On Tuesday 29th September 2009 I went 'over the sea to Skye', which is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and on Wednesday morning I visited Sabhal Mor Ostaig http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/beurla/, the Gaelic college, which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. It is the only all- Gaelic institution in Scotland offering courses to degree level. We were welcomed by John MacLeod, head of studies, and a number of other staff, including Donnie Munro, the former lead singer of Runrig.
The folk in the college were warm and welcoming and we have much to learn from them, in relation to the development of both Ulster-Scots and Irish, especially as we move forwards into a 'shared and better future'.
From Skye I travelled down to Edinburgh to meet my counterparts in the Scottish Parliament, Shona Robison MSP (sports minister) and Michael Russell MSP (culture minister).
This visit is the first stage in my plans to develop and strengthen cultural links with our nearest neighbour in the United Kingdom.