KATE Forbes MSP will call on Scots not to put Gaelic “in a museum” as part of a keynote speech tonight.

In a lecture at the University of Edinburgh, the Highland politician will urge young Gaelic speakers to pass the language on to the next generation.

Delivering the first annual address in memory of John Macleod, the former president of An Comunn Gaidhealach, Forbes will insist that, despite usage levels dropping, the indigenous tongue remains “sustainable”.

Making the speech in Gaelic, she will say: “We should not deal with Gaelic as though it were something in a museum.

“Gaelic has as much depth as English – but how do we help people to continue with the language as something living, true and healthy in everyday life? To use on the sports field, in the church, in the hotel, in music, in the songs and between the songs – normal, everyday and common things? We need to talk to each other as Gaels.”

Macleod, who died at the beginning of 2018, was president of An Comunn Gaidhealach – which organises annual song, arts and cultural festival the Royal National Mod – and had a particular passion

for encouraging young people in the Gaelic community.

Forbes said: “I am honoured to be giving the first John Macleod memorial address at the University of Edinburgh.

“He was a man who recognised his responsibility to safeguard and invest in the language. Most critically, he saw that the next generation needed to pick up the baton.”

She added: “As we have

inherited a great heritage, we have an even greater responsibility to pass it on.

“I will be discussing the role of young people in taking the language beyond the school gates and into their daily lives.

“We have seen a beautiful musical and cultural revival in Scotland – and it seems fitting that the lecture should fall during Celtic Connections – but we want that to include the language.”