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Racial hatred claim dismissed

A complaint against an Edinburgh Evening News columnist has been dismissed.

Gaelic speakers had lodged a complaint with police claiming that an article written by John Gibson incited racial hatred against the Gaelic community, contravening the Public Order Act.

But it has now been decided that the journalist will not face any charges.

Columnist John said: “I’m glad that freedom of speech has won the day. I stand by what I said and hope that we can now let bygones be bygones.”

A group of Gaelic activists had called Fàs – which means growth – objected to a piece he wrote earlier this year headlined Don’t let the Gael force blow you over – No need for language lessons here in which he said there was no reason to create a Gaelic primary school in the city.

The question of opening a Gaelic-only school caused controversy after plans were shelved despite backing from hundreds of parents.

Fàs claimed the article was “highly insulting and inflammatory” and that the intent was to provoke contempt for Gaelic speakers, suggesting they were ignorant, whisky-saturated country bumpkins.

However, in a letter to Evening News editor Ian Stewart, it was confirmed that after looking at the complaint the Crown Office has decided that no further action should be taken.

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