A new website aimed at increasing Gaelic cultural tourism between Scotland and Ireland has been launched in the Highlands.
TurasG will build on the links between the Scottish Gaidhealtachd and Ireland’s Gaeltacht.
World-renowned singer Julie Fowlis, fresh from the Scottish Music Awards, where she became the first Gaelic artist to be recognised alongside stars such as Annie Lennox, Paulo Nutini and Simple Minds, unveiled the new website at the HighlandLife Archive Centre in Inverness.
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TurasG is an initiative of the European Union funded CeangalG project which has been working since last year to enhance business components to the cultural links already in existence between the Gaelic speakers of Scotland and their Irish Gaeilge-speaking counterparts.
The aim of TurasG is to inform the visitor to Scotland’s Gaidhealtachd or Ireland’s Gaeltacht of the opportunities available to explore the unrivalled heritage and culture of their destination.
It will also enable the visitor to plan a trip from Donegal’s Gleann Colmcille, location of the famed Oideas Gael Irish language courses for adults to the Black Houses of the Isle of Lewis.
The site is organised into different themes with features on life by the sea, life on the land, history, religion, the natural world, music and the arts and the visitor will be able to get information, view films, listen to music, poetry and commentary and see photographs of the various landmarks and sites of interest.
Alasdair Morrison, CeangalG director, said: “TurasG marks a new departure in cultural tourism in these islands - it’s the most adventurous and ambitious website and online resource yet produced to support the work of cultural tourism providers and enhance the holidays of tourists.”
Inverness Provost Alex Graham welcomed the opportunity for the city to host the launch of TurasG, saying the website was a fine example of new technology promoting historic cultures.
He added: “Our Gaelic culture is important to us in Inverness and the Highlands, as is tourism which forms one of the biggest parts of our local economy.
“TurasG will bring these together in an effective and practical way, allowing visitors to explore and enjoy the culture of Scotland’s Gàidhealtacdh and Ireland’s Gaeltacht to the increased benefit of both.”
Visit Scotland Islands Manager Alan MacKenzie strongly backed the launch of TurasG.
He said: “I am delighted to support the establishment of this cultural tourism website, which should further enhance the Gaelic links between Scotland and Ireland.
“Projects like these which help to inspire and inform our visitors about the nature, history, culture and heritage of Scotland are hugely welcomed, and this site also offers the opportunity to discover landmarks and places of interest at their chosen destination.”
CeangalG is funded under the EU Interreg IVA programme and operates under the remit of the Special European Programmes Body.
Headed by Scottish Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, it includes as main partners Údarás na Gaeltachta from the Republic of ireland and Belfast based Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich.
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