Saturday 25 February 2017

The battle for Scottish independence is a fight between the heart and the head

Gerard O'Regan

'There's even renewed interest in the movie Braveheart where Mel Gibson did down the English, aided by some Hollywood mythmaking'. Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images
'There's even renewed interest in the movie Braveheart where Mel Gibson did down the English, aided by some Hollywood mythmaking'. Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

Out off the west coast of Scotland - hugging the edges of the North Atlantic - lie the islands of North Uist and South Uist. In a way they are emblematic of the complex history of a country now thinking of cutting an umbilical cord which has bound it to the United Kingdom for 307 years.

When the Reformation in the 16th century hit Scotland, the country almost en masse embraced Protestantism.

But some of the Western Isles, like South Uist, seemed to slip through the net. Unlike the overwhelming majority of the population, the islanders are largely Roman Catholic, with Sunday a time of rest and enjoyment.

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