Wednesday at the Mod: Izzy is the Gaelic learner of the year

Izzy Flower with her top learner award, Pic ACG/Ronnie Cairns

A Sabhal Mòr graduate who began learning Gaelic in her final year of high school has been named as Gaelic Learner of the Year at this year’s National Mòd in Dunoon.

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 was awarded to Isabelle Flower – who was recently also named student of the year at the Skye-based Gaelic College.

Isabelle, known as Izzy, is one of a growing number of students who come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from Celtic or Gaelic departments at other universities to take a year out and study Gaelic in an immersive environment. From Dunbar, Izzy has always had a keen interest in languages and studies French and Gaelic at Glasgow University. She was given a place on a course for fluent Gaelic speakers at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, and quickly established herself as a popular and supportive member of the young Gaelic community.”

It was only in her final year in James Gillespies High School that she got the opportunity to learn Gaelic.

The silver pendant winners. Pic ACG/Ronnie Cairns

Izzy said: “It’s a great honour to have been awarded an award that’s so well renowned. I feel very lucky to have become a part of the Gaelic community both here at the Mod and beyond.”

Elsewhere at the Mòd on Wednesday, the top singing prizes for Gaelic learners both headed to the far north of Scotland.

The Silver Pendant for women was won by Eileen Duncan from Tongue, Sutherland while Mikie MacEanrig from Keiss in Caithness too the men’s award.