East Ren plan to boost Gaelic language use

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Extra readers voiced their opinions on social media this week as East Renfrewshire Council called for views on its new draft Gaelic language plan.

The ERC plan is aimed at promoting and developing the use of the language, from encouraging communication with it to integrating it into day-to-day council business.

The council proposed making certain documents available in Gaelic, as well as having a Gaelic language section of its website.

The proposals are part of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 passed by Scottish Government, aiming to secure the language status as an official Scottish tongue.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said: “Gaelic is an integral part of Scotland’s heritage, national identity and cultural life.

“We recognise this position of the language is fragile and if it is to be revitalised as a living language, effort on the part of not just the government, but public and private sectors and community organisations will be required.

“Our draft plan is now available online to read and comment on. We hope people will take a look and let us know what they think — we would really welcome feedback.”

The council currently has a Gaelic development office, shared with Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils, and runs community Gaelic classes.

Commenting on Twitter, ex-pat Neil MacKinnon commented: “Been away a long time, 10 years. And it’s true, my heart has grown fonder. I want Scottish culture restored.”

But for some, the link between East Ren and the Gaelic tongue is too tenuous to dedicate resources to it.

Twitter follower Catherine Moorehead said: “Loony. Don’t see that as a good use of public money in ER at this time.”

@GlasgowAldo added: “Waste of money. Language spoken by one per cent of population. Foreign language benefits kids more, or other areas that need support.”

Over on Facebook, Pauline Davidson commented: “We don’t speak Gaelic here and never have!”

To find out more about ERC’s Gaelic plan and to have your say, visit getinvolved.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk.