The Village with a snow-clad Mullach Sgar

 

From the Office of the First Minister

Few who have been to St Kilda and stood in the Village surrounded by the cries of a million seabirds can fail to have been moved by the place and its story. This tiny Hebridean archipelago is a place of drama, a place apart. Its inaccessibility amplifies its remoteness creating a perception of being ‘at the edge of the world’.

While the steep cliffs and pounding seas around the archipelago give a sense of the overwhelming power of nature, the very visible remains of human habitation can only fill the visitor with a sense of awe and respect for past generations of inhabitants.

St Kilda stands for isolated societies the world over. The extraordinary spirit of the place comes from the imprint left after the ultimate failure, largely through external pressures, of a way of life. The twin aspects – a people’s resilience in a hostile environment, and the contrasting fragility of traditional ways of life in the face of overwhelming social and economic change – give the place its emotional power and universal applicability.

It is because of these reasons that I commend this revised nomination for the inscription of St Kilda on the World Heritage List to ensure it is cared for and preserved for future generations.

Chan eil mòran a tha air cuairt a ghabhail a Hiort, agus air seasamh ’s a bhaile a-measg glaodh millean eun-mara, nach robh air an gluasad leis an àite agus a sgeul. Tha am buidheann beag eileanan seo an Innse Gall mar àite gu turr eadar-dheallaichte, mar àite air leth. Tha ìomhaigh aig mòran mu na h-eileanan gu bheil iad ‘aig oir an t-saoghail’ bhon a tha iad cho iomallach agus cho duilich faighinn thuca.

Fhads a tha na creagan cas agus a’ mhuir fhiadhaich mu na h-eileanan a toirt beachd air cumhachd nàdair, chan ùrrainn do luchd tadhail ach urram agus meas fhaireachdainn airson gach ginealach de mhuinntir Hiort a dh’fhalbh, nuair a chìth iad na tha air fhagail de an cuid togalaichean.

Tha Hiort na eisimpleir do chomainn iomallach air feagh an t-saoghal. Tha spiorad miorbhaileach an àite a tighinn bhon chomharradh a chaidh fhagail nuair a thàinig dòigh beatha na Hiortaich gu crìoch mu dheireadh, ’s a mhòr chuid air sàilleibh cuideaman bhon taobh a-muigh. Còmhla tha an dà phuing – misneachd nan daoine ann an tìr gun truas, agus dòighean beatha traidiseanta, lag an aghaidh atharraichean sòisealta agus eaconomaiceach – a toirt cumhachd sònraichte agus beachd shaoghalta dhan àite.

Airson na reusain seo tha mi a’ moladh an t-ainmeachadh seo, le ath-sgrùdadh, airson Hiort a chuir ri Liosta Dualchas an t-Saoghail, airson dèanamh cinnteach gun teid a chùram a ghabhail agus gum bidh e air a dhìon airson na bliadhnaichean a tha romhainn.

Jack McConnel MSP