Brendan’s big dig on Lismore

Brendan O'Hara MP with Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archaeology. Image courtesy of Kevin McGlynn
Brendan O'Hara MP with Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archaeology. Image courtesy of Kevin McGlynn

It was a far cry from the House of Commons when local MP Brendan O’Hara swapped his business suit and the green benches for a pair of old jeans and walking boots.

And it was all in a good cause as the MP became a volunteer on the Big Lismore Dig to help uncover a medieval cathedral.

The building, believed todate as far back as the late 12th and 13th century served the newly created diocese of Argyll.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery, the archeological project which began in 2016 and led by Dr Bob Hay of the Lismore Heritage Centre and Dr Claire Ellis of Argyll Archeology was able to continue its work digging deeper unearthing historical artefacts such as medieval pottery, skulls and skeletons.

The main aim however of this part of the dig is to reveal the walls of the nave so that Argyll’s cathedral can be seen by the community and visitors alike.

Mr O’Hara who joined dozens of volunteers said: “This is a fascinating piece of local history. Never did I expect when I took on the job of MP, I would be part of an archeological dig to uncover such a significant find as this.

“To think that we are looking back 700 years is quite astonishing and it just shows what is going on here in Argyll and Bute. It is so important that we know our history and where we have come from.

“I would like to thank Bob and Claire for inviting me along today and with funding permitting I hope they will be able to continue with this next year. I for one would love to do it again.”