Travelling across the Isle of South Uist, Outer Hebrides, you cannot miss the huge statue of ‘Our Lady of the Isles” brilliant white, she seems to sparkle in the sunshine. The locals would know her as ‘Bana thighearna nan Eilean’. On our visit of 2014, we heard a lot of gaelic spoken on the islands, and its a very soft accent, really lovely to hear.
Some details of the Madonna and Child……….The Statue of Our Lady of the Isles is 30ft high depiction in granite of the Madonna and Child which was erected on the western slope of Rueval at a height of 170ft above sea level in 1957. It was the work of the sculptor Hew Lorimer and is regarded as one of his finest works. It is 9m (30 feet) in height and carved from granite. Lorimer gave the Madonna the face of a typical island woman and was commissioned by Father John Morrison and paid for by the people of the island.
The statue was commissioned after the Ministry of Defense proposed a missile testing range be constructed. This caused concern it would destroy much of the island’s way of life, culture and language. But the missile testing was carried out, but it would seem that a lot of the young men who came to island, fell under the spell of the islands, and also the charms of the local young lasses, many staying and are now part of the communities, so in a way the Madonna did as she was asked.