David Ross in the Herald has an interesting article on Gaelic in the run-up to this week's Mòd in Paisley — generally reaching the same conclusion as the Blether Region that the language is no longer facing imminent oblivion and that each of the big four Scottish parties deserves some credit for the turnaround in its fortunes.
He also makes some salient points about Irish in Ireland:
"But Gaelic has long enjoyed cross-party support in Scotland and, indeed, across denominations. It was something Mary Robinson recognised during her visit in 1997, shortly before she stepped down as Irish president. She had come to Iona to mark the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Columba.
She said Ireland could learn from Scotland that, whereas Gaelic had never become the preserve of one religion or one political movement in Scotland, its linguistic first cousin to the west had long been identified with Catholicism and nationalism."
It is of course a cause of enduring sadness that Irish — and, indeed, Ulster Scots — is associated with one community and not the other, something that people from twa-leedit Scotland simply cannot understand. Blame for that state of affairs, which stresses the past while skirting over historical realities, lies on both sides of the house. By the same token, for both sides, learning Irish has the effect of encouraging moderation, pacifying troubled souls and, by extension, societies.
A pity that more people don't get to experience that peace first hand.