Colonsay climbs bag funds for school

Kevin Byrne and friends up MacPhee number six - considered bagged.

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Colonsay businessman Kevin Byrne is totting up the island’s own version of Munro bagging.

To date Mr Byrne, who is also a historian, has raised about £5,000 by conquering Colonsay’s peaks for a good cause.

Kevin Byrne has raised £5,000 by bagging Colonsay's own versions of munroes called MacPhees.
Kevin Byrne has raised £5,000 by bagging Colonsay’s own versions of Munros called MacPhees.

For the past seven years, he has led a sponsored walk on Easter Monday to raise money for Kilchattan School Parent Council Fund.

He can climb 22 MacPhees, hills up to 300ft,  in just one day but on this year’s walk was joined by local business proprietors Gavin Clarke of the Colonsay Pantry, Chris Nisbet of Colonsay’s Wild Island gin, alongside children, staff, members of the community and holiday-makers.

Together they raised £2,300 towards mainland educational excursions.

Head teacher Gillian Mackenzie said: ‘The staff, pupils and parents  of Kilchattan are most grateful for every effort made to support our school, particularly as our school roll and increased by 100 per cent this year.’

The school now has eight pupils plus one child in early learning.

‘Due to our remote location on Colonsay, it is necessary to take pupils to the mainland for swimming lessons. The cost of travel and accommodation mounts up and without contributions from the Parent Council Fund, such trips would just not be feasible.

‘In recent years, pupils have benefited from educational trips to Northern Ireland’s Antrim coast, outward bound weeks to Center Parcs at Cumbria, pantomimes, ice-skating, Christmas markets and the Science Museum in Glasgow and soft play, pony trekking and swimming lessons in Oban,’ added Mrs Mackenzie.