In his opening address at the 2018 Royal National Mòd in Dunoon, Allan Campbell (President of An Comunn Gàidhealach) remarked upon the passing of the late John Macleod, who was president of An Comunn Gàidhealach for ten years, reiterating the appreciation for everything that John did as president, and for Gaelic in general. He revealed that An Comunn Gàidhealach, organisers of The Mòd, will establish an annual lecture in John’s memory. It is appropriate that the annual lecture is supported by the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies of the University of Edinburgh. This support will allow the first annual John Macleod Memorial Lecture to take place on Thursday 24 January 2019, in The Project Room, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LH. In recognition of John’s enthusiasm and encouragement of young people in the Gaelic community, the lectures will always be delivered by young speakers and it is appropriate that the inaugural address will be delivered by Kate Forbes MSP.
The focus of the address will be on young people and how we address the opportunity to attract them to our cultural heritage. The topic is particularly relevant in the wake of the highly successful 2018 celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People. Indeed, in his opening address at the 2018 Royal National Mòd Allan Campbell remarked upon the importance of keeping Gaelic cultural heritage alive, highlighting the important contribution that the Royal National Mòd makes and stating that: “The future of Gaelic is dependent on the confidence and opportunities which we provide for the young people who will succeed us.”
Kate Forbes, MSP said: “It is a great honour to be asked to give the inaugural John MacLeod Memorial Lecture, as a young Gael. I had the enormous privilege of working with John Macleod as Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Gaelic. He was a determined campaigner, well-known across the political spectrum. I was delighted to pay tribute to his efforts to secure UNESCO status for Gaelic earlier this year. It seems fitting to start 2018 recalling John Macleod’s character, contributions and concern for Gaelic’s future.
Allan Campbell, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “We are delighted that Kate Forbes has agreed to deliver the inaugural John Macleod Memorial Lecture. It would be difficult to find a better example of the benefits of bilingual Gaelic education. Kate exudes confidence in Gaelic and is precisely the type of exponent of our language and culture that John wished to see in all our Gaelic communities”
Prof. Rob Dunbar, Department of Celtic and Scottish studies of the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted and, indeed, deeply honoured to host this inaugural John Macleod Memorial Lecture. John was a tireless and principled campaigner for the language and contributed greatly to the Gaelic community both nationally and here in Edinburgh. It will be a pleasure to welcome Kate Forbes back to the university. Her fluency in and strong commitment to Gaelic, and her commitment to public life make her both an excellent role model and a most appropriate inaugural lecturer.”
Translation facilities for non-Gaelic speakers will be available
For media information please contact An Comunn Gàidhealach:
The University of Edinburgh
0131 650 4167