Events begin to celebrate Scottish hero

Friday, 2 November, 2018

This year's festival in memory of Scotland's 'Father of Democracy' will begin tomorrow (Saturday).

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 a festival in his memory – supported by East Dunbartonshire Council, local businesses and the community.

The 2018 Thomas Muir Festival offers a range of events including:

  • Saturday 3 November

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

  • Wednesday 7 November

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.

  • 17 November to 24 December

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. Stevie Lawrence and Fiona Cuthill will be supporting. Tickets are available for £25.

Festival organiser Jimmy Watson said, “Excitement is building as we prepare to begin this year's festival – combining 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 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. Tickets are going fast."

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 Consulate 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 Council’s Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said, “Good luck to everyone involved in this year's festival - which aims to celebrate Muir through song, talks, walks and entertainment.

"I am pleased that the Council is continuing to support the festival, which celebrates the life and times of a leading figure with strong links to Bishopbriggs.

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

For more information visit or find the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

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