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Literature Day at the Royal National Mòd

Wednesday 18 October heralds the beginning of the adult competitions at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Lochaber.

Commonly known as ‘Literature Day’ at the Mòd, competitions including drama, poetry and storytelling will take place throughout the day. Competitions in singing will also be held in venues across the area, with the coveted Gold Medal and Silver Pendant finals being presented in the Nevis Centre.

In both the Silver Pendant and Gold Medal finals, competitors are required to sing two songs, one prescribed and one of their own choosing. In the prestigious Gold Medal finals in Stornoway last year, Carol Maclean picked up the ladies’ award, while Eachann MacEachairn won the in the men’s category.

Also to be awarded today are prizes for the drama final, and the Gaelic Learner of the Year award. Last year’s award, which was presented by HRH Prince Charles, The Lord of The Isles, went to 30-year-old winner Carmine Colajezzi, from Italy. Sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society for Scotland, the award acknowledges a Gaelic learner who’s made significant steps to becoming fluent.

This year, the prize is being awarded to Ross Christie, and is presented by Kenneth Matheson, Area Director of the Royal Highland and Agriculutural Society of Scotland (RHASS) for the Highlands. Ross started learning Gaelic just last year, and continues his studies now at Sabhal Mòr, Skye’s Gaelic higher education college.

Kenneth Matheson said: “As a charity with a remit to champion Scottish culture and well as farming, food and rural life we are proud to be associated with the Royal National Mòd and congratulate Ross on his achievement.”

Yesterday saw the first ever Charlie MacColl award being presented to the overall winner of the girls and boys traditional competition (ages 16-18). The trophy was presented by Charlie’s wife Mairi, and son Calum, who today competes in the Traditional Singing Competitions.

Fringe events will also continue at the Mòd today, with Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan reflecting on his background growing up in Caol, in his talk ‘From Lochaber to the National Library of Scotland’. He’ll discuss his journey to the National Library of Scotland – via shinty, universities and broadcasting

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “We’re excited to kickstart the adult competitions today, following on from a successful few days of children’s contests. The Gaelic Learner of the Year Award is a fantastic recognition, and Ross Christie is a deserving winner.

Two of the most prestigious awards at the Royal National Mòd take place this afternoon, and the standard of entries this year is high, so we know there will be some fantastic performances. No doubt the adjudicators will have their work cut out for them – it’ll be a difficult decision to make.”

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