A series of announcements about the use of and teaching in Gaelic across Scotland were welcomed this week.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, has welcomed:

  • the continued cross-party support for Gaelic as demonstrated in the Scottish Parliament debate on Tuesday 24 April
  • the announcement of funding for a third Gaelic school in Glasgow, and
  • backing for Faclair na Gàidhlig, the historical dictionary project.

The debate was led by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, and focused on the priorities and commitments in the third National Gaelic Language Plan which was launched last month at the Parliament. The Plan’s main aim is that more people use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations.

Allan MacDonald, Chairman of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “It is great to see Gaelic being debated by all parties in the Scottish Parliament and this, following on from the recent contributions by various MSPs in Gaelic during the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage debate, is of immense importance in efforts to normalise the use of the language in Scotland.”

Mr MacDonald continued: “We are delighted to note the announcement of the third dedicated Gaelic school in Glasgow and, as with the opening recently of the Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh on Skye, it is a reward for the dedication and tenacity of parents who see the benefits of their children being bilingual.

"We congratulate those parents who have fought long and hard for this and also Glasgow City Council for their support for the development of the Gaelic language in and around the city.”

John Swinney also announced a further £2.5m investment for the next phase of Faclair na Gàidhlig, which will be the most comprehensive Gaelic dictionary ever produced. 

a further £2.5m is being put towards the project on Tuesday, on top of the £2m already given five years ago.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/scotlands-gaelic-dictionary-25-years-complete/
a further £2.5m is being put towards the project on Tuesday, on top of the £2m already given five years ago.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/scotlands-gaelic-dictionary-25-years-complete/
a further £2.5m is being put towards the project on Tuesday, on top of the £2m already given five years ago.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/scotlands-gaelic-dictionary-25-years-complete/

Allan MacDonald said: “Faclair na Gàidhlig represents a major investment in language learning and development and is one which will provide people with the first comprehensive dictionary of Gaelic.

"Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to have supported this project and we congratulate all the partners involved and we look forward to working closely with them in the years to come.”

The new Gaelic school in Glasgow, located in the Cartvale area on the South Side of the city, is expected to open in 2019 with the Royal National Mòd, the premier Gaelic celebration of Gaelic language and culture, also set to take place in the city next year.

Speaking during the debate, Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said: “Tha e a’ dèanamh diofair mhòr de tha daoine gun Ghàidhlig ag ràdh mun a Ghàidhlig. Ma bhios iad ga moladh, bidh daoine òga moiteal gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig aca. Ma bhios daoine anns na meadhanan no ann am poleataigs a’ magadh na Gàidhlig, bidh na daoine òga sin a’ fas suas leis an smuain nach eil Alba a’ toirt spèis sam bidh dhan an dualchais Gàidhlig aca.”

“It makes a huge difference what people without Gaelic say about Gaelic. If they praise the language, young people will be proud that they have Gaelic. If anyone in the media or politics mocks Gaelic, young people will grow up with the idea that Scotland doesn’t care about their own Gaelic heritage.”

Speaking after the debate, Alasdair Allan added:  “We want to see Gaelic used more often, by more people and in a wider range of situations. The National Gaelic Language Plan will help achieve this by focusing on three areas: increasing the use of Gaelic, increasing the learning of Gaelic, and promoting a positive image of Gaelic. Gaelic is part of our history and heritage, but it is also an important part of modern life in Scotland. I was pleased to be have the chance to use it in Parliament again today.”

And Tory Donald Cameron MSP highlighted the success of e-Sgoil, which has been part funded by the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Bord na Gàidhlig, for its efforts to increase access to Gaelic education.  And the National Gaelic Language Plan’s ambition to extend the number of Gaelic schools from six to ten was strongly welcomed by the Scottish Conservatives, as support for extra dedicated Gaelic schools was included in the party’s 2016 manifesto.

Donald Cameron MSP said: “The Scottish Conservatives welcome the publication of the 2018-2023 National Gaelic Language Plan, and feel that there are a lot of measures within it which should be supported.

"We are delighted that there is an ambition to increase the number of Gaelic schools over the term of the plan, and I look forward to continuing to work with individuals and organisations across the Highlands and Islands to protect, preserve and promote the Gaelic language to ensure that it not only survives but also thrives.”