Local News for Wednesday 31st May 2017

Return to campaign trail as last postal votes go out
The second and last wave of postal ballot packs are going out today, to those who registered to vote by post close to the deadline last week. The General Election is on Thursday June 8th, with polls opening at 7am and personal voting at 47 Polling Stations around the islands.

Candidates for the na- h-Eileanan an Iar constituency yesterday made a tentative return to campaigning as the SNP launched their manifesto. SNP candidate Angus MacNeil and Scottish Labour candidate Ealasaid Macdonald had reached agreement to suspend campaigning after the Manchester bombing last Monday, in which one Barra teenager was killed and another seriously injured. Both Mr MacNeil and Mrs MacDonald have strong connections to Barra, where the schoolgirls and their families live.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 31st May 2017

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."

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 30th May 2017

Local News for Monday 19th May 2017

More funds raised for Barra families
There have been further commitments to fundraising for the families of Barra girls Eilidh Macleod and Laura Macintyre. Laura is fighting critical injuries in a hospital in Manchester, and her friend Eilidh lost her life as a result of last week’s terrorist attack in the city. The Stornoway Saltire Celtic Supporters Club decided to donate money raised on Friday from their curry and quiz night to the families, who face costs of travelling from Barra to Manchester, and accommodation in the city. Meanwhile Lewis Pipe Band, who start their summer season with a parade in the Narrows next Saturday at at 3pm, will have collecting cans going round collecting donations to Laura and Eilidh’s families. JustGiving donations on two pages now stand at over £78,000, and the auction of a Celtic football shirt by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers yesterday closed with a £2000 bid.

Read more: Local News for Monday 19th May 2017

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