MSP Joan McAlpine has highlighted the cultural importance of Galloway Gaelic in a parliamentary debate.
On Tuesday, MSPs discussed Scotland’s national plan for Gaelic – aimed at securing a future for the language.
Encouraging constituents and colleagues to uncover Galloway’s rich Gaelic heritage – the SNP MSP spoke about a day long conference taking place at the Catstrand this September – and highlighted the language as an opportunity for cultural tourism.
Speaking in the debate, Ms McAlpine said:
“Gaelic is often associated with just one part of Scotland – but in the south there is actually a very strong Gaelic tradition.
“I would encourage anyone interested in learning more to visit the Green Galloway blog, by Alistair Livingston.
“Later this year, in September, the CatStrand arts centre in New Galloway will host a day-long conference on Galloway Gaelic, featuring prominent academics. The conference has already sold out, which is testament to the fact that Gaelic has a potential, in terms of cultural tourism in the south-west of Scotland, that many people are keen to explore.
“Gaelic became widespread in south-west Scotland between the 9th and 11th centuries. The very name “Galloway”—Gall-Gael—originally meant “land of the foreign Gael”. Galloway was once an independent kingdom as well. It has been said that the distinctiveness of Galloway perhaps ensured that Gaelic was preserved in the west of the region after it had been supplanted by Scots in other parts of lowland Scotland.
“The Gaelic language belongs to all of Scotland, and people are coming from all over the world to learn it and to enjoy the music, literature and oral traditions that it encapsulates. I welcome the fact that the motion being debated enjoys cross-party support, just as the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 enjoyed the support of every party in this Parliament.”