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Gaelic Language attack

Please read the following, and if you are so moved, let Mr. Charteris know how you feel by writing him at
Please send this to anyone who may be interested.

Tory councillor dubs Gaelic “dead” language

Dec 1 2010 by Doug Archibald, Dumfries Standard Wednesday

A TORY councillor is under fire after a “dreadful” attack on the Gaelic language.

John Charteris (pictured left) told members of the education committee on Thursday afternoon that the money the government is pumping into Gaelic should be diverted to improve modern language teaching across the country.

“You’re not going to speak Gaelic in Western Europe, I can assure you of that,” he said.

The councillor’s outspoken criticism was met with incredulity by Helen Edgar, last president of the An Comunn Gaidhealach club in Dumfries. “I think it was a dreadful thing to say,” she said.

“He’s not thinking about Scottish history.

“How can he say Gaelic is not spoken in Western Europe when so many people speak the language in the Highlands.”

Andrew Wilson, the council’s Gaelic development officer, said: “It’s very sad he feels that way.

“Are the Western Isles and the Highlands not in Western Europe?

“Gaelic is part of the culture of Scotland. It was brought here by the people who gave Scotland its name.

“Many of the names in Dumfries and Galloway derive from Gaelic.

“People are happy to hang on to aspects of the culture like the kilt, the pipes and tartan.

“It would be wrong to let the language die.”

Mr Wilson was appointed after the council successfully applied to the government for cash to develop Gaelic in the region.

“We have identified several people who can teach the language and classes will be starting soon,” Andrew added.

The education committee was told that cutting the specialist service of teaching modern languages in primary schools could save more than £450,000 over three years.

Dee ward councillor Tommy Jacques told members that, rather than cutting the service, it should get more money. Axing the service is eighth on a priority list of 19.


George Young
Seanair agus Seannachie
Clan Lamont Society -  both Scotland & USA
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