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02 Sep 2014

Alba 5Tá grúpa Gaelach d’fhiontraithe óga as Ard Mhacha i ndiaidh cuairt a thabhairt ar a gcolcheathracha Gàidhlig in Inbhir Nis agus ar an Oileán Sgítheanach, a bhuí le comhthionscnamh idir CAIRDE Teo agus Fóram na nÓg i mBéal Feirste. Chaith cúigear déag Gaeilgeoirí óga ceithre lá ar thuras gno ar thír mhór na hAlban agus ar leithinis Sléite le smaointí a roinnt le daoine a bhfuil leas acu i gcultúr, i ngeilleagar sóisialta agus in earnáil oidhreachta na Gàidhlig, trí urraíocht ón eagraíocht Colmcille.

Tá an-suim ag CAIRDE Teo cur leis an fhorbairt idir fiontraithe Gaelacha in Ard Mhacha, ar an Oileán Sgítheanach agus in Inbhir Nis le naisc a chruthú idir ghrúpaí oidhreachta cultúrtha agus fiontair shóisialta sna náisiúin Cheilteacha. Tá CAIRDE Teo ag tógáil ar na naisc fhadbhunaithe atá ann idir Ard Mhacha agus Gaeltacht na hAlban, nasc atá tógtha ag Píobairí Ard Mhacha agus Féile Píobaireachta William Kennedy.

Cuireadh tús leis an turas ceithre lá le turas oidhreachta ar bhaile galánta Inbhir Nis agus d’fhoghlaim na daoine óga ó sháreolas an treoraí áitiúil Ruairidh Mac Ileathain. Thug Ruairidh léargas do na hÉireannaigh ar an seanchas saibhir atá bainteach lena bhaile dúchais agus thug sé roinnt focal agus frása Gàidhlig dóibh le húsáid ar an turas. Cuireadh clabhsúr leis an oíche sin le dinnéar agus le seisiún de cheol traidisiúnta na hAlban in ionad cáiliúil an ‘Hootananny’ in Inbhir Nis.

Ar an dara lá, thug an grúpa cuairt ar an ionad léirithe ag láthair chatha Chùil Lodair. Ba é Cath Chùil Lodair an cath deireanach a troideadh lámh ar lámh ar thalamh na hAlban nó Shasana. Bhí sé mar chuid de choimhlint níos mó creidimh agus polaitíochta a bhí ag tarlú ar fud na hEorpa, ach d’athraigh an cath fuilteach gairid seo i ngarbhchríocha na hAlban sa bhliain 1746, d’athraigh sé stair na Breataine, na hEorpa agus an domhain. Ó bhí lár an 19ú Céad ann tá an láthair chatha mar ionad oilithreachta ag muintir na hAlban agus ag daoine ó achan chearn den domhan, go háirithe sliocht na ndaoine sin a throid ann. Le taighde leanúnach seandálaíochta agus le léirmhíniúcháin staire, agus le reifreann Neamhspleáchas na hAlban ar na bacáin, tá tábhacht ar leith anois le scéal Chùil Lodair.

Alba 4Ina dhiaidh sin, thug an grúpa de dhaoine óga as Ard Mhacha agus as Béal Feirste faoi cheann de na turais is deise áit ar bith ar na hoileáin seo – le cois Loch Nis, agus thar Chòig Peathraichean Chinn Tàile agus thar Chaisleán Eilean Donan ar an bhealach chuig Caol Loch Aillse agus Droichead Sgítheanach.  Ar bhaint amach an tOileán Sgítheanach dóibh, chuaigh na Gaeilgeoirí óga díreach chuig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig –
coláiste nuálach ar an oileán a bhfuil acmhainní foghlama den chéad scoth aige chomh maith le bailiúchán leathan leabharlainne, áiseanna craolta agus taifeadta, lóistín do mhic léinn agus cúram leanaí Gáidhlig. Ionad Náisiúnta do Theanga agus do Chultúr na Gaidhlige atá sa choláiste agus bíonn ról lárnach aige i gcur chun cinn na n-ealaíon Gáidhlig agus bíonn clár cónaithe ceoil, litríochta agus físealaíona aige.

Ar feadh an dá lá eile, d’fhreastail na mic léinn as Ard Mhacha ar ranganna Gàidhlig ag an choláiste agus chuaigh ar thuras thart ar an lárionad fiontraíochta agus ar an stiúideo meáin atá suite ag an choláiste. Ghlac siad páirt i gclár iomlán de cheol traidisiúnta, rince agus céad thaispeáint cláir teilifíse féin agus iad ar an choláiste. Beidh an turas uilig mar ábhar de chlár raidió Gaeilge a chuir na daoine óga le chéile i gcomhar le Raidió Fáilte. Tá tionscadal treanála á phleanáil ag CAIRDE Teo faoi láthair le scileanna a fhorbairt do na daoine óga sin atá ag iarraidh bheith ag oibriú in earnálacha an taistil agus na turasóiteachta anseo agus i nGaeltacht na hAlban. Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais, tabhair cuairt ar leathanach Facebook an ghrúpa nó ar a suíomh idirlín www.cairdeteo.com.

An adventurous young group of Gaelic cultural entrepreneurs from Armagh paid a visit recently to their Gàidhlig (Scottish language) counterparts in Inverness and on the Isle of Skye, thanks to a joint initiative by CAIRDE Teo in Armagh and Fóram na nÓg in Belfast. Fifteen young Irish language speakers embarked on the four day business trip to the Scottish mainland and the Sleat peninsula in order to share ideas with stakeholders from the Gàidhlig culture, arts, social economy and heritage sectors, facilitated by financial assistance from the Colmcille Trust. 

Alba 3CAIRDE Teo is very keen to strengthen ties between Gaeilge and Gàidhlig entrepreneurs in Armagh, Skye and Inverness and to create linkages between cultural heritage groups and social enterprises in the adjoining Celtic nations. The local Irish language organisation is building on already well-established links between Armagh and Gaelic speaking Scotland engendered by Armagh Pipers Club and the William Kennedy Piping Festival.

The four day trip began with a heritage tour of the picturesque town of Inbhir Nis (Eng: mouth of the River Ness) where the young people benefitted from the encyclopaedic knowledge of local tour guide Ruairidh Mac Ileathain. Ruairidh introduced his Irish visitors to the wealth of lore and folk tales that are associated with his beloved home town and left everyone with a fair smattering of Gàidhlig words and phrases to take with them on their journey. That evening concluded with dinner and a session of Scottish traditional music in the world famous ‘Hootananny’ venue in Inverness.

On day two, the Armagh group paid a visit to the fantastic interpretative centre at the evocative battle site of Cùil Lodair or Culloden. Culloden was the last hand-to-hand battle fought on Scottish or English soil. Part of a wider European religious and political conflict, the short but bloody fight in the Scottish Highlands in 1746 changed the course of British, European and world history. Since the mid-nineteenth century the battlefield has been a place of pilgrimage for people from Scotland and throughout the world. Some visitors are descendants of those who fought. Others are gripped by the extraordinary story. With ongoing archaeological research and fresh historical interpretations, not to mention the forthcoming referendum on Scottish Independence, the story of Culloden has taken on a new significance.

Alba 6The Armachians and their Belfast colleagues then embarked on one of the most scenic journeys anywhere in these islands – along the length of the magnificent Loch Ness, before passing the Seven Sisters of Kintail and Eilean Donan Castle on the way to the spectacular Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge.  Upon arrival on the Isle of Skye, the young Irish speakers made their way to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – a modern, innovative college on the island that has excellent learning resources on-campus including an exceptional library collection, broadcast and recording facilities, residential student accommodation and a Gaelic-medium childcare facility. The College is a National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture and it also plays a leading role in the promotion of the Gaelic arts and culture and hosts a programme of residencies for artists in music, literature and the visual arts.

Over the next two days, the Armagh students received lessons in Gàidhlig at the College before joining a guided tour of the enterprise hub/media suite in the college. They also participated in a full programme of traditional music, dancing and even a television première while guests of the College. The entire visit will be the focus of a joint Gaeilge/Gàidhlig radio programme produced by the young people in association with Raidió Fáilte. A new training initiative is also currently being planned by CAIRDE that will develop the skills of young people who are seeking to work in the travel and tourism industries both locally and in Gaelic-speaking Scotland. For further information, visit the group’s Facebook page or website www.cairdeteo.com .