Local News for Friday 26th May 2017

Tributes for Barra girls
Tributes and support have continued to flow in to the families of Barra schoolgirl Eilidh Macleod, who died in Monday night’s terrorist attack in Manchester, and her friend Laura Macintyre, who remains critically injured. Among those offering condolences and support were Police Scotland, the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, and the convenor and leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The family of 15-year-old Laura said today that, despite her injuries, Laura was a strong-willed girl who would continue to battle. The family statement said that their "hearts and minds" had been with Eilidh's family since they heard the news. They said "Our daughter Laura is a funny and witty young girl who excels in everything she does. We want to thank everybody for their support including the emergency services for all that they have done and all they continue to do.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 26th May 2017

Local News for Thursday 25th May 2017

Eilidh Macleod – tragedy for island family
Fourteen-year-old Barra schoolgirls Eilidh Macleod has been named as one of the 22 victims of Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester. Her friend Laura Macintyre remains seriously ill in a Manchester hospital. Eilidh’s death was confirmed by her family in a statement released this morning. They said: "Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh. Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music - whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band. As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time."
Family friend and neighbour Angus MacNeil, who has been supporting both families as they awaited news of the girls, said: "We are all simply heartbroken and thankful for kind thoughts of so many others round about us across the islands and beyond"

Read more: Local News for Thursday 25th May 2017

Local News for Wednesday 24th May 2017

Eilidh still missing in Manchester
Members of the family of 14-year-old Eilidh Macleod are still anxiously awaiting news, as the Barra teenager remains unaccounted for in Manchester following Monday night’s bomb blast. Eilidh’s friend, 15-year-old Laura Macintyre, is seriously ill in hospital in Manchester, with parents Nan and Micheal and older brother Niall at her bedside. Both girls are pupils of Castlebay School, and were at the concert in the Manchester Arena where a suicide bomber detonated an improvised device, killing 22 people. Searching for Laura are her grandparents, Roddy and Marion and aunt Margaret MacNeil, who yesterday appealed for help on social media to track down the two girls. Her post has been shared over 120,000 times.
Isle of Barra neighbour and parliamentary candidate Angus MacNeil has been acting as a media spokesman for the families. He told Isles FM this morning: “We are very worried for both the girls and saddened that something like this could have happened during what should have been a happy occasion. Everyone on the island is numb, shocked and saddened and there is a feeling of deep sorrow and sympathy for the families, as well as anxiety to know how the girls are.”

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 24th May 2017

Local News for Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Dedicated RNLI crewman on honeymoon shout
A dedicated member of Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat crew interrupted his own wedding weekend to respond to a shout on Saturday. Stornoway Coastguard alerted the RNLI team to a kayaker in trouble in Broadbay and, even though the lifeboat was stood down before launching, crew member DK Macdonald had already turned up for the job – the day after his marriage to Kathleen Maclennan. The wedding itself was an RNLI family affair, as Kathleen is the daughter of Stornoway RNLI Branch Chair John J Maclennan and Stornoway Lifeboat Ladies Guild member Ishbel,. The wedding on Friday was celebrated with a reception at Lews Castle, and the RNLI flag flying from the castle’s tower. The kayaker who got into trouble on Saturday made it to shore safely.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Local News for Monday 22nd May 2017

Aline woodland vandalism – call for information
Trustees of the Aline Community Woodland in Lewis are asking for information from anyone who saw anything suspicious at the site over the past week, after finding the children’s playpark cabin vandalised. The woodland in South Lochs is maintained and run by volunteers, with 636 hectares of woods and lochs, threaded through with walkways and a woodland playpark. Volunteers found at the weekend that the walls of the playpark cabin had been kicked and damaged. A spokesman said:  “This is a public amenity created through the hard work of a small voluntary group for the benefit of children and their parents. If you saw anyone acting suspiciously please let us know so that we can track down the culprits.”

Read more: Local News for Monday 22nd May 2017