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Turas an Dr Alasdair Allan, Ministear airson Cnanan na h-Alba, Prestonpans

Togail Mothachadh is Planaichean Gnomha don Ghidhlig ann am Prestonpans

Chaidh an iomairt seo a thaobh mothachadh a thogail agus gnomh a chur an cill s leth na Gidhlig ann am Prestonpans fhoillseachadh le Urras Dualchais Blr Sliabh a Chlamhain 1745 aig ar 3mh Co-chomhairle Niseanta D-Bhliadhnail nam Blr ann an 2012. Bha Raghnall MacIlleDhuibh, Neach-deasachaidh Gidhlig an Albannaich, air aoigheachd mar raidiche aig an tachartas, a danamh sgrdadh air dchas nan Seumasach a thaobh buaidh lidir aig Sliabh a Chlamhain eadar Seton agus am muir, mar a bha ro-aithnichte ann an Romance of Thomas the Rhymer sa 15mh linn. Thinig d phuing gu h-raid snraichte am brr: [i] bha a mhr-chuid den fheachd Ghidhealach a labhairt Gidhlig air an latha sin [ii] bha Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, s dcha am brd Gidhlig as ainmeile a bh ann ann an Alba, an lthair ann am Prestonpans cmhla ris a Phrionnsa.

Seach gu bheil an t-Urras gu for dhealasach a thaobh ghdarralas nan gnomhan dualchais aca uile, chaidh aontachadh gu h-aon-ghuthach gum bu chir ceumannan a ghabhail a bhiodh a nochdadh na d phuing sin a dhaon ghnothaich. Bhiodh sgeul a bhatail fhin air eadar-theangachadh gu Gidhlig agus gheibheadh am brd urram ann an dealbh r dhe fhin cmhla ris a Phrionnsa an didh don bhatal a bhuannachadh. Gus diligeadh leis
a chiad phuing, chaidh an d chuid il an luchd-tadhail agus dealbhan cartn den bhatal bho Ghris-bhrat Prestonpans a chaidh a chruthachadh le Iain Unwin, a thaghadh. Bha iad air an eadar-theangachadh cheana gu Fraingis le Jean Cevaer St Nazaire [s na shel am Prionnsa a dhirisgeigh] airson an cleachdadh nuair a bhiodh sinn a taisbeanadh an sin. San drna h-ite, chaidh Raghnall Elliot, neach-ealain s a choimhearsnachd ionadail, a choimiseanadh airson nan deilbh a chruthachadh obair nach robh idir furasta a chionn s nach eil dealbh sam bith den bhrd ri fhaotainn, a rir coltais, ach dreach tuairmsean briathrail.

Dhirich doghras a-mach s an d thionnsgnadh sin. Fhuair sinn taic ionmhasail airson an eadar-theangachaidh gu Gidhlig aig Seonaidh Mac a Phearsain agus cl-bhualadh an leabhair cartin, bho Bhuidheann-stiiridh Ionnsachaidh Gidhlig is Albais. Tha e gu lithreach ga sgaoileadh do na sgoiltean air feadh na Gidhealtachd agus ann an Alba Nuadh.

Nuair a bhrosnaich Gris-bhrat Prestonpans drna obair-ealain mhr coimhearsnachd, Gris-bhrat Diaspora na h-Alba ann an 2012, chaidh co-dhnadh a Ghidhlig a chleachdadh a-rithist seach gur h-e Gidhlig a bha aig a chuid mhr de na h-s-imrich Alba nuair a dhfhg iad, le coimhearsnachdan gu h-raid ann an Alba Nuadh fhathast ga cleachdadh gus an latha an-diugh. Mar sin, tha co-urras Urras a Bhatail, s e sin Fis Ealain Prestoungrange,air a leithid eile de lraich-ln a chruthachadfh ann an Gidhlig airson an drna obair-ealain seo, agus tha foillseachaidhean is stuth taisbeanaidh d-chnanach a faotainn taic ionmhasail bho Bhrd na Gidhlig. Bidh sin air fhoillseachadh gu h-oifigeil air 31mh Citean 2014 mar eileamaid choileanta den Tilleadh Dhachaigh.

Tha ar dealas a thaobh na Gidhlig ann am Prestonpans a sireadh dhighean ghdarrail air mothachadh don Ghidhlig a thogail tro bhith ga cleachdadh gu follaiseach. Tha e for gur
h-e gl bheag againn a tha ga labhairt no fi ga tuigsinn s aonais eadar-theangachadh
mar-aon a bhith ri limh. Ach tha sinn a ln chreidsinn, le bhith a cuideachadh san digh seo ann an togail idh agus mothachadh don chnan agus tro a leithid sin de ghnomhan a tha gu h-ghdarrail ceart, bidh spis don Ghidhlig a fs sa choimhearsnachd againn. Agus bhon spis sin, faodaidh luach air brdachd is litreachas a thighinn am brr agus dentas air a chnan ionnsachadh. Tha Raghnall MacIlleDhuibh air a chiad bhth-obrach brdachd Ghidhlig a chur an gnomh an seo ann am Prestonpans.

Gu lithreach, is e ar promh thionnsgnadh soidhnichean Gidhlig is Beurla a stidheachadh air frith-rathaidean is sridean, gu h-raid airson blr-catha 1745, agus bird eadar-mhneachaidh a chur suas aig a phromh Ionad-seallaidh Blr a Bhatail aig Meadowmill Bing - ann an com-pirteachas le Comhairle Lodainn an Ear agus Brd na Gidhlig. Tha sinn cuideachd ann an cmhradh le ScotRail gus Gidhlig a chur an ss aig stisean Prestonpans.

Chan eil a h-uile n furasta ge-t, a thaobh s nach eil Cmhdhail Alba den bharail aontachadh ri Gidhlig a chleachdadh ann an Lodainn an Ear. Tha prtacal aca a thaobh cleachdadh na Gidhlig a chaidh a lirmheas mu dheireadh ann an 2012.

Tha e follaiseach gu bheil an t-iarrtas againn neo-bhaisteach! Tha sinn an ln dil ghdarralas ar eadar-mhneachaidh dualchais a neartachadh aig promh bhlr-catha, a tha air a dhon gu foirmeil anns a Chlr-seilbhe Niseanta aig Alba Aosmhor. Tha crr agus 25,000 neach-tadhal air a thighinn chun a bhlir-catha on chuir an t-Urras ath-achdachadh bliadhnail air bhonn ann an 2007, le crr air 5,000 neach-tadhal ann an 2013.

Taisbeanaidh sinn don Mhinistear na tha san amharc againn agus bidh sinn a sireadh a bheachdan agus a thaic airson nan tionnsgnaidhean seo, agus cuideachd a bheachdan a thaobh na slighe air am faodadh sinn a dhol air adhart. Ma bhios e riatanach, bidh sinn ag iarraidh air a chis a thogail le Ministear na Cmhdhail.



Visit by Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Scottish Languages, to Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust - April 2nd 2014

Gaelic Language Awareness & Action Lines in Prestonpans

The campaign to raise awareness and action in Prestonpans was launched by the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust at our 3rd National Battlefields Biennial Symposium in 2012. Ronald Black, Gaelic Editor of The Scotsman, was a guest speaker exploring the Jacobite expectation for a great Victory at Gladsmuir as foreseen in the Romance of Thomas the Rhymer in the 15th century between Seton and the sea. Two particularly salient points emerged: [i] most of the Highland army spoke Gaelic that day and [ii] Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, perhaps the greatest Scottish Gaelic poet, was present at Prestonpans with the Prince.

Since the Trust is clearly committed to authenticity in all its heritage activities it was readily agreed that steps should be taken that would purposefully reflect these two points. The story of the battle itself would be translated into Gaelic and the poet would be honoured in a new portrait together with the Prince after the battle was won. To address the first, both the visitor guide and the cartoon depiction of the battle via The Prestonpans Tapestry created by John Unwin were selected. They had already been translated into French by Jean Cevaer of St Nazaire [from where the Prince sailed to Eriskay] for use when we were exhibiting there. Secondly, Ronald Elliot, a local artist, was commissioned to create the portraits no easy task since none seemingly exist of the poet, only verbal clues.

Great enthusiasm resulted from these two initiatives. We received financial assistance for John MacPhearsons translation into Gaelic and the printing the cartoon book from the Scots & Gaelic Learning Directorate. It is now in distribution in schools across the Highlands and in Nova Scotia.

When The Prestonpans Tapestry inspired a second great community artwork, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry in 2012, it was resolved to seek to use the Gaelic language again since a good proportion of Scottish migrants had it as their language when departing, with communities especially in Nova Scotia still using it today. So the Battle Trusts sister Trust, The Prestoungrange Arts Festival, has created a mirror website in Gaelic for this second artwork and publications and exhibition material are bilingual with the financial support of Brd na Gidhlig. Its official launch is on May 31st 2014 as an integral element of The Homecoming.

Our commitment to the Gaelic language in Prestonpans is to seek authentic ways to raise awareness through its transparent use. It is true that few of us speak or even understand the language without the simultaneous translation being made available. But we do firmly believe that by making our contribution in this way to raise awareness and interest, and taking such actions as are authentically justifiable, our community will have growing respect for the Gaelic. And from such respect, appreciation of the poetry and literature can emerge and a willingness to learn the language. Ronald Black has already led an initial workshop on Gaelic poetry here in Prestonpans.


Currently, our major initiative is to create Gaelic and English street and footpath signs specifically for the 1745 battlefield, and interpretation boards at the main Battlefield Viewpoint on the Meadowmill Bing - in partnership with East Lothian Council and Brd na Gidhlig. We are also in discussion with ScotRail to introduce Gaelic at Prestonpans station.

Its not all plain sailing since Transport Scotland is not minded to agree to the use of Gaelic in East Lothian. They have a protocol for its use last revised in 2012.

Clearly our request is atypical! We are intent on enhancing the authenticity of our heritage interpretation at what is a key battlefield formally protected on the National Inventory by Historic Scotland. More than 25,000 visitors have come to the battlefield since the Trust instituted annual re-enactments in 2007 with some 5,000 in 2013 alone.

We will show the Minister what we plan and seek his comments and support for these initiatives, and his suggestions for additional directions we might go. If necessary we shall ask him to raise the issue with the Transport Minister.

Published Date: March 14th 2014


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