Controversy ahead of Iolaire commemorations

On the cusp of the centenary commemorations to mark the Iolaire disaster a Lewis minister has courted controversy with an article in the Point magazine ‘The Rudhach’, which seems to suggest that those men lost on that tragic night were “sinners”.

The Reverend Alasdair J. Macleod, minister at Knock and Point Free Church (Continuing) wrote: “We do not deserve to escape judgment; we have no right to expect deliverance. We have sinned continually and repeatedly against God, and earned His wrath. Tragedies like the loss of the Iolaire are nothing less than we deserve as sinners against a Holy God. We have no excuse, no defence, no answer to the judgement of God.”

The minister was reported by the national press saying that the remarks were not meant about the people on the Iolaire as individuals, but that he was speaking about humanity as a whole.

However his article has injected a sour note into the commemoration events planned for this evening and tomorrow, with some islanders viewing the comments as “insensitive”.