People from throughout Lewis and Harris gathered at e-Sgoil on Wednesday afternoon 7th February 2018, to hear about Dìleab an t-Siorraidh, a new project set up by Sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie, as a testimony to his keen interest in Gaelic.
Giving an address, the Sheriff, who is himself a Gaelic learner, said that in his youth he had been told that Gaelic wouldn’t survive for much longer but that she was still alive and he hoped always would be. “Every language in the world is valuable in its own way,” he said, “and Gaelic is a very special language to us.” He told the audience that he had decided to use his own money to encourage the youth to make use of their language skills. While this year it will be a pilot scheme in Lewis and Harris only, he is hopeful that Dìleab an t-Siorraidh will continue for a long time and can be extended across the islands with other people’s financial support.
Representatives from schools, churches and Gaelic organisations were present among others and were given the opportunity to ask questions before young musicians from The Nicolson Institute brought the event to a close.
It is hoped that children with the support of teachers and parents will now start preparing for the competition, with assessments scheduled to be held before the end of March.