Funding boost for Gaelic at Royal National Mòd

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A funding boost of £60,000 was announced by Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Michael Russell at the opening of the Royal National Mòd on Friday night.

The investment will go towards support for early years and scholarships for Gaelic students based in Nova Scotia.

Speaking at the opening in Dunoon, Mr Russell said: “The Mòd is a world famous celebration of the Gaelic language and provides an incentive for speakers to help it develop and thrive.

“We are committed to a sustainable and positive future for the Gaelic language in Scotland and recognise that increased and better provision of Gaelic Medium Education, from the early years right up to secondary school is a fundamental means to increasing the number of Gaelic speakers. This is why we are investing in Gaelic schools such as the new Parkside Primary School in Edinburgh.

“I am delighted to be able to announce that we are providing additional funding to support Gaelic in the early years, some of which will go directly into Argyll and Bute, the host of this year’s Mòd. We will also be welcoming some more Nova Scotians at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) in the new year.

“We all have a duty to help the Gaelic language to survive. It is not something the Scottish Government or Bòrd na Gaidhlig can achieve alone. It is time for the people in Scotland who have the language skills to take every opportunity to use it in everyday life and encourage others to follow suit. In other words, let’s use it or lose it.”

The funding announced by Mr Russell will go towards the following projects:

* £30,000 for early years support through Bòrd na Gaidhlig

* £25,000 for Argyll and Bute Council to support the roll out of a successful early years Gaelic book scheme

* £5,000 to fund more scholarships from Nova Scotia, Canada to attend a short course at SMO.

Mr Russell also announced that the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year would be Roddy Maclean a well-known broadcaster and writer who has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to Gaelic learning. His weekly “Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh” published by the Inverness Courier and broadcast by Reidio nan Gaidheal is aimed at helping learners of Gaelic get to grips with written Gaelic and particularly Gaelic expressions and sayings.

John Morrison, president of An Comunn Gàidhealach added: 

“Ruairidh is the perfect recipient of the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award 2012. His effort on behalf of the Gaelic language continues to be  immense. No other Scot has the understanding of the Gaelic place-names of Scotland that Ruairidh possesses and his weekly ‘litir do luchd-ionnsachaidh’ has been an inspiration to countless Gaelic learners over many years.

“In addition, he has provided support and inspiration to Gaelic learners through his editorial direction of the Clì Gàidhlig magazine Cothrom for many years now. His efforts are delivered with good manners and kindness and the staff and Directors of An Comunn Gàidhealach are delighted to see Ruairidh receive the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award 2012. It is well deserved.”

The Fiddler’s Rally took place in the Queen’s Hall in Dunoon on Saturday night. Pictured are those who took part.