Royal National Mòd marks Literature Day

Ross Christie who was crowned learner of the year at the 2017 Royal National Mod.

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Today (Wednesday October 17) sees the start of the adult competitions at the Royal National Mòd in Dunoon.

Commonly known as Literature Day, competitions including drama, poetry and storytelling are taking place throughout the day.

Competitions in singing are also being held in venues across the area, with the coveted Gold Medal and Silver Pendant medals being presented. In both competitions, entrants are required to perform two songs – one prescribed and one of their own choosing. In the prestigious Gold Medal finals in Lochaber last year, Rachel Walker and Alasdair MacMhuirich were triumphant.

Prizes for the drama final and the Gaelic Learner of the Year will also be presented – Ross Christie, student at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, was crowned last year’s winner.

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 Isabelle Flower, and was presented by George Young of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) for the Highlands.

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 in East Lothian, 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 on campus.

Fringe activities continue with the literature theme today, with the official book launch of Constabal Murdo, the first crime novel by renowned author Angus Peter Campbell.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: ‘After witnessing some of the fantastic performances throughout the children’s competitions, we’re excited to kickstart the adult contests today.  Special congratulations to Izzy Flower, who epitomises everything the Gaelic Learner of the Year Award celebrates.

‘The adult competitions begin with a bang today, with two of the most prestigious awards up for grabs. We’re expecting some incredible performances, and very much look forward to seeing who takes home the Gold Medal and Silver Pendant this year.’