“Malign influence” of English ‘Royal’ Line should not be honoured


The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written to Colaisde na Gàidhlig (Caelic College) of Cape Breton expressing his concern about accepting the ‘Royal’ designation from the Queen of England in a new name for the College.

It was decided last month by the Board of Governors of the College that ‘Royal’ would now be used in the name of the College with immediate effect to mark its 75th anniversary, changing the name from ‘The Gaelic College’ to ‘The Royal Gaelic College’. In his letter to the new CEO of Colaisde na Gàidhlig, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot said that he did not believe that the English Royal family should be “honoured in this way”, because of the “malign influence the English Royal family has had on the Gaelic language and culture in Alba”, which involved the “persecution and ethnic cleansing” of Gaels in the seventieth and eighteenth centuries.

The full text of the letter sent is set out below.
Rodney MacDonald
Colaisde na Gàidhlig | The Gaelic College
PO Box 80
51779 Cabot Trail
Englishtown, NS  B0C 1H0

A Rodney MacDonald ker

‘Royal’ Designation

I am writing to you following the decision last month by the Board of Governors at Colaisde na Gàidhlig to accept a ‘Royal’ designation by agreeing to change the name of The Gaelic College to The Royal Gaelic College.

I would like to express concern about the change of name, because of the malign influence the English Royal family has had on the Gaelic language and culture in Alba and cannot agree that they should be honored in this way. It is well known and remembered that the Gaels of Alba arrived at Cape Breton in the seventeenth and eighteenth century fleeing persecution and ethnic cleansing at the hands of people who were working in the name of the English Royal family.

It is therefore offensive to the name of those who fled Alba, to seek refuge from oppression in a new land, for an educational institution that was established to perpetuate the Scots Gaelic culture to want to be patronized by the same Royal family line that perpetuated the destruction of Scots Gaelic culture over so many years.

It goes without saying that I support those opposed to attaching the prefix ‘Royal ‘ to the name of the College and hope that the Board of Governors reconsider their decision.

Yn lel/Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League

Comhairle na Gàidhlig/Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia


Colaisde na Gàidhlig | The Gaelic College


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary, Celtic League
M: 07787318666

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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