The Har­vest of our Home­land

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

TIREE’S week-long event ti­tled A’ Bhuain or The Home­com­ing (May 23-27) in­spired the fol­low­ing lyrics. The idea of the event, the first of which took place 10 years ago, was to bring peo­ple of Tiris­deach de­scent from across the world to­gether on Tiree to join in cel­e­brat­ing the is­land’s his­tory and cul­ture.

Over-arch­ing the en­tire week was a feel­ing of pos­i­tiv­ity for the is­land, re­spect for the hard­ships of our past and a pow­er­ful hope for the fu­ture.

The ex­is­tence of the Gael is in a ten­u­ous state, and Ma­bel MacArthur’s play based on the find­ings of the Napier Com­mis­sion (1883-1886) was a stark re­minder that this is no ac­ci­dent. The pe­riod of the High­land Clear­ances, while com­plex, was a cruel chap­ter in our his­tory and it was pre­ceded and fol­lowed by a sus­tained at­tack on the Gael that has lasted well into liv­ing mem­ory.

The wrongs of the past should not be for­got­ten but nei­ther should they be cause of bit­ter­ness or ag­gres­sion. The fol­low­ing is a com­ment on the fact that re­gard­less of how weak­ened the lan­guage and cul­ture is, the tide of de­ple­tion could be turned with con­scious, con­sis­tent and col­lec­tive ef­fort in ad­di­tion to the ster­ling work al­ready be­ing done.

The Bhuain in a small way gave me re­newed hope that the Gael could thrive again and that the har­vest of our home­land could re­turn.

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