An Early Day Motion (EDM) on the Centenary of the Iolaire tragedy has been laid before Parliament by Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus B MacNeil.

More than 50 MPs from across six political parties and one independent have signed the EDM making it one of the most supported motions in this Parliamentary session.

Mr MacNeil called on the House to remember those who had been lost when HMY Iolaire sank on 1st January 1919 and to commend all those in Na h-Eileanan an Iar who have been involved in events and projects to commemorate the tragedy.

He said: “As we approach the 100 years since the loss of the Iolaire, it is so important that we remember the men who lost their lives just yards from home shores and the impact this had on our islands, especially after the already terrible losses of the war.

“The events and projects organised to mark the centenary have documented this tragedy in our history in the most moving and fitting way and have ensured that this dark day in our history is relayed to a new generation.”

Mr MacNeil has worn the PoppyScotland Iolaire Pin in the House of Commons.

Remembering HMY Iolaire – link to EDM:

Iolaire poppy pin

The full text of the EDM is below:

“This house remembers that more than 200 sailors lost their lives when HMY Iolaire sank on 1st January 1919 as it approached Stornoway Harbour bringing sailors home from the war, just yards from shore and within sight of home; and commends all those in Na h- Eileanan an Iar involved in events to commemorate this tragedy. These include the publication of a book ‘The Darkest Dawn’ by local historian Malcolm MacDonald and the late Donald John Macleod , commissioning of music, exhibitions involving local historical societies, improving access to the existing memorial and the erection in Stornoway town centre of a plaque and a cairn containing a stone from the home area of each of those lost; particular note is made of the involvement of Young People in the Dileab project which culminates in an event in the Nicolson Institute involving more than 200 performers from throughout the islands, Comhairle nan Eilean and the Iolaire Working Group are commended for their work in raising awareness of this tragedy which remains one of the worst maritime disasters in UK waters in the 20th century.”