'Beautiful, bright and joyful memories': Scots Manchester bombing victim Eilidh MacLeod remembered on anniversary of attack
Eilidh MacLeod, the 14-year-old from Barra who died in the Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert, has been remembered today on the fourth anniversary of the atrocity.
It comes ahead of bells at Manchester Cathedral tolling at 10.31pm tonight to mark the exact time of the attack, along with those of St Ann's Church in St Ann's Square, which became a sea of floral tributes in the days following the attack.
The Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust, which was set up in her memory to progress music education for children and young people, said: “Today, we stop to pause and reflect on the huge gap that has been left in our lives since Eilidh was so cruelly taken from us along with 21 others four years ago.
“The fun, energy and compassion that was ever-present with Eilidh is missing in our lives and we are the poorer for it. This is especially true over this last year when we would’ve benefited so much from a healthy dose of Eilidh’s laugh, kindness and humour.
“But while we are hurting for the loss of Eilidh, nothing will ever take away our memories of her and the times so many of us got to spend in her company. It is those beautiful, bright and joyful memories that sustain us during some of the saddest times.
“Today, we keep Eilidh’s parents, sisters, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and her wider family and friends front and centre in our thoughts. We hope that they – and all those affected by the attack – take some comfort knowing that so many are thinking of them.”
The statement came after the trust launched a funding scheme to support youth music groups across Scotland as the nation prepares to open up following Covid.
It highlighted Eilidh’s musical talent and enthusiasm as a piper with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, and said financial support in the form of small grants “will help music groups prepare for the eventual move back to in-person teaching, group lessons, public performances and competitive events”.
The trust’s Suzanne White said: “As we mark four years since we lost our precious Eilidh we want her spirit to live on through her love of music by offering a hand of friendship and support to young musicians.
“We know that many music groups have had a tough time during lockdown and last year we supported several groups to ensure they could continue virtual teaching. As we are now starting to move out of lockdown and towards a greater degree of normality including face to face lessons and public performances, Eilidh’s Trust is keen to ensure youth music groups are supported through this transition.
“It is a testament to the positive effect Eilidh had on so many that, even during a tough year of lockdown and restrictions, people have continued to fundraise and support our work with young musicians. We are incredibly grateful that despite everything, many have been as determined as we are to make sure Eilidh’s legacy lives on in music.”
Ariana Grande has also commemorated the anniversary, listing the victims, and stating: “Manchester, my heart is with you today and always”.
A public inquiry into the background of the attack is ongoing in Manchester.