Clan gathering

26th September 2003 at 01:00
It was a case last week of when Mary met Norman or, as the Gaels will have it, when NicIlliosa met MacGhilliosa.

We are referring, of course, to the meeting of the two Gillies's - Mary, President of Ireland, and the much more famous Norman, head of Sabhal Mor Ostaig college on Skye.

President Gillies (sorry McAleese) was helicoptered into the college's stunningly located campus to deliver the annual lecture of the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute (that name has to go; perhaps the Gaels might have a word for it). And Norman, naturally, lost no time in welcoming a fellow clansperson to his fastness.

Alas, she is not a real NicIlliosa at all but a Lenaghan by birth. It is husband Martin whose name she bears. That is probably why, as a former hurling stalwart at Queen's University in Belfast, he was given a splendid shinty stick.

Whatever happened to the tradition of giving spouses flowers on such occasions?

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today