Future of Gaelic conversation dates announced

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan

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Gaelic’s future as a community language in the Outer Hebrides is to be the subject of a series of community meetings, according to Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan.

The meetings, due to take place virtually in November, are in response to the recent publication of research suggesting the Gaelic language could soon cease to be spoken in Western Isles communities.

Alasdair Allan MSP is working with the Soillse research team and a cross-party representation of MSPs including Donald Cameron, John Finnie and Rhoda Grant.

Along with the conversations, a call for written submissions has also been launched. Please visit www.alasdairallan.scot for more information including dates and registration.

As well as discussions about Gaelic use in the home and community, the meetings will also gauge opinion on whether any different structures are needed to co-ordinate and drive forward local development actions under the direct control of the Gaelic-speaking community.

Mr Allan said: ‘I am happy to launch these conversations on the future of Gaelic in the Western Isles and hope they highlight viable initiatives which will support Gaelic in its island communities.

‘The meetings will discuss important issues, such as how people view the future of the language, what challenges and barriers people face using Gaelic in the home and community and whether a Gaelic community co-operative should be established.

‘I have confidence this will allow for a useful discussion and hope everyone who wishes to take part in these meetings is able to do so.’

West Side and Ness, Friday November 6, 7pm); Stornoway and Broad Bay, Saturday November 7, 3pm; Uig, Carloway, Lochs and Pàirc, Saturday November 7, 7pm); Harris, Monday November 9, 7pm; North Uist and Benbecula, Friday November 13, 7pm; South Uist, Saturday November 14, 7pm; Barra, Monday November 16, 7pm.

Meetings for Tiree and Staffin, Isle of Skye, are being organised by Michael Russell MSP and Kate Forbes MSP.