THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA
islay's new streetlights

Installed primarily to reduce not only the council's electricity charges, but also to improve on its carbon saving programme, Islay's villages had their ageing streetlights replaced recently, with new LED units, changing the night glow from orange to bright white.

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


Excerpts from issue 45/07 20 January 2018

Carl Reavey: Ileach Editor 2005 - 2012

brian palmer pays tribute to one of the Ileach's former Editors, who died suddenly earlier this month.
carl reavey I first worked with Carl Reavey in the early years of this century when he almost single-handedly brought broadband to the island.
Determined to achieve the village quotas required by British Telecom for installation, he used most of his spare time phoning virtually every individual on Islay to ask if they'd mind his adding their name to the list. Few refused.
Though he didn't really understand the technology, he could see, even then, the advantages of Islay having access to it.
A few years later, he became one of three Ileach editors, an unfortunate situation that thankfully didn't last, Carl emerging as the sole Editor in 2005. He made excellent use of the technology available to a 21st century newspaper editor and though he remained something of a technophobe, he was astute enough to harness the skills of those around him. It was not uncommon to hear him on the phone assuring the person at the other end that whatever they had asked for was "no problem", based entirely on the premise that someone else in the office would sort it out.
My own Photoshop skills improved dramatically under his editorship, due in part to the often strenuous demands placed upon them. But when he left in 2012, he still couldn't use the photocopier.
Through the columns of this paper he did much to highlight the islands' fortunes and misfortunes, always keeping a beady eye on the machinations of CalMac. His often barbed editorials aimed at the ferry company were frequently misunderstood as disdain, though nothing could have been further from the truth. He was well aware of the quality of service provided to the island by CalMac. Carl sought, through his continual poking and prodding, to highlight what he saw as deficiencies in their Islay strategy, arguably playing a major part in the introduction of a two boat service in 2006, along with other less dramatic changes.
That was also the year in which the Ileach received the 'Community Newspaper of the Year' award, quite probably the highlight of his years at the paper and testament to his insistent and campaigning style of writing, along with an entertaining flair for less contentious issues.
Of course, as with all editors, he could be infuriating. He would often re-write a picture caption many times until it said precisely what it had said in the first place and more than once, removed several paragraphs from a story just as the page was being readied for print. His early years featured a few illustrative layouts that were 'adventurous' to say the least. However, it was this attention to detail that made him who he was and the Ileach what it became.
He was, however, always very welcoming to anyone who visited the office with a complaint or story they thought should be included in the next issue. He'd painstakingly write down all their details and by publication day, there'd be a well-considered article in their favour.
His timekeeping, or lack of it, meant that it was often impossible to pinpoint just when he'd arrive at the office, but whenever that would be, latterly he was accompanied by a freshly baked loaf for staff lunch.
It was during his tenure at the Ileach, that Carl commenced his 'cycle to work' regime. Though I would dearly like to claim responsibility for this, in point of fact, it was receipt of a bicycle as a birthday present from his brother that initially had him reluctantly ride it once a week during the summer months. Very soon, one day a week became five days a week, in all weathers, topped off by a bicycle-enabled shopping trip on a Saturday and riding out with the Velo Club from Debbie's on Sunday mornings. His red Caddy pickup was dispensed with on the basis that, "The bicycle's more reliable."
Several of these daily commutes were ridden while wearing wellies, in order to stop and feed his Highland cattle en-route.
He was never likely to trouble Mark Cavendish in a sprint, but this regular amount of cycling (22 miles each day) greatly improved his fitness. Originally content to be 'a bloke with a bike' rather than a cyclist, he eventually succumbed to practicalities of Lycra and more than a single bicycle in the bike shed, including a custom built machine made in Edinburgh and his beloved steel 'Mercian'. He entered and rode the annual Etape Caledonia sportive ride on three successive years. As he said, "Not bad for an old bloke."
Despite being solidly built and definitely not in the mould of the great climbers, Carl dearly loved riding up the hill to Storakaig on the Glen road. If it was a sunny Sunday morning, we didn't even bother discussing where we might go for our bike ride. "It would be rude not to." was his usual call to action.
Both the same age (he was two weeks younger than me), his contempt for the weather eventually cured me of my own reticence to go out in foul conditions and on more than a single occasion, we were both to be found on a Sunday morning, riding round Loch Gorm like a pair of drowned rats, before returning to drip over Aileen's clean floor, huddling round a cup of coffee for warmth. There was no way I was letting this young upstart gain the moral high ground.
Carl will be sorely missed by all of us in the Ileach office and by those on the Sunday bike ride. He was a good friend and a lovely bloke with a bike.
Until then brave warrior. Rest in peas (as Carl himself would have written).

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


IBook review
islay gaelic songbook

Òrain Ìleach - the Islay Gaelic songbook - is an essential for all people with interest in the music and Gaelic of Islay. Combining both well-known and unpublished material, has allowed for this book to further open the door on Islay Gaelic and allow us to delve deeper into the traditions of our island. Structured in different categories ranging from landscape to the Blàr Tràigh Ghruinneart project directed by Clare Jordan a few years ago, the songs chosen are particularly different from the rest, with the reader not missing out on any angle of traditional Islay life.
Having used the book already myself to learn a song from to sing at a ceilidh, it is practical in the sense that its spiral bound spine allows it to sit well at a piano and is something that can easily be carried around. The extensive work and research that has gone into this book is nothing short of amazing. Lynn MacDonald Maclean has, for a few years, taken great care in choosing the right songs for the book and getting every precise detail perfect. It is a compilation that the island has been missing and I know that it will be used - by many - for years to come.
Ryan Johnston.
Òrain Ìleach - the Islay Gaelic songbook, is published by Acair, and is available from various Islay retailers, price £15.

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


Poetry Award for Duncan Muir
duncan muir

Ileach, Duncan Stewart Muir, son of Billy and Carol Muir, is one of this year's receipients of the Scottish Book Trust's New Writers Awards. A former pupil of Islay High School, he was taught by former Ileach editor, Calum Murray, during his time as head of the school's English department and a peer of another former Ileach editor, Katherine Wells.
Duncan claims he spent his childhood riding horses on the beach and terrorising small, furry animals, before undertaking a MLitt in Creative Writing at The University of Glasgow, graduating with distinction in 2010. His poetry has been published in Poetry Review, PN Review, New Writing Scotland, Blast Furnace and In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights. He has also hosted live literature nights in Liverpool and Glasgow, performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Poetry.
In 2014 he was a member of St Mungo's Mirrorball's Clydebuilt programme. Duncan currently lives in Glasgow, where he works as an English teacher.

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 3 February 2018

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................

islay info

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


islay community council

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................


Islay Diary 2017/18

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • Sunday 21 January
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Tuesday 23 January
  • Timebank Stroll, Islay Airport
  • INHT Talk, Port Charlotte
  • Saturday 27 January
  • Burns Supper, Ballygrant Inn
  • Monday 29 January
  • Book Launch, Bowmore Distillery
  • Sunday 28 January
  • Islay Motor Club AGM, Port Mor
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Tuesday 30 January
  • Timebank Stroll, Woollen Mill
  • Gaelic Plan Meeting, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Thursday 1 February
  • Coisir Ghaidhlig Ile, AGM, IHS library
  • Sunday 4 February
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Sunday 11 February
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Wednesday 14 February
  • Solem Quartet, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Friday 16 February
  • Islay Heritage AGM, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Sunday 18 February
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Sunday 25 February
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Friday 3 March
  • Islay Gathering, Glasgow University Union
  • Sunday 4 March
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Sunday 11 March
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Sunday 18 March
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall
  • Sunday 25 March
  • Scottish Country Dancing, Bowmore Hall

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................

top of page

Newspapers