GalGael
GalGael

Is e iomairt sòisealta a th’ ann an GalGael a tha stèidhichte faisg air abhainn Chluaidh ann am Baile Ghobhainn.  Tha GalGael a’ riochdachadh co-fhaireachdainn, slàinte agus ceartas an aghaidh aonaranachd, gainnead agus fòirneart.  Tha GalGael a’ snaigheadh a-mach dhòighean gu bhith beò le barrachd daonnachd – a’ seasamh leothasan air a bheil an siostam eaconamach làithreach againn a’ toirt na buaidh as àicheil. Tha pròiseactan dèantach a’ cruthachadh chothroman a bhith ag obair còmhla air gnìomhan coitcheann dùbhlanach a tha a’ gintinn coimhearsnachd.  Tha na pròiseactan sin ag iarraidh ceàird agus dèanamh, a’ gabhail a-steach togail bhàtaichean.

GalGael are a social enterprise based close to the Clyde, in Govan. GalGael stand for compassion, health and justice against loneliness, scarcity and violence. GalGael carve out ways of living with more humanity – standing with those most negatively affected by our current economic system. Hands-on projects create opportunities to work together on demanding common tasks that generate community. These projects involve craft and making of various forms, including boat building.

 

The boatbuilding workshops at GalGael

Tha GalGael ag obair airson Alba a tha fàilteach far a bheil ar ceanglaichean gu càch a chèile, an talamh agus slighean uisge air am follaiseachadh agus air am meas. Tha ceangal làidir aig an obair aca le ceàuird traidiseanta agus dèanamh, a’ gabhail a-steach togail agus càradh bhàtaichean. Tha ceàird a’ cruthachadh chothroman do dhaoine an sgilean fhaighinn air ais, buidheann agus brìgh ann an àite-obrach a tha a’ tairgsinn gabhaltas agus buntainneas.

GalGael work for a welcoming Scotland where our ties to one another, the land and waterways are revealed and revered. Their work has a strong connection with traditional craft and making, including boat building and restoration. Craft creates opportunities for people to reclaim skills, agency and meaning in a workspace that offers acceptance and belonging.

Tha an obair a’ tarraing air saidhbhreas ar dualchasan. Tha an abairt GalGael a’ tighinn bhon fhacal Gall airson coigreach agus Gael airson dùthchasach – ceangal ‘caraid’ agus ‘strainnsear’ còmhla. Tha an t-ainm seo na dhòigh air beachdan a thaobh dearbh-aithne agus buntainneas ath-fhreumhachadh ann an dòighean a tha in-ghabhaltach, agus chan e às-ghabhaltach – a’ tuigsinn gu bheil an dà chuid pàirt den t-srainnsear agus pàirt den dùthchasach annainn uile.

Their work draws on our rich heritages. The term GalGael comes from the words Gall for foreigner and Gael for native – connecting ‘friend’ and ‘stranger’ together. This name is a way of re-rooting notions of identity and belonging in ways that are inclusive not exclusive – recognising there is both a bit of the stranger and a bit of the native in us all.

"Carson bàtaichean? Tha e a’ beantainn ri deas-ghnàth, de bhith a’ cur na coimhearsnachd an sàs ann an togail rudeigin anns a bheil pàirt dhiubh fhèin. Tha na plangaichean sin uile a’ dol còmhla agus a’ dèanamh bàta. Agus is urrainn don bhàta sin ar cumail air dhòigh air choreigin agus ar toirt uile air bhòidse. Bhòidse coimhearsnachd a tha air tuiteam às a chèile ach a tha air slighe a dh’ionnsaigh beatha nas dòchasaich san àm ri teachd.”

— Cailean MacLeòid
GalGael's 30ft Orcuan

Bha na Goill Gàidheil ann an eachdraidh co-cheangailte ris an long-fhada Innse Gall no a’ bhirlinn – suaicheantas ìomhaigheach Gal Gàidheal.  Tha iad a’ faicinn a bhith a’ dol an sàs ann an togail bhàtaichean leis a’ choimhearsnachd mar inneal air an adhbhar shòisealta a choileanadh. Do GalGael, tha bàtaichean nam meatafor airson cruth-atharrachadh coimhearsnachd – fhad ’s a bhios sinn a’ siubhal bho aon àite gu àite eile.

Chaidh Orcuan, an long aig GalGael san robh 30 troigh de dh’fhaid, a thogail ann an 2001 ann an cumadh ro-shamhla àrsaidh Albannach. Tha i na h-eadar-mhìneachadh air birlinnean eachdraidheil a’ Chosta an Iar; a’ Bhirlinn, long-fhada Ghàidhlig thraidiseanta na h-Alba. Chaidh na bàtaichean sin a thoirmeasg tro Reachdan Ì o chionn 400 bliadhna. Aig aon àm b’ iad am prìomh dhòigh còmhdhail ann an sgìrean beanntach eileanach – a’ ceangal a’ chruinneachaidh de thuineachaidhean air Costa an Iar Alba agus seachad air gu oirthirean na h-Èireann agus Eilean Mhanainn. San latha an-diugh, tha Orcuan agus bàtaichean eile GalGael a’ fosgladh chothroman trèanaidh air seòladh don choimhearsnachd ionadail, a’ ceangal choimhearsnachdan bailteil is dùthchail agus a’ comasachadh ruigsinneachd air dualchas nàdarra gun choimeas na h-Alba.

The Gal Gaidheal of history were associated with the iconic Hebridean galley or birlinn – GalGael’s iconic emblem. They see involving the community in building boats as a tool to achieve their social purpose. For GalGael, boats are a metaphor for community transformation – as we journey from one place to another.

GalGael’s 30ft long Orcuan was built in 2001 to an ancient Scottish prototype. She is an interpretation of the historic galleys of the West Coast; the Birlinn, Scotland’s traditional Gaelic longboat. These boats were effectively banned by the repressive Statutes of Iona, 400 years ago. Once they would have provided the main form of transport in a mountainous island region – linking the constellation of settlements on the West Coast of Scotland and beyond to the coasts of Ireland and Isle of Man. Today, Orcuan and GalGael’s other boats open sail training opportunities to the local community, linking urban and rural communities and enabling access to Scotland’s unique natural heritage.

"Why boats? It has to do with the ritual, of involving the community in building something that has part of them in it. All these planks somehow go together and make a boat. And that boat somehow can hold us, take us all on a voyage. The voyage of a busted-up community to a better, more hopeful future.”

—  Colin Macleod