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New Writer 2021: Roddy Neithercut

Gaelic Fiction

Thogadh Roddy Neithercut faisg air Calasraid anns na Trosaichean agus b’ ann an sin aig Àrd Sgoil Mhic Labhraidh a chuir e eòlas air a’ Ghàidhlig a’ chiad uair. Dh’fhàg am blasad a fhuair e den chànan làrach mhòr air inntinn, agus às dèidh corra bhliadhna an sàs ann an tuathanachas ann am Fìobha chaidh e gu Sabhal Mòr Ostaig gus a’ Ghàidhlig ionnsachadh, is cheumnaich e le BA (le Urram) ann an 2011. Bhon uair sin, tha Roddy air a bhith ag obair ann am foghlam air feadh na dùthcha mar thidsear àrd-sgoile agus, bho chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean mar thidsear bun-sgoile.

Tha Roddy air sgrìobhadh gu leòr a dhèanamh thar nam bliadhnaichean an cois a dhreuchd, a’ gabhail a-steach ficsean, bàrdachd agus neo-fhicsean, agus tha e air pìosan a sgrìobhadh dha irisean Gàidhlig leithid Steall. Tha e an dùil, leis an taic bhon duais seo, gun leudaich e air a sgilean sgrìobhaidh is gun tèid aige air nobhail shlàn a chur an ìre.

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Roddy Neithercut was brought up near Callander in the Trossachs and it was there at McLaren High that he first became aware of Gaelic. The few Gaelic lessons he received planted a seed, and after a few years involved in farming in Fife he decided to learn Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 2011. Since then Roddy has worked in Gaelic medium education across the country as a secondary school teacher and, in recent years, as a primary school teacher.

Writing has played an important part in Roddy’s teaching career. He has engaged with many genres, including fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and has also written for Gaelic publications such as Steall. With the support of this award, he hopes to expand his writing skills and complete his first novel.

Writing sample

B’ e an fheallsanachd a bh’ aig cùl veganism o thùs nach robh e ceart do dhaoine a bhith a’ gabhail brath air beathaichean ann an dòigh sam bith, feallsanachd a bha connspaideach gu leòr aig àm nuair a bha biadh fhathast gann is daoine an eisimeil raiseanadh. Nise, chan eil mi idir a’ dol a dh’argamaid nach robh sinn ag ithe feòil gu h-eachdraidheil an Alba, ach ’s e an fhìrinn a th’ ann nach robh sinn idir ag ithe uimhir dhith. B’ e am buntàta is brochan neartmhor connadh nan daoine àbhaisteach ann an Alba. Ged a bha feòil is bainne is uighean is eile, aran is ìm is càise, cumanta gu leòr ann an cuid de sgìrean, cha b’ ann ann am pailteas, is bha na daoine a bha ag ithe nan nithean sin gu math mothachail air cò às an tàinig iad is bha iad taingeil air an son.

Tha sinn air an ceangal sinn a chall. Chan e rud a thachair gu grad a th’ ann ach thar iomadh ginealach, an gluasad bhon dùthaich chun a’ bhaile mhòir. An-diugh chan eil ri lorg air an dùthaich an Alba ach mu 20% den t-sluagh a b’ àbhaist còmhnaidh oirre, agus a-mach às a’ mhillean sin, tha fios gum b’ e àireamh bheag aig am biodh eòlas air àrach chearcan no air na tha a’ dol air adhart ann an taigh-spadaidh. ’S e a th’ ann am feòil dhuinn an-diugh ach bathar, aon rud de dh’iomadh rud eile a bhios sinn a’ cleachdadh gach latha gun smaoineachadh air cò às an tàinig iad no càit a bheil iad a’ dol. Botail bheaga làn uisge às na glinn, copanan cofaidh takeaway no ceapaire circe paisgte ann am bogsa beag plastaig – Thig sgrios air an t-saoghal ach an sàsaich sinn ar miannan.

Roddy says:

'’S e urram sònraichte a th’ anns an duais seo, agus leis an taic a tha a’ tighinn na chois, tha mi cinnteach gun tig piseach gun samhail air mo sgrìobhadh thar na bliadhna a tha romham.'

'I am incredibly humbled to be offered this award, it is a fantastic opportunity for any writer, and I am sure will help me take my writing to the next level.'