A SCOTTISH council has been urged to explain why a rubbish skip has been seen “filled to the brim with Gaelic educational books”.

Argyll and Bute Council have reportedly already emptied one skip full of Gaelic resources, with another still outside the education offices on Dalintart Drive, Oban.

Alison Craig, the chair of Comann nam Pàrant an Òbain, a parents' advice and support organisation for Gaelic Medium Education, has written to the council to demand an explanation.

In an email sent to Argyll and Bute Council chief executive Douglas Hendry and seen by The National Scotland, Craig said she had been met with a “scene of utter disbelief … when I went to investigate the claims that thousands of books had been dumped for landfill”.

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“The books are not old, indeed imagine my horror when not only are they brand new, but the majority are still in cellophane or sealed boxes.

“Thousands of pounds of money that Argyll and Bute Council has spent only to be binned.”

Craig said the skip further contained resources including folders, jotters, stationary supplies, CDs, and even music systems.

She went on: “I would like to know Mr Hendry who gave the authorisation for all of these resources to be sent to landfill?”

Pictures shared by Alison Craig, the chair of Comann nam Pàrant an Òbain, of the binned Gaelic resources

The letter follows on from a Facebook post, put in the Information Oban group, highlighting the “disgrace” of the binned books.

The post has accrued hundreds of comments, shares, and reactions, with some urging Craig to get in touch with the media about the issue. Others say they will be speaking to their local MSP or other elected representatives.

Craig claimed that there was more than “£3000 in Gaelic dictionaries alone” in the skip, with other Facebook users branding it a “disgusting waste” of taxpayer funds.

Pictures shared by Alison Craig, the chair of Comann nam Pàrant an Òbain, of the binned Gaelic resources

Craig said her eight-year-old child had told her the books in the skip were the same as they were currently using in class, and accused the council of being in breach of the Gaelic Language Plan.

This national plan has legal status and seeks to increase Gaelic learning and speaking to bring the language “equal respect”.

In her letter to Hendry, Craig went on: “I along with many other parents from our local Gaelic Medium School have saved many of these books. We will use them for our children, and for other schools who are desperate for resources.

“I have been genuinely astounded by the many, many requests we have had for the dumped books, from the other [Gaelic Medium] schools in Argyll and Bute all the way to the Borders and right up to Mallaig and beyond.

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“Gaelic is a community. Not one that is split by location as it is part of our heritage, and it is now recognised as such in law. Today I very much feel part of that community, the people who know the difference between right and wrong, those that care about the heritage, language and education of our children.”

Argyll and Bute Council said they were aware of the skip in question, and would be launching a full investigation.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware of an issue relating to the disposal of materials in Oban and we are conducting a full investigation.”

This article first appeared on our sister site, The National in Scotland.

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