Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament congratulating all the competitors from throughout the Highlands and Islands who won their categories in this year’s Royal National Mòd which was held in Paisley between 13 and 21 October.
The MSP has also recognised the efforts of those involved in the organisation of the event and has acknowledged the dedication of everyone taking part in the annual competition.
Scottish Labour launched its Gaelic Policy at this year’s event and hopes the document entitled “An Economic Plan for a Living Language” will provide the platform for a new perspective on ensuring the survival of the Gaelic language and culture by, first and foremost, revitalising the economy of Gaelic-speaking areas.
Rhoda Grant, said “I congratulate the academics at the University of the Highlands and Islands whose research demonstrates a sharp decline in the number of Gaelic speakers in the last 30 years, particularly amongst young people.
“We need to prevent any further decline, and indeed promote the language and culture more if we are to ensure its survival.”
Mrs Grant continued “We must revitalise the economy of Gaelic-speaking areas in the Highlands and Islands. Our policy also acknowledges that the cultural sector is a key employer in the Gaelic-speaking community with radio and TV in particular creating a number of jobs in the Highlands and Islands.
“We need to equip these areas with the tools they need to thrive and expand. This includes ensuring there is good quality housing available not only to stop the decline, but to encourage others to move to these areas to help them to thrive. We need to vastly improve our ferry network to sustain and grow our businesses and to allow the tourist market to flourish and savour our wonderful Gaelic culture. We need to provide our young people with the skills to keep them at home instead of forcing them to leave.
“As Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, I am involved in land reform and in agricultural and crofting policy which will all impact the economies and future of our Gaelic speaking communities and, with this document, Scottish Labour has provided the framework to kick start these much needed changes to ensure our world renowned Gaelic culture and language survive.”