A Gaelic Heritage

Duncan MacGregor turns the first sod for Museum

Duncan MacGregor turns the first sod for Museum

For centuries islanders were told that the chief barrier to progress was the Gaelic language. Despite this, Gaelic always remained  a living language and today is spoken by a good proportion of  the population of all ages. Liosachs, it seems, never bought the line that English was the future despite heavy handed tactics to crush their tongue and culture. Even when Gaelic was thrown off the school curriculum in the 1870s,  Lismore was notable for sending objections to the House of Commons. Today Gaelic is once again on the curriculum and, as part of an initiative of the Heritage Centre, is now taught to many enthusiastic adult learners using the Ulpan method and there is a Gaelic Café every Saturday.

 

The Bardic tradition, too, has always remained strong with the culture kept alive through poetry and song. Ceilidhs are a central part of island life as are Gaelic weekends and visiting Gaelic singers and scholars. There is a choir that sings in Gaelic and English.  Since the Museum was established, several books about the island have been published, two in Gaelic and English, and a notable film on the sailing smacks of Lismore which premiered in 2011 can now be seen at the museum. Further work recording the lives of Liosachs in the language of the Liosachs is in the pipeline.