Sweet home

I proudly partook in last year's Homecoming, with the Celtic Galley Aileach, which I co-founded, sailing on the Caledonian canal event, and with my Clan at Holyrood Park.

It was a tremendous success, thoroughly enjoyed by all, had a great worldwide impact, and is still fondly talked about from Auckland to Seattle.

I am appalled at the tiny-minded whinging, by media and MSPs alike, as to the event's financial shortcomings. Obviously the public purse was far too mean to contribute sufficient funds in the first place, totally underestimating the impact the gathering would have.

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The publicity generated by the pictures of the 8,000 clans folk marching up the Royal Mile would, alone, have contributed toward the investment.

I am the chief of a major clan, and all of us 300,000 or so Clanranalds the world over only see the gathering as a resounding success which will be remembered for a very long time. The estimated direct revenue is quite apart from all the global publicity outweighing the money lost.

Being in the midst of a mighty rcession was not helped by Historic Scotland charging, I am told, hefty rent for the gathering field.

Come on Scotland! Our heritage is worth every penny, a mere bauble compared with the parliament building. I, and practically all my clan, live outwith Scotland; I am beginning to understand why.


Eccleston Street