Thursday, February 29, 2024

Wester Ross woman steps up to top job with An Comunn Gàidhealach

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Maggie Cunningham: ‘The role of president of An Comunn Gàidhealach will be both challenging and, hopefully, fulfilling.’

A WESTER Ross woman is stepping up to the top post with a key organisation involved in the preservation and promotion of the Gaelic language.

An Comunn Gàidhealach today announced the move as Allan Campbell steps down as president after six years in that role and 14 with the board.

Maggie Cunningham will take his place as the new president, taking over the association responsible for the preservation and promotion of the Gaelic language. Mr Campbell remains on the Board.

Ms Cunningham brings a wealth of experience to the role having served as chair of MG Alba and as joint head of programmes and services in BBC Scotland.

Originally from Scalpay and now living in Plockton, she has been attending Mòds for a number of years and has been a board member of An Comunn Gàidhealach since 2021.

Taking over the role of vice-president will be current board member John Joe MacNeil, who heads up Ceòlas on South Uist – one of the Outer Hebrides’ leading Gaelic culture, heritage and arts organisations.

Allan Campbell is passing on the torch though remaining on the board. He has been hailed by his successor for building a strong legacy.
Allan Campbell is passing on the torch though remaining on the board. He has been hailed by his successor for building a strong legacy.

Allan Campbell said: “Maggie is a well-known and greatly respected member of the Gaelic community and brings vast experience to the role from her broadcasting career and wider work as a Gaelic language campaigner. I am delighted to welcome Maggie as President and wish her every success and enjoyment in the role.

“From a personal point of view, it has been an absolute privilege to have served An Comunn Gàidhealach as President and I am confident that I am handing the role to someone who will further enhance the work of An Comunn and the Royal National Mòd. The organisation is now in a strong position to support the development of our wonderful language; music and culture in the years to come.”

Maggie Cunningham, speaking following the AGM of An Comunn Gàidhealach in Paisley, said: “I would like to thank Allan Campbell for his work and dedication in serving An Comunn over the past fourteen years, the last six as president. He is leaving a strong legacy in ensuring that the Royal National Mòd is still Gaelic’s premier festival and as relevant today as it has been for the past 130 years.

“The role of president of An Comunn Gàidhealach will be both challenging and, hopefully, fulfilling. The supporting infrastructure is now in place, and we can help to move the re-emergence of our language, music and culture forward over the coming years. We will strive to fulfil the aspirations outlined in the National Gaelic Plan. I look forward to leading the team, who will shape An Comunn Gàidhealach in the years to come.”

An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association) was founded in Oban in 1891 and is responsible for organising the annual Royal National Mòd, the principal Gaelic language festival in Scotland, providing opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.

This year’s Mòd will take place in Paisley from October 13-21. For more information visit ancomunn.co.uk.


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