Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has called time on the “idle abuse” of Gaelic which he said is still heard in parts of the media and Scottish society, during a speech today in the Scottish Parliament. He said such remarks are out of step with the widespread and cross-party support that exists for the language.
Alasdair Allan was speaking for the Scottish Government in a debate welcoming the launch of the new National Gaelic Language Plan by Deputy First Minister John Swinney. The islands’ MSP spoke in Gaelic throughout the debate, as did a number of other members.
The National Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the framework for the faster growth of the language across Scotland, was launched last month at the Scottish Parliament. The central purpose of the Plan is to encourage and enable more people to use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament Chamber, Alasdair Allan said:
“Tha e a’ dèanamh diofair mhòr de tha daoine gun Ghàidhlig ag ràdh mun a Ghàidhlig. Ma bhios iad ga moladh, bidh daoine òga moiteal gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig aca. Ma bhios daoine anns na meadhanan no ann am poleataigs a’ magadh na Gàidhlig, bidh na daoine òga sin a’ fas suas leis an smuain nach eil Alba a’ toirt spèis sam bidh dhan an dualchais Gàidhlig aca.”
“It makes a huge difference what people without Gaelic say about Gaelic. If they praise the language, young people will be proud that they have Gaelic. If anyone in the media or politics mocks Gaelic, young people will grow up with the idea that Scotland doesn’t care about their own Gaelic heritage.”
Speakling after the debate, Alasdair Allan added:
“We want to see Gaelic used more often, by more people and in a wider range of situations. The National Gaelic Language Plan will help achieve this by focusing on three areas: increasing the use of Gaelic, increasing the learning of Gaelic, and promoting a positive image of Gaelic. Gaelic is part of our history and heritage, but it is also an important part of modern life in Scotland. I was pleased to be have the chance to use it in Parliament again today.”