Strengthening Gaelic in Argyll Island Communities

Following an open tendering process, Gaelic Arts organisation Fèisean nan Gàidheal has been awarded a contract by Argyll and Bute Council to deliver in-person Gaelic sessions in three island communities – Coll, Tiree and Bute – and is now looking for island-based Gaelic speakers to lead the sessions and interested learners to take part.

Argyll and Bute Council secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Islands Skills Fund enabling the sessions to take place and three projects fall under the banner of Tabhaich (offer).

The first is a series of six consecutive in-person conversation classes to support the additional work being carried out online by experienced Gaelic tutor Pàdruig Moireach. Each week the participants will strengthen what they have learned online with Pàdruig by coming together with an island-based tutor encouraging their Gaelic vocalisation.

Alongside these consecutive, progressive sessions, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is offering one-off drop-in Gaelic taster sessions for local residents and visitors wishing to learn something of the culture and heritage while living or holidaying in any of the three islands.

Finally, Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s formal education service, Fèisgoil, will be offering all island schools the opportunity to engage in a special one-off workshop in the new academic session, showcasing different opportunities available for learners and speakers of the language through a variety of contemporary industries.

Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council:

“We are committed to promoting Gaelic and encouraging its use across the region. The language has played an important part in the history of Argyll and Bute and it’s in all our interests to help it flourish.

Working with Fèisean nan Gàidheal is a great example of how we continue to work in partnership with other organisations to deliver on the Gaelic Language Act and ensure a long-term future for Gaelic in Argyll and Bute.”

Fèisean nan Gàidheal, regularly funded by Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, has community ties to Tiree, in particular through Fèis Thiriodh, the community-led festival which is one of 47 throughout Scotland supported by the organisation.

Fèisgoil already works with Argyll and Bute Council and this year delivered two projects in schools.  Blasad Gàidhlig, funded by the Consortium of Local Authorities involved in Gaelic Education, supported 10 Argyllshire schools in their Gaelic learning as an additional language. Treòir Voar Virr, an ambitious project offered across all Scottish islands funded directly by The Scottish Government, brought together creative artists of all disciplines with their local island primary school.

Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager with Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: “We are absolutely delighted to be brought on board by Argyll and Bute Council to support Gaelic development and facilitate direct experience of the language and culture for local residents, schoolchildren, school staff and visitors.  We would like to hear from locally-based tutors with a good knowledge of Gaelic language and culture if they would like to get involved in the Tabhaich programme.  These are paid opportunities and offer an exciting opportunity to engage with Gaelic speakers of all levels who live in these island communities, from complete beginners through to first-language Gaelic speakers.”

For more information about learning and tutoring opportunities through the Tabhaich programme, please contact Fèisgoil Manager, Eilidh Mackenzie, at

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