Scotland is to create its first Scottish-speaking museum, one primarily dedicated to its native language and culture. From Culture24:
“The first museum in the UK to use Gaelic as its first language is to open on the Isle of Lewis.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that it is investing £4.6 million in a new museum and visitor accommodation in Stornoway. It is hoped that the museum will become a key destination and encourage tourism in the Western Isles.
The new museum will display the collections of Museum nan Eilean, as well as supporting the work of more than 20 different heritage organisations which have been collecting material relating to Gaelic communities during the past 30 years…”
The BBC also reports that:
“Stornoway’s Lews Castle will use Gaelic as its first language and will also offer four-star hotel accommodation.
About £14m is to be spent on restoring and converting the property, which has been shut since 1988.
The islands’ local authority is involved in finding £1.6m, which is needed to complete the funding package.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has committed £4.5m and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £1m to the project.”
Meanwhile in Ireland Fergal Quinn, long-time entrepreneur and member of Seanad Éireann, has emphasised the unrealised value of the Irish language for businesses at the fifth annual Good Food Ireland conference, featured in the Irish Times:
“Senator Feragal Quinn told attendees that using the Irish language made Superquinn, the supermarket chain he founded, different to its competitors.
He said: “I believe the Irish language gives us an advantage that we haven’t always used and we can use more.””
Indeed. Yet again, the Scots seem to be leaving the Irish trailing in their wake.
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