A PLEA for more people to use Gaelic in “every area of their daily lives” has been made by the director of An Comunn Gàidhealach ahead of this year’s Mòd.

Despite recent research warning the language could die out within a decade, Allan Campbell said he did not believe Gaelic is a “lost cause”.

However, he admitted the lack of employment opportunities, affordable housing, and a level of social services which attract and retain young families was a challenge for traditional Gaelic speaking communities.

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“In order to help Gaelic language go from strength to strength, we need to see more people using it more in every area of their daily lives,” he said. “That has to be the core strength of any language, and Gaelic is no different. When the linguistic community is small it clearly makes increasing usage more challenging. Hence the critical focus on acquisition through the education system and adult learning, as well as encouraging intergenerational transmission of the language.”

Campbell said events like the Royal National Mòd, which begins on Friday in Inverness, were “pivotal in providing a springboard for developing awareness of Gaelic”.

Established in 1892, the Mòd has become Scotland’s premier Gaelic Festival, attracting around 10,000 visitors and competitors.

“As a high-quality cultural festival, the Mòd attracts considerable attention at home and overseas, which in turn promotes the host community and delivers economic benefits,” said Campbell.

“Being hugely social, as well as a competitive and celebratory musical event, the Mòd is a regular extra holiday for many Gaelic users and supporters and the hospitality sector in the festival town can benefit substantially from this late autumn boost to trade.”

Campbell said the eight day event also had an important part to play in Scottish identity at home and around the world.

“The ‘Gaelic diaspora’ has long been recognised as existing in countries across the globe, demonstrating the continuing sense of Scottish, and Gaelic identity, of descendants of economic emigree ancestors from Scotland,” he said. “Celebrating and promoting the Gaelic language and its beautiful music captures the imagination and the hearts of many thousands worldwide.”

Campbell added: “Research regularly demonstrates that the people of Scotland recognise Gaelic to be an important valuable part of Scotland’s national heritage, and that it should be treasured and supported.”