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A memorial cairn has been officially unveiled in Tolsta Chaolais, in memory of three men from the village who drowned in a fishing tragedy over 100 years ago.

Ena Jess, whose grandfather was lost in the accident, was tasked with carrying out the unveiling of the cairn on Wednesday.

Depute Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Secretary of Western Isles Fisherman's Association, Cllr Duncan Macinnes MBE, spoke at the event about the long history of fishing in the area and future industry opportunities for the community. Rev Duncan Macaskill led a short service before piper, Andrew Maclennan, concluded proceedings.

The cairn, taking the shape of a boat, was constructed by stonemason Calum MacSween using local stone. It is finished with an engraved plaque listing the names of the victims. 

In January 1908 the Boy's Delight SY 542, a 48ft fishing boat, left Tolsta Chaolais to fish for herring in Loch Hamnaway, Uig. Tragically, three of the fishermen onboard were drowned when the small boat they were using to haul their herring nets was swamped. A fourth man, Malcolm Macarthur. managed to cling to the boat and was rescued.

The bodies of John Macleod and Angus Morrison were recovered but Kenneth Macaulay's remains were never found. The tragedy had a profound effect on the small community. A fatal accident inquiry found no blame attributable to anyone.

"We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone who donated to our online fundraising campaign", explained Angus Macleod who led the project. "This permanent memorial will see that the memory of these men and the impact this tragedy had on our village is never forgotten."

Macleod continued, "we would like to thank all the individuals and businesses who made donations to the project and the Western Isles Development Trust for their support. The project would not have been possible without the skill of all the contractors and volunteers involved who made such a fantastic job of the cairn.  Thank you also to all who were involved making the official unveiling such a success."