Gaelic Events at St Giles ImageGaelic at
St Giles’

Gaelic is an important part of
Scottish culture and heritage.
St Giles Cathedral, as a historically
significant building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is glad to be contributing to the promotion and continued life of the Gaelic Language.

With the support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, St Giles’ now have
Gaelic walk around leaflets
on sale for £1 at our welcome desk!

Current Events:



Tuesday 6th June 7:30pm – Dr Ewen Cameron

“The Political History of Gaelic Scotland”

Dr Ewen Cameron studied History and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen before completing a PhD, on Government policy in the Scottish Highlands, c.1880-1925, at the University of Glasgow. He is currently Head of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

See the highlights from this lecture here

Tuesday 13th June 7:30pm – Duncan Sneddon

“Gaelic in Scotland: the early middle ages”

This talk will outline the various languages spoken in early medieval Scotland, with a particular focus on the growth and development of Gaelic.  Place-names, heroic poetry, saints, kings and warriors  – all these and more will feature in this exploration of the early history of Scotland.
Duncan Sneddon is a PhD candidate in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, researching Adomnán of Iona’s “Life of St Columba”.  He completed his MA with Honours in Celtic and Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, before undertaking a Masters in Celtic Studies at the University of Oxford.  He is a member of Greyfriars Kirk, where he attends the Gaelic services.

See the highlight’s from this lecture here

Tuesday 20th June 7:30pm – Dr Anja Gunderloch

“A Gaelic poet in Edinburgh:  Donnchadh Bàn Macintyre”

Donnchadh Bàn Macintyre is one of the leading Gaelic poets of the eighteenth century who is especially celebrated for his poetry in praise of nature;  he also composed poetry in praise of various individuals, humorous verse, and songs that engage with the political situation of his time.  The poet spent more than half his life in Edinburgh, where he saw three editions of his work published in his lifetime.  He is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard where a fine monument commemorates him.
Dr Anja Gunderloch is a lecturer in Celtic at Edinburgh University and specialises in Gaelic poetry and culture before 1900. She has particular interests in the oral dimension of Gaelic verse and in the ways in which historical events and societal change are reflected in the Gaelic literary tradition of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The collectors of Gaelic material who were active in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, their motivations and methodologies, and the material that they gathered together form another strand of her research.

See the highlights from this lecture here

Tuesday 27th June 7:30pm – James MacDonald Reid

“Scottish Storytelling”

This talk will sample one of Scotland’s oldest traditions. Edinburgh based storyteller James MacDonald Reid will take us on a journey across Scotland and look at the history of the oral tradition of storytelling in Scottish communities.
Born into a Gaelic speaking family, James MacDonald Reid is rooted in Highland Gaelic storytelling traditions.  He tells stories from direct living sources, tales from the epic cycles and legends of specific localities in Skye, Uist, Atholl, Argyll and Lochalsh. Reid is a hugely accomplished teller of tales; quietly humorous and learnedly respectful of his craft.

Tuesday 4th July 7:30pm – Gary Innes

“Gaelic Shinty and Traditional Music”

 Highland born accordionist and one of the founding members of award-winning Scottish super-group Mànran, Gary Innes has been playing Scottish traditional music for over 15 years. He has released a number of albums, the most recent “ERA” launched at Celtic Connections 2017. Retired now following a successful career as a Scottish Shinty captain and Internationalist, having won the Camanachd Cup final for the Fort William team on no less than 5 occasions Gary now commentates the main shinty fixtures for the BBC.

Tuesday 11th July 7:30pm – James Beaton

“Music in the Gaelic World”

James is an Argyllshire native, and currently works at Th e National Piping Centre in Glasgow, where he is Librarian and Co-Ordinator for the Centre’s HNC Music programme. He has a degree in Celtic Studies from Edinburgh University, and also holds postgraduate qualifications in library management from the University of Aberystwyth and Teaching and Learning in Higher Arts Education from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

 Tuesday 18th July 7:30pm – Dr Rob Dunbar

“18th – 20th Century Gaelic Literature”

Prior to assuming the Chair of Celtic at Edinburgh in June 2013, Dr Rob Dunbar was Senior Research Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and Research Director of the inter-university Soillse Research Project. Previously, Dr Dunbar was a lecturer then senior lecturer in Law at the University of Glasgow and reader then professor in Celtic and Law at the University of Aberdeen. He has been involved in Gaelic language development for 20 years, a member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig from 2006 to 2012 and MG Alba from 2004 to 2012, and was involved in the development of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and the creation of BBC Alba, Scotland’s Gaelic digital television service.


Gaelic Beginners Classes

Dates: 14th, 21st and 28th July 2017
Time: 9am – 11am
Entry by donation only.
(suggested donation £3)
Limited places available, please email to book.

Our partnership with Comunn na Gàidhlig continues as Ann McCluskey returns for some more fun filled Gaelic classes at St Giles’!



Past Events:

Last year St Giles’ Cathedral  enjoyed taking part in Seachdain ná Gáidhlig, Edinburgh’s Gaelic Festival 2016. Our Gaelic themed events included a Cathedral Crafts session, a Sound and Light evening, with music from talented Gaelic vocalist Ellen MacDonald, as well as a Gaelic Taster Day.

Gaelic Taster Day

Dates: Friday 18th November 2016
Time: 10am- 11:30am and 2pm – 3:30pm
Edinburgh’s Gaelic Development Officer, Ann McCluskey returned to St Giles’ for a Gaelic taster session. Visitors could learn the basics and some key phrases to get a taste of Scottish culture and heritage in our easy going Gaelic class.

Gaelic Beginners Classes

Dates: 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th June 2016
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am
We welcomed any keen beginners to join our Gaelic Beginners Crash Course, taking place in St Giles’ Cathedral in June. Ann McCluskey helped speed learners through a four week course that had participants chatting in Gaelic in no time!

The course was so well attended that we were fully booked well before the first class. Many thanks to all who came along and shared their support and generosity!

 Gaelic Music Day – 6th May 2016

Rehearsal: 9:30am – 11:30am
Performance: 12:15pm – 1:00pm
Ann McCluskey, Edinburgh’s Gaelic Initiative Youth Community Development Officer, led a Gaelic Music workshop in the historical setting of St Giles’
Cathedral. Members of the public joined their voices together to create a flash choir who enjoyed learning songs in Gaelic and got the exciting chance to perform them right here in St Giles’!

For further information or general enquiries about Learning Gaelic at St Giles’ Cathedral, please contact:

Fiona Murray Urquhart
Visitor Services Coordinator