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Gaelic and shinty feature in the Glasgow’s European Championships

It was a fantastic few days in Glasgow for the first weekend of the European Championships and Gaelic played its part in numerous events around the city.

I wrote about these events in this column a number of weeks ago but, until I was there, I really had not appreciated the scale of what was happening.

I was lucky enough to sing a few songs on Saturday in George Square and on Sunday on Glasgow Green with Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, Mary Ann Kennedy and Gillebrìde MacMillan. The idea was to promote Gaelic and shinty through music and to raise awareness of the shinty match taking place on Glasgow Green for Latha Mòr nan Camanachd.

What a great time we all had. The songs were well received by both audiences and the band had everyone up dancing.

The atmosphere in sunny George Square was absolutely brilliant – reminiscent of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Glasgow Green, which was the finish line for the cycling on Sunday, was also excellent. The place was full of food stalls and activities and people all eagerly anticipating the arrival of the race.

Fences round the track were packed 10-deep with people trying to get a view of the action. Miraculously, I found myself a spot by the fence that no one else seemed to be anywhere near and I stood awaiting the bikes.

Eventually, I heard cheering from further down the green which told me they were fast approaching. As they neared my position, they turned which meant they didn’t pass me and suddenly the reason my spot at the fence was so quiet became clear. I had been at the last leg of the race, the hub of activity, but not seen any of the action!

The late Hugh Smith

Many in the Highland community in Glasgow extend sincere condolences to the family of the late Hugh Smith, an Oban Times columnist for many years, whose death was announced recently.

During his time in the city as Glasgow Letter correspondent, he was a dear friend to all the associations, particularly Clydebank and District Highland Association, where his presence as either chairman or supporter of ceilidhs was greatly appreciated.

The Clydebank Highlanders got in touch with me with the following tribute: ‘Hugh was a true Highland gentleman – so proud of his heritage, his culture and in the Gaelic language and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.’

Pub scene

Islay Inn

Friday August 10: Mookie
Saturday August 11: Buchanan Street Preachers

Park Bar

Friday August 10: Deoch ’n’ Dorus and Martin Pottinger.
Saturday August 11: Gunna Sound
Sunday August 12: Trail West