Walking the walk and talking the talk for Muir

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People of all ages and from all backgrounds recently took part in a series of events in memory of one of Scotland’s greatest sons.

More than 50 walkers recently completed part of the Thomas Muir Heritage Trail – raising over £300 for Marie Curie in the process.

The sponsored walk started at 9am on a brisk Sunday morning, but participants were rewarded for their early rise and efforts as it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day.

It was part of the 2016 Thomas Muir Festival – celebrating the life and times of the democratic champion, who was persecuted and banished in 1793 for his work campaigning for reform, freedom of speech and voting rights for all.

The festival’s prestigious Local History Symposium was also held recently at Bishopbriggs Academy – featuring a mix of talks on the theme ‘Scottish and Irish Radicals’.

East Dunbartonshire Provost Una Walker and the Consul General of Ireland to Scotland, Mark Hanniffy, jointly opened the event featuring speakers Professor Gerard Carruthers (University of Glasgow), Dr Carol Baraniuk (University of Glasgow) and Brian Skillen (local historian).

Pupils from Bishopbriggs Academy provided musical entertainment and a talk on ‘The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320’.

Jimmy Watson, Chair of the Friends of Thomas Muir, said: “Well done to everyone who came along and walked part of the Thomas Muir Trail to raise funds for an excellent cause. It was a tremendous turn-out – featuring families and individuals of all ages - and a fitting tribute to a Scottish hero.

“I am particularly pleased that this year’s symposium focused on the shared history between Scotland and Ireland. It was a great honour to have Mark Hanniffy and Provost Walker attend and say a few words.

“Next year we aim to broaden this out to include the ‘English radical movement’.”

Consul General of Ireland to Scotland, Mark Hanniffy, said: “Through his links with the Society of United Irishmen, Thomas Muir is a significant figure in Irish history as well as in the history of Scotland.

“I was very pleased to attend this year’s symposium, which provided some extremely interesting insights into the links between the 18th-century radical traditions across these islands.”

The Friends of Thomas Muir have also announced details for an exciting new book ‘Thomas Muir of Huntershill: Essays for the Twenty First Century’.

Visit www.thomasmuir.co.uk to find out more about the book and the other events in th festival, including a schools art exhibition and concert starring Dougie MacLean.