John Angus Mackay, Gael Extraordinaire
About this book:
Many individuals have contributed to this linguistic and cultural renaissance. One man, however, stands out. Without his heroic efforts, a whole range of key Gaelic development initiatives could never have achieved the success they have… his courage, intelligence, humanity, political nous, people skills, wit and steely resolve were such that, what lesser beings regarded as impossible, he made possible.
This is the astonishing story of John Angus Mackay, an islander from a humble background who achieved what others regarded as impossible. Through his tireless efforts, the Scottish Gaelic language and culture has turned a corner, and the number of young Gaelic speakers is increasing. Perhaps his most evident achievement came after a long, dogged and forensically focused campaign for the Gaelic television service against huge establishment resistance. At times, the channel now attracts viewership figures well in excess of the total number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland.
But that is only part of John Angus’ story: his courage to overcome disability, his contributions as a gifted teacher and his pivotal role in advancing community co-operatives in his native Lewis are all part of what he has achieved.