ROYAL NATIONAL MÒD: Skye singers taste Paisley success

Eoghann Campbell took home the prestigious traditional silver medal

The Royal National Mòd in Paisley is in full swing after a busy opening few days in the Renfrewshire town.

On Tuesday there was success for Skye in the junior singing events for fluent Gaelic speakers.

Among those celebrating was 12-year old Peter MacKinnon, from Heaste.

Peter MacKinnon

He had enjoyed previous victories at local Mòds but first place in the 11-12 boys prescribed song competition this year was the first time the Portree High first year pupil had won at the national event.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Eoghann Campbell, from Uig in Skye, took home the boy’s (13-15) traditional silver medal – the most prestigious solo singing competition for junior competitors.

Jonathan Domhnallach, of Bun-sgoil Stàfainn, once again took home the prize for psalm precenting, a trophy that is presented in honour of his late grandfather.

Sir E Scott Choir

In the choral competitions Sir E Scott School (Harris) were the major winners, returning with a haul of trophies from across the categories.

Tuesday evening saw the culmination of the ‘Cogadh nan còmhlan’ – battle of the bands competition.

The winners were Darroch, a trio of young musicians, all of whom were former pupils of Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealteachd at Plockton High School.

Kathleen MacDonald from Bernisdale, Arabella Rennie from Brora and Orin Simpson from Alness took the title.


They are all now traditional music students at the Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Tuesday was rounded off with a stunning concert at Paisley Town Hall featuring two giants of Gaelic song, Kenna Campbell and Ainsley Hamill, and an all-star cast of vocalists.

Together they celebrated a new reworked Gaelic song collection of folklorist Frances Tolmie, bringing audiences on a moving musical journey of Gaelic song and stories.

Tuesday night’s Tolmie Collection Concert

On Monday Skye singer Ali MacFarlane collected the Provost of Falkirk medal, capping off what has been a successful breakthrough year for the young musician.

Ali MacFarlane

Wednesday is literature day at the Mòd and a new An Comunn Gàidhealach bard was crowned.

Scottish poet and translator Niall O’Gallagher was announced as the 59th bard to be crowned and takes over the mantle from poet and broadcaster Peter Mackay.

Niall studied and taught at the University of Glasgow, before going onto work as a journalist and begin writing poetry.

The historic Gaelic literature honour awarded to Scottish poet and translator Niall O’Gallagher

The prestigious accolade was first awarded 100 years ago and recognises and honours someone who has made a significant contribution to the Gaelic literary world.

Full Mòd coverage this week and next week in the Free Press.

Pics, Elaine Livingstone