Columba was educated at the monastic school of Moville under St Finnian. In 560 a dispute arose over a copy Columba had made of St. Finnian's book of psalms (an early copyright issue). The result was Columba's instigation of a rebellion by the Clan Neill against King Diarmait of Ireland. This culminated in the Battle of Cooldrevny in 561, at which three thousand men were killed.
Following the battle, Columba's confessor, St Molaise, set him the penance of leaving Ireland and preaching the Gospel in order to convert as many to Christianity as had been killed at Cooldrevny: and never again to look upon his native land.
In 563 Columba and 12 companions left Ireland, arriving first at what is today Southend, on the southern tip of Kintyre. This, though, was still within sight of Ireland, so they travelled further north, landing on Iona on 12 May 563. The island was granted to Columba for the establishment of a monastery by King Conall.
Looking northwest across the Bay at the Back of the Ocean with Port Ban on the west coast of Iona in the distance.
On the hike to St. Columba's Bay we are looking south across a portion of the Iona golf course located at the Bay at the Back of the Ocean.
Starting a hike to St. Columba's Bay at the south end of Iona.
The path leading south on Iona to St. Columba's Bay which can be seen just left of center in the distance.
The path leading south on Iona to St. Columba's Bay.
Walking south across the upper portion of St. Columba's Bay to the beach.
View to the west from the uplands above St. Columba's Bay.
A portion of the trail to St. Columba's Bay on the south end of Iona.
Close view of the trail to St. Columba's Bay; narrow, rocky, and somewhat muddy.
Pretty flowers, long purple ones in the middle are heather, and ferns on the way to St. Columba's Bay at the south end of Iona.
Looking south at St. Columbia's Bay from view spot just where the trail drops off the edge of the uplands to the flat inland part of the Bay.
The "beach" at St Columba's Bay was rather rocky.
Pretty flowers on the way to St. Columba's Bay at the south end of Iona.
Loch Stanoig which provided Iona`s water supply until the 1980's when a pipeline was built to Mull.
On the trail back from St. Columba's Bay on Iona with the Isle of Lunga in the center distance.
Jim on the way back from St. Columba's Bay with the Bay at the Back of the Ocean in the background to the north and Dutchman's Cap in the distance on the horizon.
Pretty sunset color looking east, oddly enough, from Iona with the lights of Fionnphort in the distance.
Moon rise as seen from Iona.
Francie Stoutamire Photography