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Reception held in London to honour the work of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle



The Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt. Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, hosted a special reception yesterday (18 March) at Dover House in London, in honour of the ‘sister’ institutions, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye and Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle on Islay.

The reception was held to honour and celebrate the important work being done by both these institutions to regenerate and revitalise the Gaelic language, culture and community.

The Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: “It was a great pleasure to host a reception for two Scottish institutions who have helped the Gaelic flame burn brightly over recent years. As an Islay man Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle is close to my heart and together with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig they have both been instrumental in sustaining and promoting Gaelic culture to a wider audience. In the years ahead if Gaelic is to have a sustainable future the concerted effort of Scotland’s two Governments working together with the public and private sectors, community bodies and platforms like this reception and the National Mod are vital.”

After the reception, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Lord Minginish, said: “I would like to thank the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael MP, for hosting tonight’s reception. It shows not only his own appreciation, as a fellow Gael, of Sabhal Mòr’s work but also the United Kingdom government’s interest in and support for all we do to foster one of the ancient languages of these islands. The evening has also given us the opportunity of flying the Sabhal Mòr flag in London, by meeting and greeting people who either work or have made their homes here and are interested in what we do. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile event and on behalf of everyone at Sabhal Mòr, I would like to thank the Secretary of State for organising it.”

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle have enjoyed strong links since ICCI was opened in 2002, and both institutions have worked tirelessly to promote and strengthen the Gaelic language and culture through their educational programmes and various language initiatives. They are also key contributors, both economically and culturally, to their local communities.

The Chair of ICCI’s Board, Catherine Johnston, commented: “We are delighted at being honoured by the Secretary of State in this manner, especially as the Secretary of State himself is a son of Islay. We appreciate that our work to promote Gaelic is being recognised along with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. I cannot emphasise enough how important the bonds are between ourselves and SMO. Sabhal Mòr have been extremely supportive over the years, working in partnership with us and guiding us at all times. The relationship with SMO has been instrumental in strengthening the Gaelic language on Islay.”

Donnie Munro, Director of Development at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, who was heavily involved in the setting up of the Islay Centre said: “It is most fitting that the Secretary of State has honoured both these institutions in this way. The relationship between Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile has been a critical one and, quite apart from working in partnership to provide high quality educational opportunities through the medium of Gaelic language, both institutions play a central role in the wider economic regeneration  of their areas. The relationship between Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Ionad Chaluim Chille has also been critical in strengthening the bond between our two island communities”

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