National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate 2019 – Semi-finals and Final

The semi-finals of the National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate will take place on Wednesday, 4 December, at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh, starting at 6.30pm. 

The first semi-final will see Inverness Royal Academy B against Lionacleit School when their topic of debate will be, “Gadgets like Fitbits are useful for keeping people healthy.” In the second debate of the evening Bishopbriggs Academy will be against Sir E Scott when their topic of debate will be, “Its better to follow than to lead.”

The two winning teams will meet in the Final, at The Scottish Parliament the following evening, Thursday 5th December, at 7pm, where they will debate, “In 20 years time, the real Gàidhlig communities will be situated in the big cities.”

Looking forward to the final, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said: “Gaelic matters.  It is part of who we are and part of Scotland's rich cultural identity.  The humour, insight and linguistic skill displayed by young people in this competition year after year, convincingly demonstrates that the language continues to flourish.  It gives me immense pleasure that the final will be held on the floor of Holyrood’s debating chamber, marking this, our joint twentieth anniversary.”

Evelyn Coull Macleod, Chairperson of the National Schools’ Gaelic Debate Management Committee said: “We are very pleased at how successful the first two rounds in Stornoway were. There was a high level of Gaelic and debating skills on show from the pupils who took part, and this proved a very difficult decision for the judges as to which four teams went through to the semi-finals."

"As always, we are indebted to our funding partners and I would once again like to thank the following for their support: The Scottish Government, The SQA, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Skills Development Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland Council, Glasgow City Council, Comunn na Gàidhlig, Radio nan Gàidheal, Education Scotland and Loganair.  On behalf of the committee, I would also like to thanks the judges of this year’s competition Agnes Rennie, Boyd Robertson and Iain Stephen Morrison.”

Robert Quinn, Head of English, Languages and Business at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, said: “We are thrilled to once again be supporting the Deasbad. For the past twenty years, the National Gaelic Schools Debate has provided young Gaelic speakers with a platform to showcase their linguistic skills. The competitors are wonderful ambassadors for Gaelic, and will hopefully inspire people of all ages to take an interest in the language. SQA’s commitment to the language is reflected in our wide range of Gaelic qualifications and in this, The Year of Indigenous Languages, it is particularly special to help recognise this aspect of Gaelic culture.”

The Final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.  Both the semi-final and final events are open to the public, but, because of security at The Scottish Parliament, anybody intending to attend the Final at The Parliament must notify us before-hand,  This should be done through Eventbrite (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

The final will also be broadcast live on the Scottish Parliament’s website. Go to Scottish Parliament Tv (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) for 7pm on Thursday 5th December to watch live. It will also be available afterwards to catch up, edit, download and share on demand.