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Highland Council claims 'progress made on Gaelic Language Plan'

By Louise Glen

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Speak Gaelic Presenters Joy Dunlop and Calum Maclean photographs by Alan Peebles
Speak Gaelic Presenters Joy Dunlop and Calum Maclean photographs by Alan Peebles

Members of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee have welcomed progress being made on delivering the council’s Third Gaelic Language Plan (GLP3).

Chairman of the Gaelic Committee Cllr Calum Munro said: “There is much to be pleased about with the progression of the Highland Gaelic Language Plan and I want to thank our many partners and funders - the Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig - for what we have been able to achieve during a challenging year of pandemic.”

He added: “One hundred and twenty one out of 126 actions in the Plan are either complete or are on target. This is a major achievement in the context of COVID and I commend our staff and partners who have worked creatively with families, communities and schools to continue delivering our commitments on Gaelic.”

Members were informed on the progress of the ‘SpeakGaelic’ classes for adults across Highland in Inverness, Dingwall and Thurso (face-to-face); and Skye (online) and in Tain, Ullapool and Dornoch in the New Year.

The council’s Gaelic Team organised a series of events for families and children for the Mòd Fringe in October in collaboration with Comunn na Gàidhlig, Comann nam Pàrant, Fèis na h-Òige, Cultur-Lann, An Comunn Gàidhealach and Spòrs Gàidhlig. A pop-up ceilidh, mini-Fèis, family ceilidh, toddler session, forest picnic, woodland story and music session and Màiri Mhòr nan Òran workshop were among the wide range of events delivered successfully for the Fringe.

The Gaelic Team also commissioned a video for the Mòd produced in-house by the Council to promote the Highlands and Islands as a fantastic place to live, work, and play within the cultural context of the Gaelic language. Also, for the Mòd – in association with An Comunn Gàidhealach, with support from Fèisean nan Gàidheal – the Mòd Academy was delivered online in May and June resulting in a number pupils achieving success in their competitions at the Mòd in October.

Also, in October 24 young people were able to practise their Gaelic speaking with players from Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club at a 3-day Gaelic Medium football camp which was delivered by coaches from FC Sonas. The camp was organised by the Council’s Gaelic Team.

Much work has been undertaken to re-establish after-school clubs and activities at Gaelic Medium Education schools in Lochaber, Skye and Inverness and it is hoped the after-school clubs in Dingwall Primary, Thurso, Ullapool and Tain will begin in January 2022 – COVID circumstances allowing.

A partnership between Highland Council and the Isle of Skye Sailing Club has enabled young people from Portree, Dunvegan and Kilmuir on Skye to get together outdoors speaking Gaelic in fun and informal circumstances.

Councillors also noted the work being carried out by High Life Highland in support of – and developing Gaelic – in their music, museums, archives, libraries, sport and youth services.

The Highland Council Gaelic Language Plan can be viewed at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/283/community_life_and_leisure/335/gaelic/2

READ: Highland musicians Mànran - including musicians Gary Innes and Kim Carnie and Blazin' Fiddles' Anna Massie and Bruce MacGregor, have announced the 'rescheduling' of its winter tour with gig postponed in Strathpeffer

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