Launch of Shawbost’s first community Gaelic Language Plan

The Shawbost community published its first Gaelic Language Plan at a special concert on Saturday night.
The Shawbost community published its first Gaelic Language Plan at a special concert on Saturday night.

SHAWBOST, on the west side of Lewis, published its first Gaelic Language Plan, to aid the development and promotion of Gaelic in the area at a special concert on Saturday night.

The Shawbost Gaelic Plan was drawn up by community representatives who came together to form the ‘Shawbost Gaelic Forum’, along with support from Bord na Gaidhlig, Comunn na Gaidhlig, Storlann, other Gaelic agencies and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Shawbost Gaelic Forum Chair, Donna MacLennan, expanded: “The Shawbost Gaelic Forum was created to work with other development agencies to try and stimulate activities in the community where Gaelic would be the working language.

“We have drawn up this plan of activities and we now hope that those in the community will participate in the various activities and have fun whilst at the same time helping to strengthen the language within the community.”

She continued: “There are activities for everybody, both young and old, fluent speakers or learners. We want to see all members of the community taking part. We are also looking for more people from the community who are willing to join our Forum to develop further Gaelic development work in the area.”

The Plan was officially launched by Scottish Government Minister for Learning and Skills with responsibility for Gaelic and Scots, Dr Alasdair Allan.

Welcoming the plan, he said: “Shawbost is in the Gaelic heartlands but the very clear message from this report for Shawbost and communities like it is that support for Gaelic is not enough to guarantee its future – Gaelic also has to be more widely and less self consciously spoken in the community for there to be any assurance of its survival.

“This is the first plan of its type to be published and I am very pleased to see the community take such a positive step in recognising their importance in contributing to a sustainable future for Gaelic in Scotland.”

The new Gaelic Plan for Shawbost identifies eight areas of strategic development and sets out actions and organisations who will be responsible for delivering them.

A copy of the Plan can be viewed on the Forum’s website www.siabost.co.uk