A Potted History of Scottish Gaelic
1. The story begins yonks ago when some lads from Antrim decided they would take a 12 mile sailing holiday to Scotland to box the Picts in the mouth. They spoke Middle Irish and were undoubtedly mad bastards.
2. They formed a kingdom called Dalriada. These Gaelic lads fought / had sex with Picts for some more years until the Kingdom of Alba was formed under Coinneach MacAilpein.
3. The Gaels conquered all the parts of Scotland that weren’t full of scary vikings because they knew that a day might come when they would have to argue with people adamant that “Gaelic was never spoken here” to spite the towns name and the bigot’s name coming from Gaelic.
4. The next several hundred years were a bit of a drag so we are mostly going to leave them out. The good news is that some lovely Gaels were sent (expelled) to Nova Scotia where they started Gaelic communities. The bad news is that meant there were none left in Scotland.
5. The language continued to decline (which is colonial speak for “be exterminated”. The Hebrides – known as the “Foreign Isles – Na h-Innse Gall because of them Vikings that ran the show there – became Gaelic’s heartland.
6. A boat carrying millions of pounds of whisky washed up near the Gaelic speaking island of Eriskay…and they drank it…loads of it. Not necessarily key to our History but still funny.
7. Forgot to mention that at some point we became British people. At the point of writing we technically still are.
8. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, now a Gaelic college / University was founded in the 70’s as a holiday home for German tourists and Foras na Gaeilge. We got a TV / Radio channel to keep an eye on folk. We got a Gaelic language act for councils to moan about implementing it, Progress.
9. AN DEIREADH – THE END That takes us up to today. Please don’t fact check the above. Mìle taing!