Highland memorial to be held for Charles Kennedy

There will be a public memorial service for the former Lib Dem leader: John Devlin
There will be a public memorial service for the former Lib Dem leader: John Devlin
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A public memorial service is to be held for former Lib-Dem leader Charles Kennedy in the Highlands.

The former MP, whose death was caused by his long battle with alcoholism, had represented Ross-shire in the House of Commons throughout his 32 year parliamentary career.

He had an office in Dingwall, where the memorial will take place.

Following his death on 1 June, people from all walks of life and across the political spectrum paid tribute to a proud Highlander, who was known both locally and nationally for his humour and kindness.

The service will be led by Father Roddy Macaulay, parish priest at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Caol, who preached the Mr Kennedy’s funeral in June.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie will give a tribute and music composed by Mr Kennedy’s late father Ian to mark his son’s election to Parliament in 1983 will be performed by the Kiltearn Fiddlers.

Duncan Mackay, chairman of the Ross, Skye and Lochaber Lib-Dems, said: “So many people all over the Highlands were proud to call Charles Kennedy a friend.

“I know the family has been overwhelmed by the extraordinary number of kind messages and fond memories they have received in the weeks following his sudden and very sad passing.

“Dingwall played a central part in Charles’ political life and many people have asked for a service locally to remember him.

“I am enormously grateful to the congregation of St Clement’s for enabling the use of their church and to Father Roddy Macaulay for giving his time to lead the service.”

He added: “I feel privileged to have known Charles ever since his selection to contest the Ross, Cromarty and Skye constituency for the Liberal/SDP Alliance in 1983.

“He had an extraordinary talent, not only in communicating his own ideas but in listening and understanding the experiences of others.

“He fought for the Highlands and the causes he believed in passionately, but refused to harbour ill will towards those with different views.

“The service is an opportunity for all who knew him to remember Charles and celebrate the contribution he made to our communities. Anyone who would like to attend will be very welcome.”

It will be held at St Clement’s Church in Dingwall on Monday, 24 August, from 6pm.