Local News for Tuesday 30th May 2017

Laura speaks to her parents
Laura Macintyre has spoken to her parents for the first time since sustaining critical injuries during the Manchester bombing last Monday. The 15-year-old Barra schoolgirl was injured, and her friend Eilidh Macleod sustainaed fatal injuries, on Monday night last week. Parents Nan and Micheal Macintyre, who have stayed by her bedside in Manchester, say she is making ‘remarkable progress’ and has been taken off a ventilator, allowing her to speak to them for the first time. In a statement, they said they had been ‘overwhelmed’ by love, help and support from everyone. . They said: “Laura sustained horrendous injuries. The main worries being head and leg injury. She is making remarkable progress. Today she came off the ventilator and is talking and recognising us. She is amazing us every day with her strength and determination. We have a long way to go but we are going in the right direction. We are so lucky to have her. The hospital and the staff are amazing."

Solidarity from the islands to Manchester
Comhairle convener Norman ‘Dokus’ Macdonald has expressed feelings of solidarity and gratitude to the people of Manchester, in a letter to Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, following the bomb attack on the Manchester Arena last week.. Cllr MacDonald said: “For us this dreadful incident occurred far away but it is all the more poignant given that two young girls, Eilidh Macleod and Laura Macintyre, from one of our schools were involved in the attack. We will be supporting the MacLeod and Macintyre families, both in Barra and in Manchester, and are ready and willing to assist in whatever capacity we can. I thank the people of Manchester and the emergency services for all that they have done to help people in their time of need.  Communities in the Hebrides stand in solidarity with you and our thoughts will be with you all during the challenging times ahead."
Harris Feis can buy new instruments
Feis Eilean na Hearadh has placed orders for new musical instruments, thanks to a flood of donations from supporters near and far. The Feis, which this year starts on July 3rd, lost all their instruments and other items including craft materials and lengths of tweed in the fire which destroyed the Scalpay net store. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly £5,000, including donations from CalMac staff at Lochmaddy, Tarbert and Uig and the crew of the MV Hebrides, while locally fundraisers included Harris Highland Dancing Society and the committee at the Bays Community Centre.
Russian visit for Harris Tweed
The Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrey Pritsepov, yesterday visited the Harris Tweed Hebrides mill in Shawbost, where he was described as ‘an enthusiastic learner’ about the story of tweed. After a guided tour of the Shawbost mill company chairman Brian Wilson said: "The Consul General showed a great interest in the Harris Tweed process and the possibilities for promoting it as a luxury fabric in Russia. It is a market in which we currently do a small amount of business but clearly has far greater potential given the strong interest in British fashion, the growing demand for high quality products and also the climatic conditions.”  Mr Pritzepov was presented with a jacket length of Harris Tweed in the special design which Harris Tweed Hebrides has developed with the Scottish Rugby Union, combining Scotland's dark blue with the colours of the thistle.