Celebrating the Life of Tony Birtill

Tony Birtill (1954–2021) was a dear friend of Gleann Cholm Cille and a vital part of the team in Oideas Gael. Tony first came to Glen in the 1970s and later spent more than 30 years as a hill walking instructor with Oideas Gael. At home, in his native Liverpool, Tony worked tirelessly to promote the Irish language and Irish culture.

We will celebrate Tony’s life by gathering together those who knew him for a weekend devoted to some of his greatest passions, including the Irish language, the environment, hill walking and Irish traditional music. We will donate all proceeds from the weekend to two charities, Woodlands Hospice Liverpool and Donegal Mountain Rescue. The charities were chosen by Liam Birtill, Tony's son.

Friday, April 29th

4:00pm–9:00pmArrival and registration

9:00pmOrientation talk

Saturday, April 30th

10:00amHill walking
We will walk some of Tony’s favourite routes over the course of the weekend. Participants will be divided into several walking groups, each with a guide (4–6 hours).
For those who want to participate in the weekend but do not wish to undertake the more strenuous uphill routes, a separate group will take a guided walk around certains areas of Gleann Cholm Cille (2–3 hours).

7:00pmAn evening in celebration of Tony
A night to swap stories about Tony in the company of his family and friends. All will be welcome to share their memories.

Sunday, May 1st

10:00amTree planting

10:30amHill walking — arrangements as on Saturday

8:00pmConcert with local musicians

Monday, May 2nd


Make a donation

If you cannot attend the weekend but wish to make a donation to the chosen charities, in memory of Tony, follow the link on this page (below the photographs). The funds raised will be announced over the May bank holiday weekend. Woodlands Hospital, Liverpool and Donegal Mountain Rescue Team are the two chosen charities.

Woodlands Hospice, Liverpool

Tony spent the final weeks of his life at Woodlands Hospice in his native Liverpool. He and his family were extremely grateful for the care he received.

Donegal Mountain Rescue Team

DMRT provides an emergency response, search and rescue service for County Donegal. The team is composed completely of volunteers who are on 24-hour call, 365 days of the year. Many lives have been saved on the mountains of Donegal by their good work.