Gaelic singers hit gold at the Royal National Mòd

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The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) nears its end today (Thursday October 19) in Lochaber as rural choirs take to the stage.

The coveted Gold Medal competition took place yesterday evening, with Alasdair MacMhuirich from Islay and Rachel Walker from Spean Bridge walking away with the awards.

Yesterday also saw the prestigious Silver Pendant competition take place at the busting Nevis Centre, as Ishbel Campbell of Tiree triumphed in the ladies’ category, and Coinneach MacLeod from Lewis took home the win in the men’s.

Silver Pendant winners Ishbel Campbell (37) of Tiree and Coinneach MacLeoad (43) originally from Cromore, now living in Glasgow. Photograph: Abrightside Photography

Ishbel had a successful day, also winning the Catherine Gemmel Memorial Trophy (for female with highest marks), and two prizes for highest aggregate marks in qualifying competitions for Gaelic and music – The Morag Robb Memorial Salver (highest aggregated marks in Gaelic) and the John A MacRae Quaich (for highest aggregated marks in music).

Today, the rural choirs will look to make their mark on the 2017 Mòd, particularly in the Lorn Shield and the Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich competitions which, for the first time, are being broadcast live on BBC Alba. Traditional solo competitions will also run today, with the qualifiers in the morning and the winner being crowned in the evening.

Fringe events begin to wind down today, but the always popular Convener’s Ceilidh will round off the day’s competitions in style, with performances from an array of talented singers and musicians. Taking place in the Masonic Hall in Fort William, the shindig is organised by the convener of the local committee, Ronald Cameron.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: ‘We can’t believe this year’s Mòd is already nearing its close – we’ve had a fantastic week so far and its testament to the hard work of the local committee, and the skill of competing Gaels from across the world.

‘We’ve seen some fantastic performances throughout, and last night’s Gold Medal was truly outstanding; huge congratulations to Alasdair and Rachel.

‘As we reach the final few days in Lochaber, there are still some great competitions to come. The atmosphere has been electric and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the final few days will bring.’