Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gaelic debate explodes onto Northern Times web pages

Councillor Deidrie MacKay made an outspoken attack on Gaelic education at a community council meeting recently in Brora. Her comments were the usual sort of anti-gaelic stuff. What is unusual this time is the strength of the reply from the Bòrd na Gàidhlig chair Art MacCormack (a copy of the text of his reply can be found on this page) Deidre MacKay is really being taken to task and being asked to back her comments up with facts. The Northern Times web pages contain comments attacking MacKay in no uncertain terms and the site's poll gives an indication of which way the debate is going.

Deidrie MacKay seems to have united the Gaelic community in condemnation of her comments, no mean feat Deidrie.


Anonymous said...

Not being either a Gaelic speaker or an "anti" I think in these bleak times when budgets are strained, hard decisions need to be made.

Im not sure if Councillor Mackay is "anti gaelic" but I think she is considering value for money for what could be considered "better use".

Should this make her "anti gaelic" - No I think she is just saying what she belives is best for a majority during hard times.

Surely the Gaelic speaking community understands her reasoning?

Graisg said...

It is worth a read of Art MacCormacks reply and some of the more moderate comment that has come in on the Northern Times site.
No doubt there will be follow up letters and articles and in the Northern Times.
The debate will continue in the Press, any mention of Gaelic seems to immediately encourage visitors to websites thus pages like the Northern Times become the temporary epicentre of the debate until it moves on elsewhere.
In fact the debate might soon go Nuclear - Dounreay has given 60k to the Caithness Mod.
Suas leis a' Ghàidhlig!

Anonymous said...

Our gaelic language needs continued investment in the educational world to survive, just like any other subject

It could be argued that English is world dominant and therefore investment in any other language is futile

But without continued support for gaelic in schools and other educational establishments there will be no choice as to whether or not you can study the subject, it will just be gone, a little piece of history

Scottish gaelic has been stamped on many times before, sometimes in an attempt to irradiate it and force Scots to speak English

Do we really want our culture and the gaelic language to drift into the past, or are we prepared to pay for it to be carried into the 21st century

I'm sure none of us would like the lasting legacy of being the generation that allowed a language to die

Sean F O'Drisceoil said...

If what "is best for a majority" is to be in the criteria, it might be no harm to check what is happening in Ulster at the moment. Incidentally, the three main Irish provinces have an ending in 'ster' which is the Norse contribution to their names. The other part is the Gaelic contribution and demonstrates that the two cultures are old friends.

Anonymous said...

"The other part is the Gaelic contribution and demonstrates that the two cultures are old friends."

Well, of course they are! Aside from the obvious Norse invasions of Scotland (the Western Isles were part of an important Norwegian Kingdom) the Scots were an Irish people who invaded these lands around the 9th century, and Scots Gaelic can be seen simply a derivative of Irish Gaelic.

Anonymous said...

9th century are you sure:

From wikipedia:
'Scottish Gaelic itself developed after the 12th century, along with the other modern Goidelic languages. Scottish Gaelic and its predecessors became the language of the majority of Scotland after it replaced Cumbric, Pictish and in considerable areas Old English.[7] There is no definitive date indicating how long Gaelic has been spoken in today's Scotland, though it has been proposed that it was spoken in its ancient form in Argyll before the Roman period,[8]. No consensus has been reached on this question, however, the consolidation of the kingdom of Dál Riata around the 4th century, linking the ancient province of Ulster in the north of Ireland and western Scotland, accelerated the expansion of the language, as did the success of the Gaelic-speaking church establishment, started by St Columba, and place-name evidence shows that Gaelic was spoken in the Rhinns of Galloway by the 5th or 6th century.[citation needed] The language was maintained by the trade empire of the Lordship of the Isles the geographic and cultural descendant of Dál Riata, which continued to control parts of Ulster until the 1500s.'