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158: Leverhulme

Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh - Eadar-mheadhanach Adhartach (B2)
Letter to Learners - Upper Intermediate (B2)

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Gaelic Gàidhlig

Anns an litir mu dheireadh, bha mi ag innse dhuibh mar a thrèig am Morair Leverhulme Eilean Leòdhais. Ach cha b’ e sin deireadh na sgeòil dha anns na h-Eileanan Siar, oir bha e fhathast na uachdaran air na Hearadh. Agus bha e dhen bheachd gum b’ urrainn dha an aon seòrsa de phlana a bh’ aige airson Steòrnabhagh a chur an sàs anns an t-Òb, ann an ceann a deas na Hearadh. Gu dearbh, ’s e Leverburgh a th’ air a’ bhaile sin fhathast ann am Beurla.

Thòisich Leverhulme air an obair-leasachaidh air cidhe an t-Òib, agus anns a’ bhaile fhèin, agus chuir e airgead mu choinneamh pròiseactan airson rathaidean a thogail. Ach cha do mhair an obair sin fada oir chaochail e anns a’ Chèitean, naoi deug is còig ar fhichead (1925). Seachdain as dèidh a bhàis, thug bòrd-stiùiridh ùr na companaidh, Lever Brothers, òrdugh seachad gu feumadh an obair anns an t-Òb sgur, ach a-mhàin air taighean ùra a bha faisg air a bhith deiseil.

Cha robh ùidh sam bith aig càch air a’ bhòrd anns na h-Eileanan Siar. Gu dearbh, bha droch bheachd aig feadhainn aca orra. Thuirt an cathraiche ùr ri Leòdhasach a bha càirdeach do Leverhulme tro phòsadh: “’S e an rud a b’ fheàrr a b’ urrainn dhut dèanamh leis na h-eileanan agad – an cur fodha anns a’ Chuan Siar airson ceithir uairean a thìde, agus an uairsin an togail suas a-rithist.” Cha robh spèis sam bith aige do mhuinntir nan eilean.

Tha e coltach nach robh mac Leverhulme mòran na b’ fheàrr. Thathar ag aithris gu robh e uaireigin a’ coimhead air map air balla, map de dh’Alba, a bha as aonais nan Eilean Siar. “’S e sin,” thuirt e, “am map as fheàrr de dh’Alba a chunnaic mi a-riamh.”

nas lugha na sia mìosan as dèidh bàs Leverhulme, chaidh na Hearadh air a’ mhargaidh, aig rùp ann an Lunnainn. Cha robh e air a reic ann an aon chnap, ge-tà, ach ann am pìosan agus cha d’ fhuair e prìs mhath idir. Tha e coltach gu robh cuid, a bha ag iarraidh oighreachd airson sealg, amharasach mun t-suidheachadh as dèidh na thachair do Leverhulme ann an Leòdhas.

Dh’fhalbh na togalaichean mòra aig port an t-Òib airson còig mìle not – cuibhreann bheag de na chosg iad airson a thogail anns a’ chiad dol a-mach. Cheannaich an sgrìobhadair Compton MacCoinnich na h-Eileanan Mòra. Agus chaidh Caisteal Amhuinnsuidhe a reic, cuide ri Loids Àird a’ Mhùlaidh, Taigh-òsta na Hearadh agus sia mìle acaire de thalamh airson … uill … dè tha sibh a’ smaoineachadh…? Dà mhìle not. Seadh, agus thathar ag iarraidh còrr is ceithir gu leth millean not airson oighreachd Cheann a Tuath na Hearadh, a’ gabhail a-staigh Caisteal Amhuinnsuidhe, an-diugh.

Bidh luchd-eachdraidh ag argamaid gu sìorraidh buan air buaidh Leverhulme air Leòdhas agus na Hearadh. An e droch rud neo deagh rud a bh’ ann gun do dh’fheuch e ri tionnsgal mòr a chruthachadh anns na h-eileanan? An e an dòigh anns an do dh’fhàg e Leòdhas na dhearbhadh air misneachd nan eileanach nach gabhadh mùchadh le duine sam bith, ge bith dè cho beartach ’s a bha e? No an robh e na dhearbhadh air a’ chasaid, a chualas bho mhòran, nach b’ urrainn do chroitearachd agus dòigh-beatha ùr nodha a bhith beò còmhla?

Agus dè thachradh nan robh na h-eileanaich air an còraichean-fearainn a leigeil seachad, agus nan robh an gnìomhachas aig Leverhulme air tuiteam as a chèile tro thìde co-dhiù? Mmm. Uill, tha aon rud cinnteach. Chan fhaic sinn a leithid tuilleadh anns na h-Eileanan Siar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: thrèig: quit, abandoned; cathraiche: chairman; an Cuan Siar: the Atlantic; rùp: auction; sealg: hunting; na h-Eileanan Mòra: the Shiant Islands; Loids Àird a’ Mhùlaidh: Ardvourlie Lodge; beartach: wealthy; dearbhadh: proof; casaid: accusation; chualas: was heard (passive).

Abairtean na Litreach: gum b’ urrainn dha an aon seòrsa de phlana a bh’ aige airson Steòrnabhagh a chur an sàs:that he could put in place the same sort of plan he had for Stornoway; chuir e airgead mu choinneamh pròiseactan:he supplied money for projects; seachdain as dèidh a bhàis: a week after his death; cha robh ùidh sam bith aig càch: the others had no interest; ’s e an rud a b’ fheàrr a b’ urrainn dhut dèanamh: the best thing you could do; a bha càirdeach do Leverhulme tro phòsadh: who was related to Leverhulme by marriage; a bha as aonais nan Eilean Siar: which was without the Western Isles; cha robh e air a reic ann an aon chnap: it wasn’t sold in one piece; as deidh na thachair do Leverhulme ann an Leòdhas:after what happened to Leverhulme in Lewis; gu sìorraidh buan: for ever and ever; gun do dh’fheuch e ri tionnsgal mòr a chruthachadh:that he tried to create a big industry; misneachd nan eileanach nach gabhadh mùchadh: the courage of the islanders which would not be quenched; nach b’ urrainn do chroitearachd agus dòigh-beatha ùr nodha a bhith beò còmhla: that crofting and a modern way of life could not co-exist; nan robh na h-eileanaich air an còraichean-fearainn a leigeil seachad: if the islanders had relinquished their land rights; chan fhaic sinn a leithid tuilleadh: we’ll never see his like again.

Puing-ghràmair na Litreach: I would like to explain the place name an t-Òb(Leverburgh, in the south of Harris) this week because, if you are unfamiliar with it, it seems to provide a grammatical conundrum. Òb means a “ small, relatively land-locked bay”; it is masculine and it occurs in the nominative case, as would be expected, preceded by a t- (cf an t-eilean, an t-òrd). It first appears in the Litir in the dative case – anns an t-Òb.In such a situation, we would normally drop the initial t-, getting anns an Òb (cf anns an eilean, air an òrd).But this is not what the people of Harris say. They say anns an t-Òb, ie it does not follow the rules. So we retain the t-in the spelling in the dative. The genitive case is even more obtuse. It appears in the Litir as cidhe an t-Òib and port an t-Òib ( the quay and harbour of Leverburgh respectively). So the t- is retained in the genitive (cf loch an eilein, ceann an ùird). It is however slenderised, as would be expected, although the pronunciation of the slenderised vowel is a little unusual (“uhn TÈB”). Why does it not follow the rules? My guess is that its origin, as a loan-word from the old Norse hóp, may be the reason.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: cha b’ e sin deireadh na sgeòil dha: that wasn’t the end of the story for him.

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