Allan Campbell – Thursday May 19, 2022

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?

 

Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

Air an t-seachdain seo chaidh bha mi aig Coinneamh Bhliadhnail Baile, coinneamh den fheadhainn ann am baile m’ àraich aig am bheil roinn anns an talamh-ionaltraidh a bhuineas dhan bhaile. Tha e àbhaisteach dha bailtean croitearachd buill a thaghadh gus comataidh a stèidheachadh a ghabhas uallach airson gnothaichean a’ bhaile tron bhliadhna agus a bheir cunntas air cùisean dha luchd-earrannan gu lèir aig coinneimh bhliadhnail. Ach tha suidheachadh chroitearan air Oighreachd Ghlinn Dail an Eilein Sgitheanaich eadar-dhealaichte leis gun do ghabh 147 croitear ri iasad bhon Riaghaltas gus an oighreachd gu lèir a cheannach ann an 1905.  Nuair a bha an t-iasad pàighte ann an 1955 bha làn-shealbh aig gach ball air an cuid chroitean fa leth, agus bha roinn de phrothaid sam bith a thigeadh bho thuathanas na h-oighreachd, bho mhàl air Loidse Hamara agus iasgach na h-Aibhne Mòire, agus bho shealg monaidh ga phàigheadh dha buill gach bliadhna. B’ e tachartas eachdraidheil a bha seo, a’ chiad turas a ghabh coimhearsnachd sealbh air an cuid fearann fhèin ann an Alba, agus a ghabh iad uallach rianachd air. Chaidh na riaghailtean airson rianachd na h-oighreachd a stèidheachadh le seirbheisich chatharra agus bha ceannas aca air a’ bhuidhinn-stiùiridh chun an robh an t-iasad pàighte ann an 1955. Aig an àm sin cho-dhùin na buill gun clàradh idir le Coimisean nan Croitearan, agus bhon uairsin tha stiùireadh chùisean na h-Oighreachd air a bhith an urra ri comataidh air a taghadh bhon bhallrachd. Thar nam bliadhnaichean bhon uairsin tha cuid de bhailtean na h-Oighreachd air na comataidhean ionaltraidh aca a leigeil seachad airson caochladh adhbharan, ach glè thric air sgàth ’s gun robh mòran bhàiltean an ìre mhath gan obrachadh le aon neach, agus an t-ionaltradh aige dha fhèin.

Ged is suarach cho soirbheachail ’s a tha malairt na h-Oighreachd air a bhith thar nan deicheadan mu dheireadh tha creideas làidir fhathast innte agus anns an t-saorsa is an tèarainteachd a thug i dha cuid ballrachd an dèidh bliadhnaichean mòra de bhurraidheachd agus fòirneart bho dhroch uachdarain agus an cuid bhàillidhean.  Gun teagamh thug an dìleab saorsa a fhuair daoine buaidh mar a chaidh na bliadhnaichean seachad, agus airson caochladh adhbharan chaidh taighean agus fearainn a reic agus thàinig coigrich dhan àite.  Thug seo buaidh air cultar agus cànan na sgìre ach cha ghabh a’ choire airson suidheachadh na Gàidhlig fhàgail gu lèir air coigrich, tha Gàidheil na sgìre ciontach sgur a chleachdadh a’ chànain. Aig an aon àm tha mise  air mo mhisneachadh às an ùidh às ùr a tha a’ nochdadh ann an ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig, agus abair brosnachadh nan tigeadh tomhas mhath den chòrr air millean a tha a’ leantainn Duolingo Gàidhlig gu fileantas.

An dèidh còrr air fichead bliadhna san dreuchd, leig mise dhìom uallach rùnaireachd na Comataidh Ionaltraidh againne, ach tha mi air leth toilichte a ràdh gun do ghabh neach òg a tha na croitear èasgaidh agus dèanadach thairis an obair. Cumaidh mise agus buill eile na comataidh làn-thaice rithe.

 

In 1903, less than 20 years after confronting police and Royal Marines supporting court officers serving summonses in their community, 147 poverty-stricken crofters in Glendale in Skye accepted a government loan to purchase the estate on which they were based, and the Glendale Estate became the first owner-occupied crofting estate in Scotland. It seems reasonable to assume that the fear of committing to such a long-term debt was substantially less terrifying than the prospect of continuing lack of security of tenure and suppression under bullying landlords and their factors.

When the loan was finally repaid in 1955 every crofter received full title to their individual holdings and homes, and they also had a share in the estate farm, a sporting lodge, and shooting and fishing rights. Successful annual trading could, and did, generate a dividend to shareholders. Although business has been more challenging in the last few decades many shareholders retain a fierce commitment to the estate and its legacy of independence and security for its shareholders.

Some of the local grazing committees traditionally appointed by individual villages have fallen into abeyance reflecting situations where single crofters effectively manage and operate entire village land. Full title has led to many homes and crofts changing hands over the years and the culture of the area has been influenced by new residents, and use of Gaelic has diminished.

I am pleased to say that the shareholders’ committee in my home village is continuing, and when I stood down as its secretary after more than 20 years at last week’s AGM, it was immensely encouraging that a young active crofter was ready to take over from me.

I am greatly encouraged by the growth in interest in learning Gaelic and I hope a substantial percentage of the million plus following the language on Duolingo achieve fluency and stimulate continuing growth.