A PRIZE looking to honour a young Scot for their services to the Gaelic language has opened for nominations.

Urras an Eilein, the Skye Gaelic Trust, is offering a prize of £500 and the chance to join the previous winners in being recognised as an “outstanding ambassador” for Gaelic.

The Skye Young Gaelic Person of the Year Award will honour someone under the age of 30 who has made a “significant contribution” to the promotion of the language who is living or working on, or who has a close connection to, the Scottish island.

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Previous winners include Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Martin MacLure, who worked as the short courses manager at the public higher education college on the Sleat peninsula.

The winner is ordinarily announced at the annual Sir Iain Noble Memorial Lecture, but that has been moved from its usual format due to Covid restrictions.

Noble, a noted Gaelic language activist, was one of the founders of Urras an Eilein, which was set up in 1973. Originally worth around £1000, “over the years the Trust’s value has increased to over £250,000”, according to its website.

The lecture in Noble’s name may not be going ahead as usual, but Urras an Eilein’s trustees “felt strongly that it was important to continue” with the award regardless.

Trust administrator Murdo Beaton told The National: “Urras an Eilein established the ‘Young Gaelic Person of the Year’ some years ago in the hope that it would stimulate Skye's young Gaelic speakers to use Gaelic in all circumstances: their workplace, their communities, recreational situations etc, particularly encouraging their contemporaries to take pride in the language, culture and history of their forefathers.

“Certainly all the previous winners are outstanding ambassadors for Gaelic.”

The judges will look at Gaelic use in the media, education, music and the arts, commerce, drama and all other areas of life.

Nominations should be sent to Murdo Beaton at mnb@ancairidh.co.uk before October 4, 2021.