Ceud mìle fàilte. The traditional Gaelic greeting extends ‘One hundred thousand welcomes’ to you as you visit one of the heartlands of the language. The Clan Donald Lands Trust keenly supports the cultural traditions of Clan Donald and the Scottish Highlands and Islands, including the revitalisation of the Gaelic language.
Once at the heart of the historic Kingdom of the Isles, Gaelic is still a vibrant living language used in the local community, and is being actively promoted – locally and globally – through new learning initiatives.
The name Clan Donald itself comes from the Gaelic ‘Clann Dòmhnaill’, meaning ‘children of Donald’, while the name MacDonald comes from the Gaelic ‘Mac Dhòmhnaill’, meaning ‘son of Donald’. This is a pattern common to many of the Highlands’ surnames, and the language has named many of the hills, lochs, land features and settlements you will see when you visit Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum of the Isles.
The Clan Donald Lands Trust proudly supports Bun-Sgoil Shlèite (Sleat Primary School) and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic-medium college, both based just two miles from Armadale Castle. The Clan Donald Lands Trust partners with the College to build a better profile for Sleat, its culture, its heritage and our languages. Gaelic brings very real benefits to the region with visitors coming to study the language and explore their roots. The Clan Donald Lands Trust understands the economic and emotional advantages these activities bring to individuals, to Sleat and to the new blossoming of Gaelic culture.
If you’re lucky, you might even hear the sound of Gaelic conversation during your visit to the Isle of Skye.
The Macdonald of Sleat Poetry Prize 2017
The third Gaelic poetry competition for ‘The Macdonald of Sleat’ Poetry Prize will be held this year. The annual competition was inaugurated by Sir Ian Macdonald in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who passed away three years ago. The competition will be run once again by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, on the Isle of Skye.
The theme of the competition each year relates to trees and this year an invitation is extended to anyone who writes poetry or has an interest in doing so to compose a poem about a branch or branches. The poems submitted will be considered by a literary panel and a prize of £500 will be awarded for the poem chosen by the panel. Poems should be submitted to Christine Mackenzie, PA to the Principal, at the following e-mail address by 2 June 2017: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sir Ian Macdonald commented ‘This competition is an appropriate way of building on the family’s links to the language and culture and of adding to the Gaelic bardic heritage and that of the clan. The theme of this year’s competition is particularly apposite for a Clan with several branches.’
Sabhal Mòr Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson, added; It is good that Gaelic bards and bardesses have this opportunity each year to demonstrate their art and bring it into the public domain. We were heartened to receive so many submissions in the first two years and we hope that as many, if not more, will put pen to paper or digit to keyboard this time round. ’
This year’s winner will be announced at a prize giving event at the Museum of the Isles, Armadale Castle on Saturday 30 September 2017.