Gazette Letters 03-04-14

Alastair Wanless from Gress felt this picture of the sunlight on the sea at Hushinish, Harris, was haunting
Alastair Wanless from Gress felt this picture of the sunlight on the sea at Hushinish, Harris, was haunting
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Future of Gaelic

Recently on RNG I was listening to a discussion on the reasons why Gaelic was struggling to make any real headway in spite of the large amount of money that’s been thrown at it.

I heard from Alan Campbell, Finlay McLeod, and Agnes Rennie on their versions of why it was the way it is , but the answers I heard did not surprise me one little bit, as all three were academics, and that in itself is big part of the problem, as I believe they are all on a different planet from us on ground level.

The truth of what has happened over the past 30 plus years is that Gaelic was hi-jacked by college boys, and over the years they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater!

When academia took over, the everyday speakers stepped aside as the felt they had been ousted by paid people who wanted a secure job at their expense, meanwhile they had kept the language they loved going for free.

So now we have two separate cultures on the go, but not quite gelling and while I hear a lot about culture by way of propaganda, I know this much, in my former years the culture was as much spiritual as it was secular if not more, while now everyday conversations are really very secular, and not that healthy, or have much humour either.

No, this present flavour, is not my deal at all, and for that reason ‘I’m Out!’

My soul tells me that we may have some language left, but it will be a mongrel thing, used mostly by college type boys and girls, who at times like a fakey ceilidh, pretending that they are true Gaels a Bhalaich!

Aonghais Eoghainn Mhoir,

Gearraidh na Monaidh,

Uibhist a Deas

Emergency control room petition

I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my heartfelt thanks to the people of The Western Isles who have taken the time to actively support The Inverness Fire Service Control Centre Facebook Page and The Scottish Parliament Petitions which have been made available in the local shops.

Thanks also to the many volunteers who gave their time freely over several weekends and weekdays to gather signatures throughout the various towns the length and breadth of the islands.

None of this would have been possible without one man, Cllr Charlie Nicolson, who has given so much of his time in proactive support to the petitions campaign.

The final total of signatures from the Western Isles on paper petitions is 2,915, that combined with our Online petition which remains active until Wednesday 26 March should see us near a total of 4,000 signatures, which is simply outstanding.

But none of this would have been possible without the dedication of the people of the Western Isles, the support continues to bolster the morale of the staff located at the Inverness Control Room.

It is also our intentions to continue this campaign long after the petition is lodged with The Scottish Parliament, and we will update regularly on our Facebook page and through local media.

Once again many, many thanks to you all.

Laura Ross

Emergency Control Room Petition

Tracking down the men who served

Readers will have recently viewed the TV programme concerning the PQ17 convoy and in particular HMT Ayrshire and its commander Lt Leo Gradwell. My father was a stoker on the Ayrshire.

Two of the men serving on this ship came from Hull. However six came from the Isle of Lewis.

I am trying to track down the men who served on the ship at this time, and would be grateful for any information so that due credit can be given to them for their undoubted courage and skill on convoy.

Charles Beamish

48 Mary St

Porthcawl CF36 3YA

Survey on alarms

The Government has commissioned a survey to help understand patient and carer experience of epilepsy alarms as it considers future funding decisions. In our experience, these alarms can make an incredible difference to people’s lives and we are actively encouraging Scotland’s 7,000 families with children affected by epilepsy to get involved.

Caring for a child with complex epilepsy is challenging, requiring twenty four hour care and these alarms give a degree of peace of mind and the return of long lost sleep for parents. They are potentially life-saving as there is a risk of death in seizures, particularly whilst sleeping (SUDEP).

Without the alarms parents would often stay awake, take sleep shifts or sleep alongside their child, leading to massive sleep deprivation. The alarms therefore offer protection to the child and improve quality of life for the whole family.

Despite the benefit to families struggling to cope with the debilitating condition, the NHS does not currently fund the devices. Nor do we, at the Muir Maxwell Trust, receive government funding relying instead on the generosity of others to continue our work and these alarms are always in demand.

To date, we have distributed over 3,000 alarms and have a permanent waiting list of around 300 families. Therefore, we see this survey is a unique opportunity to help secure much needed public funding for many more life-saving epilepsy alarms.

The questionnaire is live on the National Neurological Advisory Group (NNAG) website and can be accessed via the link

Ann Maxwell

Muir Maxwell Trust

Suite 12 Stuart House

Eskmills Park, Station Road,

Musselburgh, Midlothian EH21 7PB