The latest edition of An Naidheachd Againne (“Our News” or “The News At Us”) is available to members of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA). The quarterly newsletter — now in its 26th year — is a leading source of information in and about Scottish Gaelic around the world, published by our association in North America. Most of the articles, news stories, columns, and features are bilingual, with some features, such as the serialized fantasy novel, Sgoil nan Eun, published only in Gaelic.
The Spring 2020 issue starts with “Alba 2030 : Buaidh is Piseach / Prospects for Gaelic in 2030,”an important article by Dr. Wilson MacLeòid (McLeod), professor of Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh. In December, about 60 people, MacLeòid included, gathered at the Scottish Parliament to discuss where they expected or hoped the language would be at the end of this new decade. There are few opportunities for concerned Gaelic speakers to gather together in this way, he notes. Here’s an excerpt:
“Chan eil e idir furasta fàisneachd a dhèanamh a thaobh na bhios an dàn don Ghàidhlig san àm ri teachd Anns na 1950an bha mòran eòlaichean glè dhubhach mu chor a’ chànain, agus iad an dùil gum biodh i marbh am meadhan an 21mh linn. ….
.. It is by no means easy to make predictions about the future prospects for Gaelic. In the 1950s many observers were very pessimistic about the outlook for the language, with some predicting that Gaelic would die out by the middle of the 21st century.”
Fortunately, the status of Gaelic is in many ways much more secure in the early 21st century. But is it sustainable? That’s a question MacLeòid addresses in this issue’s lead article.
As always, there’s information about upcoming events, online learning resources, interesting websites, grammar and conversational Gaelic, and more. To receive the newsletter, simply join ACGA, following the link on this website. The cost for an annual membership, which includes four issues of the newsletter, is only $35. If you’d like to review back issues, visit our free archive.
James Graham (Seumas Greumach), a Royal National Mòd Gold Medal Winner and a frequent instructor and adjudicator at ACGA events, will become the new chief executive officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach in Scotland in March, after the current CEO, John Morrison, retires.
Graham has been An Comunn’s Mòd manager since 2010, tackling the varied management challenges of national and provincial mòdsthroughout Scotland. He won the men’s Bonn Òir or gold medal at the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber in 2007, and was a special guest at the US National Mòd in 2008. He also has been an instructor at the ACGA Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week and an adjudicator at Mòd nan Lochan Mòra, the Great Lakes Mòd.
“It is a very great honor to be taking over in this post and I am very much looking forward to maintaining the outstanding work which John Morrison established, but I recognize this will be challenging,” Graham said in a statement.
“My ambition will be to strive to develop and strengthen the organization further in the future,” he said. “As a participant in Provincial and National Mods since boyhood and through my management work over the past decade, I have become increasingly aware that the Mòd is a foundation for Gaelic culture and its arts.”
A mòd is a competition and showcase for Gaelic song, storytelling and music. An Comunn has organized Scotland’s Royal National Mòd, as well as regional or provincial mòds, since 1892. ACGA, founded in 1984, has held 30 U.S. National Mòds and supports regional mòds in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
A list of this year’s provincial mòds in Scotland may be found here:
The Ligonier Mòd will take place in the town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, at the Ligonier Highland Games Sept. 13-15, 2019, as it has many times in the past!
Please click on the following link to download the Mod Ligonier Registration form for competitions and return your entry to Anne Alexander. Prescribed pieces will be emailed after you send in your registration. You can pay your entry fee at the event.
We will gather Friday night, Sept. 13, for those who wish, for a cèilidh at the Ramada Ligonier, situated in the heart of the town near Fort Ligonier. The competitions will take place at the Ligonier Highland Games Sept. 14. There will be a workshop Sunday morning, Sept. 15, at the Ramada Ligonier as well.
Follow the link above to book a room at the Ramada, or choose a different option, but remember hotels fill up quickly during the Highland games.
Scottish singer and composer Rachel Walker will adjudicate the competitions at the Mòd, which will include poetry, songs, storytelling, and more.