-> 2007 -> Islay's Gaelic Heritage

Monday, 17/Sep/2007

Islay's Gaelic Heritage

While listening to Islay's nature sounds (at least for the first 20 minutes, there were others later) I thought I write a little bit about a man made sound you can occasionally hear on Islay, the sound of someone speaking or singing in Gaelic. I don't know what percentage of the population on Islay speak Gaelic, but there are certainly efforts to keep it alive. Here are a variety of links about Islay's Gaelic heritage:

The first place to link to is probably the Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle, the Columba Centre Islay (For those interested, here's some information about the construction of the centre). Among a variety of things the centre provides a range of courses in the Gaelic language. Gaelic is also taught at Islay High School (in addition Russian and French are also taught).

The second project to mention is Sancheas Ìle (English version of Seanchas Ìle), Islay's Folklore Project. Its aim is to to collect, record and preserve Islay's rich Gaelic heritage for future generations. You can listen to a variety of recordings from the website. According to the Oban Times (sorry, no direct link available to the mention) a project book was launched on the 12th of September, unfortunately I haven't found any further details on this yet. However, the book can be found at Amazon UK and at Seanchas Ìle ( Islay's folklore project) on the publishers website.

Someone I've mentioned before in a different context is Betsy West with An Islay Life In Pictures. Betsy is a native Islay Gaelic speaker and is still helping to preserve the language.

A famous son of Islay is John Francis Campbell, who spoke fluent Gaelic despite his priviledged upbringing and spent a large part of his life recording and collecting Gaelic folk tales.

Only indirectly related to Islay's Gaelic heritage, but Calmac has a CalMac Gaelic Plan 2007, which was launched on Islay back in March 2007.

For even more listening you can try Gaelcast, Podcasting in Scottish Gaelic. They seem to have the odd mention and guest speaker from Islay, including Iseabail Nic an t-Sagairt (Iseabail Mactaggart) talking about the influence of whisky on the economy and culture of Islay and Iseabail talking some more about whisky.

And finally returning to the first link for the most recent news: Bòrd na Gàidhlig - New manager appointed at Islay Gaelic Centre.

PS: If any Gaelic speakers read this feel free to comment in Gaelic. Just be so kind to also provide an English translation for those of us (unfortunately including myself) who don't have any Gaelic.

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