Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, today visited a Gaelic learners’ course being held at the Ravenspoint Centre, Kershader, Isle of Lewis, and praised the work being done locally to give learners of the language a taste of Gaelic being used within the community.
Dr Allan commented: “I wish that, when I was learning Gaelic, there had been more opportunities like the one I saw in Kershader today. The community in Lochs have ensured that there exists an opportunity for learners to use the language in a natural setting. There remains an unmet demand, in the islands, and among people with an interest more generally, to learn the language to fluency, so courses like that organised by the community in Kershader are very welcome indeed.
“Recent years have seen the development of many aspects of Gaelic and Gaelic culture, not least BBC Alba which is becoming available on both Freeview and cable in the coming weeks. Along with the growth of Gaelic medium education these show the signs of optimism in the Gaelic language, but there is no doubt in my own mind about the enormity of the task ahead – reversing the decline in the numbers speaking the language. Courses like that at Kershader, together with the forthcoming Royal National Mod in Stornoway will I hope help to focus still more efforts on the fortunes of the language.”