Slideshow: Week in Pictures - 05/02/15

A Lewis dancing teacher brought Highland Dancing to a rather different audience for Burns Night this year – in Northern Iraq!

Claire Wilson, who runs a dancing school in Lewis and Harris, was invited to perform at a dinner hosted by the charity Play for Progress in the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq.

With continuing troubles in Iraq , the trip was extremely high security, however Claire says she was captivated by the beauty of the country and the warmth and hospitality of its people.

The fight continues to save the secondary department of Lionel School despite Comhairle’s members voting in favour of its closure this week.

A proposal to close the S1/2 department was put to the Education and Children Services Committee on Tuesday and councillors voted 9-6 in favour of the plan.

Stornoway Port Authority have confirmed completion of the Stornoway Harbour developments, allowing the MV Loch Seaforth to berth.

John J Maclennan, Interim Chief Executive of the SPA, on Tuesday said: “Stornoway Port Authority can confirm that the Number 3 Pier Berth is now ready for use.

Thousands of tonnes of waste from the local fish farming industry could soon be recycled at the Comhairle’s Recycling Centre.

The Creed Park Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant is currently used to process household and commercial organic waste but the site could be reclassified to include a higher level if agreement is reached with island based fish waste producers, Scottish Salmon Company and Marine Harvest.

The Hebridean Way, a walking and cycle path running the length of the Western Isles, is set for completion before July.

The project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is moving into the final phases of completion, with much of the route now planned and works well underway on North and South Uist.

Contractors are to begin construction in Barra next week, and works in Harris are out to tender.

Harbour porpoise sightings off Scotland’s west coast increased by 25 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.

But sightings of basking sharks unexpectedly fell by 33 per cent, during marine research expeditions carried out by Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

The charity’s extensive research also revealed dramatic evidence of a shark attack on a member of an endangered group of killer whales thought to be the UK’s only resident population of orca.

The latest studies were carried out in a research season lasting from May to October last year, and form part of the trust’s unique long-term monitoring of whales, dolphins and porpoises – collectively known as cetaceans – in the Hebrides. The surveys also collect data on basking sharks.

A study has shown that the 2014 Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) generated £3,547,661 for the business community in Inverness – over £1million more than the event target.

The nine day festival, which took place from 10-18 October 2014 in Inverness, entertained over 9,000 unique visitors, 78% of which came from outside the host city. 67% were in Inverness with the sole purpose of attending The Mòd, while 25% lived in the Highland Capital.

The Stornoway Singers helped raise £933.95 for the Western Isles Association for Mental Health.

The money was raised from a cabaret night which took place in the Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway.

The Reverend Terry Taggart has recently been installed as priest-in-charge of St. Peter’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Stornoway.

Prior to moving to Stornoway with his wife Samantha, Glasgow-born Rev. Taggart, worked in Lincolnshire. St. Peter’s was packed with members and guests on Friday 23 January 2015 as The Right Reverend Kevin Pearson, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, presided over a splendid service for the Collation and Licensing of Rev. Taggart.

Donnie Macleod was this week crowned 800M King of Scotland after galloping to glory at the Scottish Indoor Championships.

Three times in the past nine months Macleod has stepped up to win big, with passion, joy and no little amount of remarkable sporting talent and desire.

This latest Scottish title joins a hat-trick of medals from last summer’s international Island Games from Bermuda and a football winners medal from the recent North Caledonian Cup with Lewis and Harris FC.