The murder of 15-year old Eilidh MacLeod touched the world

In a dark week, a small symbol of light and hope twinkles defiantly in the west. It’s to be found in Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, where a continent ends and an ocean begins. The light is from a single candle and it gently illuminates a framed picture of Eilidh MacLeod and Laura McIntyre, two young local girls who travelled south to Manchester last week to see a pop concert. Laura, 15, remains there still, her injuries from the bomb attack in the Manchester Arena keeping her in an intensive care ward. Her friend Eilidh died in the blast, and the small island community is waiting to bring both of them home.

Their photograph sits in the lobby of the Isle of Barra Beach Hotel. Proprietor Guy Evans, who runs it with his wife Teresa, says: “We’ll keep the picture up and the candle burning until they are both ready to come home, though we know that in Eilidh’s case it’s to then say farewell to her.

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