Staffin people feature in Gaelic documentary

GAELIC-speaking Staffin residents feature prominently in a new online documentary about the language in Scotland, 10 years after it was enshrined in law.

Edinburgh Napier University journalism student Lauren Beehan visited Staffin last month as part of the filming and carried out several interviews for the 20-minute programme. She wanted to investigate the language’s role in society a decade after the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act was introduced.

Lauren, who is from Ireland, conducted her interviews in English and spoke to Janet Lamont, Vatos; Lachie Gillies, Stenscholl and Maoilios Campbell, Flodigarry. Lachie discussed how Gaelic was effectively “trodden on” in the education system when he was growing up with children barred from speaking their family’s language and Janet and Maoilios both discuss the decline in Gaelic’s use in Staffin and reasons behind that.

Lachie Gillies: “Gaelic was downtrodden.”

Lauren, who also filmed at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic primary school in Inverness and the Scottish Parliament, thanked all the participants for their time and said he wanted to interview residents in Staffin as it is one of the strongest Gaelic-speaking communities in Scotland. “Gaelic’s status in Scotland is, and always has been, one of transition,” she said. “This 2015 snapshot of the Gaelic communities shows the language’s current role in Scotland, ten years since it became an official language. Although only spoken by around 2 per cent of the population, Gaelic is making new inroads into culture, education and everyday life.”

The documentary can be viewed on Youtube by clicking on this link