Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh

Community at the heart of the Annual John MacLeod Memorial Lecture 2024

The Annual John MacLeod Memorial Lecture returns this year, accompanied for the first time by Fèill Chuimhneachaidh Iain MhicLeòid, a series of events celebrating Gaelic language, community and culture in Edinburgh.

Leugh sa Ghàidhlig

Hosted by An Comann Gàidhealach in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the Annual John MacLeod Memorial Lecture was established in 2019. Throughout his life, MacLeod was actively involved in the Gaelic development in Edinburgh and beyond. This year, the lecture has been expanded to include a series of events focussing on the Gaelic community of Edinburgh, past and present.

One Croft, Many Opportunities

Katie MacInnes will deliver the Memorial Lecture on the topic of considering opportunity and progress in the Gaelic community as it was and is today.

Annual John MacLeod Memorial Lecture: One Croft, Many Opportunities 

Considering opportunity and progress in Gaelic communities as it was and as it is today. Delivered by Katie MacInnes.

19:00, Thursday 1 February 2024

The Project Room, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LH 

Live-streamed here 

Fèill Chuimhneachaidh Iain MhicLeòid

A series of fringe events will take place on the Friday and Saturday following the lecture. These include talks on two new Gaelic books published in 2023, Ceud Bliadhna de Bhàird a’ Chomuinn (100 Years of An Comunn Gàidhealach Bàrds), delivered by eminent Gaelic singer-songwriter Gillebrìde MacMillan, and the Frances Tolmie Collection, with Dr Kenna Campbell and the University’s Priscilla Scott.

A special Bothan night will be hosted at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, featuring performances by University students, Laura Robertson, Alice Macmillan, and alumna Màiri Callan.

Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir: Commemorating a Gaelic Bàrd in Edinburgh

Celebrating 300 years since the birth of Gaelic poet Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir, Saturday will feature a series of events dedicated to his work and life in Edinburgh, including a talk on the poetry of Donnchadh Bàn by Anja Gunderloch and Rob Dunbar, and a walking tour of sites connected to Donnchadh Bàn’s time in the city.

The final event of the festival will be a traditional ceilidh, hosted by Comunn Tìr nam Beann, with music from Andrew MacIntyre, Fraser Fifield, Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir and Mary McLean.

John MacLeod

Originally from Carloway in Lewis, John MacLeod was a champion of Gaelic language and culture all his life and was actively involved in Gaelic development in Edinburgh. He was a member of the Lothian and Carloway Gaelic Choirs, and for ten years up to 2017, MacLeod was the president of An Comunn Gàidhealach. In 1996, MacLeod restarted the Edinburgh branch of the Mod, and, in 2017, was given the award of "Sàr-Ghàidheal" (Outstanding Gael) at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Gaelic college on Skye. A policeman by trade, MacLeod gave himself to public service and the community around him. 

Every language has value in its own right... Gaelic is here as a key part of Scotland's heritage, something that we can't afford to lose.

John MacLeod (1951-2018)


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