Interesting news in the Scotsman highlighting the international dimension that is increasingly important to the two main Gaelic languages, Irish and Scottish. In this case it is the latter as a Canadian Gael is awarded for his Scottish language poetry and writing. 

“AN international dimension was brought to this year’s Royal National Mod in Stornoway as the distinguished “Bardic Crown” was presented to Canadian Lewis MacKinnon, with the award crossing the Atlantic for the first time. 

Mr MacKinnon, a published poet and teacher, made the journey to Stornoway yesterday to be presented with the ceremonial robes and crown at a special event in the town centre. 

The Gaelic version of the poet laureate is a major part of the Mod celebrations and is traditionally handed out during the literature events. 

The newly crowned bard of the Gaelic world was born in Cape Breton, the district where Gaels first landed after emigrating from the Highlands. He has written a book of poetry in the Nova Scotian dialect and is a Gaelic teacher. 

He said: “Acknowledging the importance the bard plays in events like the Mod I accept reticently this role and I hope that in some way I may, through my work, reflect Gaelic Nova Scotia and how it is today, profoundly aware that it has its origins, the words, the actions and historical events of the peoples of Gaelic Scotland.” 

It should be also noted that Nova Scotia (Albain Nua) and Newfoundland (Talamh an Éisc) have strong Irish links too, as anyone who has heard a Newfoundland accent can well attest, and this has led to a renewed interest by Irish-Canadians in their linguistic heritage. (And of course Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism and promotion body, has quickly stepped in to meet this growing demand with offers of overseas education programs and language tourism… Ooops, no, sorry, I forgot, they’re too busy pursuing the petro-dollars of corrupt Saudi Arabian princes and their Wahhabi colleges… SIGH…)

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