Local News for Wednesday 27th April 2016

Follow Her Majesty’s example says MP
Isles MP Angus MacNeil has suggested tourists should follow the Queen’s example and visit the Western Isles, a place he describes as ‘a great passion’ of Her Majesty. Mr MacNeil was speaking in the House of Commons last week during a special debate to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. Mr MacNeil said:  “One of the Queen’s great passions is the islands, particularly the Outer Hebrides. Looking back on my speech 10 years ago, I praised her good sense in her choice of holiday that year—sailing round the Hebrides—to mark her 80th birthday. She visited Lewis, Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Barra and Vatersay, where she has come many times, mostly informally. Since then I have met the Queen and asked her about the trip, and I can report happily to the House that she found it to be a very splendid occasion indeed. I encourage many others to follow the Queen’s example and I welcome those who come back for a revisit. I certainly hope Her Majesty has the chance to return to the islands that she has visited so often. Clearly, the Queen’s enjoyment of the Hebrides is more than formal — it is very personal”.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 27th April 2016

Local News for Tuesday 26th April 2016

Festival season starts
The islands’ musical festival season begins this weekend in Skye, with Skye Live on Friday 29th  and Saturday 30th April at the King George V Sports Ground in Portree. On the bill are artists including King Creosote, Skipinnish, Capercaillie and Donnie Munro, the daredevil skills of mountain-biker Danny MacAskill, plus food from the island's gourmet chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants, who will be serving specially created dishes to festival-goers on Saturday.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 26th April 2016

Local News for Monday 25th April 2016

Upper Coll Grazings committee ‘sacked’
Members of a Lewis grazings committee have reportedly been ‘sacked’ by the Crofting Commission, in an unusual and extreme move. All eight crofters on the Upper Coll Grazings Committee have been relieved of their position after a long dispute over the management of communal moorland areas. The commission said the move came in response to complaints from shareholders in the Upper Coll Grazings. Interested parties will hear more from the Commission by letter, and there’s to be a meeting soon for shareholders to consider what the Commission called ‘a number of options’.

Read more: Local News for Monday 25th April 2016

Local News for Friday 15th April 2016

Funeral tomorrow for Leverburgh fisherman
The funeral of 27-year-old Chris Morrison, who died after the fishing vessel Louisa sank off Mingulay last weekend, is to be held tomorrow at the Church of Scotland in Scarista. The funeral will be at 2pm, with interment at Borve cemetery, Isle of Harris. A service will be held tonight at the Church of Scotland in Scarista at 9pm. Collections will be taken at the church in support of the Fishermen’s Mission.

Read more: Local News for Friday 15th April 2016

Local News for Thursday 14th April 2016

Report illegal fishing
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Police Scotland are urging the public to report any suspected fish poaching or illegal fishing nets which could catch and harm wildlife. An illegally-set gill net, which trapped a red-throated diver, was recovered from Geshader on West Loch Roag, and is likely evidence of illegal salmon poaching. The wild bird was probably saved from drowning by getting entangled at the surface rather than underwater. A similar net recovered from Loch Roag last year contained a drowned great northern diver, while in 2013, a porpoise perished in East Loch Roag in similar circumstances. Johanne Ferguson of Scottish Natural Heritage said: "This incident shows how important it is for people to be vigilant about possible poaching and the use of illegal gill nets. Report cases to Police Scotland or the relevant District Fishery Board Water Bailiff as soon as possible."

Read more: Local News for Thursday 14th April 2016