Sunday, December 19, 2010

Language activists hit out at Bòrd na Gàidhlig

A specialist subject really for those Gurnites interested in Gaelic affairs. Here's a press release from the Gaelic organisation Taic:

Taic Chairman calls for public debate with the Head of the Gaelic Board.

The Chairman of TAIC, Alasdair Mearns, has challenged the head of the Gaelic Language Board, John Angus Mackay, to a public debate about the future of TAIC’s funding. The Board is to cut the funding they presently offer to TAIC by 100%, effectively closing the organisation down, and taking over TAIC’s community groups itself. The Board’s decision has been heavily criticised by parents and others throughout Scotland, as well as by international experts throughout the world. So far, no clear explanation for the decision has been given.
Dr. Mearn’s has said, “So far neither our directors nor I have been given a clear explanation for the Board’s decision. I’ve offered to speak to the Gaelic Board’s Directors and was refused, John Angus Mackay attended TAIC’s recent quarterly meeting but offered no explanation. I’ve asked them for more time to sort things out and even this was refused. It is a backward step and one which puts Gaelic development in danger. TAIC represent’s parents throughout Scotland, and in the last thirty years it has been the parents and activists who have driven Gaelic forward. Where were the people presently in charge of the Gaelic Board during those thirty years of struggle? Now they want to take charge! As TAIC’s chairman I have only one choice ahead, and that is to bring to public attention what they are trying to do behind closed doors. For that reason, I am asking John Angus Mackay to debate the issue publically, before the end of February at the latest.”
It is no secret that there have been issues between the Bòrd and Taic. The Bòrd's actions do seem very heavy-handed however, and potentially very damaging if parents and activists are alienated from the Government body supposedly charged with protecting Gaelic. Hopefully there will be a Christmas truce and the Bòrd will find another way forward on this issue. The last thing Gaelic needs is an internal nuclear war!

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