It is the penultimate event of the Kells Colmcille 1500 celebrations.


Born in 521, the life of Colmcille has blended with the mists of time to generate a wealth of stories of miraculous power and humble spirituality, and portraying him in the various guises of Prince, Poet, Priest and Exile.


The images and artefacts you will see in this exhibition tell stories and myths about St. Colmcille. It also references book-making and manuscripts such as the Book of Kells, written by the Columban monks. The artist explored the making of natural colours and dyes, such as those used in manuscripts, using plant material sourced locally.

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Kells is steeped in history and Colmcille is a central character in this colourful history.   Born in Gartan in Co. Donegal in 521, the year 2021 marks the 1500th anniversary of St. Colmcille's birth.  Kells still proudly bears the enduring footprint of this man and his numerous followers. We are delighted and inspired to be part of the national and international Colmcille 1500 event celebrations. 

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On the eve of St Colmcille/ birth on December 6th, we will celebrate his early years and life across Ireland and Scotland.


Take a trip with us as we walk in the shoes of St. Columba from Gartan in Co. Donegal to the Western Isles in Scotland and beyond.

Zoom Room Opens - 1.50pm with music from Colmcille Gospel Choir

2:00pm – Welcome and Introductions from our MC, Broadcaster, and Journalist, Aine Ni Bhreisleain


• VIDEO: Colmcille – Truths, Myths, and Legends

• VIDEO: Honouring Colmcille 1500


• Prof Malachy Ó Néill, Professor of Irish and Director of Regional Engagement at University of Ulster, Magee Campus

• Brian Lacey, Archaeologist, and Historian

• Christy Gillespie, author, historian and former principal of Scoil Cholmcille, Termon in the heart of Colm Cille's local area.


• VIDEO: Colmcille’s Derry

• VIDEO: Durrow, Colmcille’s Legacy

• VIDEO: Gambol from Colmcille 1500 Kells, Co. Meath

• VIDEO: The Battle of the Books - The Story of St Colmcille and Sligo


Duais Dìleab Chaluim Chille / The Colmcille Legacy Award – showcasing the work of two winners

• Laoidh Chaluim Chille by Andrew Dunlop

• Judy Parrott | Fulpannach and Shadow Clouds

A short trip back to Ireland

• Causeway Coast – Strings of Heaven


• Dr. Alasdair Whyte, Lord Kelvin / Adam Smith Research Fellow in Celtic Onomastics, University of Glasgow

• Brian Ó hEadhra, Partnerships and Funding Manager, Bòrd Na Gàidhlig

• Joy Dunlop, Gaelic Singer | TV & Radio Presenter | Scottish Stepdancer | Educator

December 7th.  Coinneal Cholmcille (Columba’s Candle)

Foras na Gaeilge commissioned Seek Design to create a series of images that will be projected onto important sites along the Columban trail in Ireland and Scotland in a spectacular illiminations project to mark the birth date of Colmcille.

On December 7th the images will be seen from many locations including Kells, Colmcile's birthplace in Gartan to his final resting place in Iona, with images from the locations brought together in the form of a video, which will be accompanied by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin’s commissioned piece.

The project is called Coinneal Cholmcille (Columba’s Candle) due to the fact that he wrote his many manuscripts in candlelight. On his birthday – December 7th, we also invite people to light a candle at 5.21pm, reminding us of the year of his birth, 1,500 years ago

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December 7th

Online closing ceremony Launch of a very  exciting project involving schools from Donegal, Meath and Sligo working with the Nerve Centre in Derry.


Donegal Library Service is working in partnership with library authorities in Counties Meath and Sligo and with Libraries NI on a Colcmille Digital Schools’ Folklore Project. This project is being managed by the Nerve Centre Creative Learning Centre. The Nerve Centre are working with 5 schools from each authority, 20 in total. The children will examine the Schools’ Folklore Collection for stories relating to Colmcille. They will then research and discuss these stories with older people and possibly gather new stories. Through this cross generation work children will be engaged in the process of researching their local history and in developing interview and listening skills.

The Nerve Centre will work closely with the designated teachers from each school, providing them training on how to create a digital animation with their class, from the initial idea, creating assets to animating and editing.

Due to Covid-19 all sessions will take place online via zoom. The focus will be to train the teachers to deliver these animation sessions within their class. This will empower the teachers, up skilling them, so that we leave a lasting legacy, tools and resource which they can use year on year in their teaching.

The project will culminate in a showcase event on the 7th of December 2021 which will include the premiere of 20 digitally animated stories from each school involved.

The schools in Meath that are participating in the project are:

Whitecross N.S. Julianstown

Scoil Cholmcille Skryne

Lismullen N.S.

Wilkinstown N.S.

Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg, Dunboyne


There are a number of online events taking place in the coming days.  

Keep an eye on kellscolmcille1500 social media channel for details.