Royal National Mòd in Dunoon comes to a close

The men’s Gold Medal was won by Ruairidh Cormack of Portree, Skye, who sings with Lochaber Gaelic Choir. Lhe ladies prize went to Ceitidh Campbell of Inverness, who, impressively, won the prestigious Gold Medal at six-and-a-half months pregnant. 17_MOD43DM01_Thursday

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The Royal National Mòd in Dunoon came to a close on Saturday after eight days of competitions and performances.

Thousands of people made their way to Dunoon to enjoy all that the Mòd has to offer, with somewhere in the region of up to £2 million expected to have been generated for the local economy.

This year’s most sought-after prizes were awarded to Ruairidh Cormack of Portree and Ceitidh Campbell of Inverness, pictured, in the Gold Medal competition.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Ceitidh, 31, who is six and a half months pregnant, said: ‘I think I am still in shock. It’s not really sunk in.

‘I just love singing. It’s something I have always done. I have entered every Royal National Mòd since I was 11 years old.’

Ruairidh said: ‘To have achieved it is quite incredible. I never thought on my second occasion that I would be able to win it.’

The 24-year-old CBeebies presenter, who sings with Lochaber Gaelic Choir, added: ‘My dad is my biggest helper.’

Ruaridh’s dad, Arthur Cormack is a former Gold Medal winner himself.

Ciaran Iòsaph MacAonghais from An Gearasdan and Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul from Caol Loch Aillse won the Traditional Gold Medals.

While, Eileen Duncan of Tongue and Mikie MacEanrig of Keiss took home the Silver Pendants.

When asked what it felt like to have his name called out as the winner of the Traditional Gold Medal, Ciaran, who teaches at Rockfield Primary Gaelic Unit and sings with Oban Gaelic Choir said: ‘It felt great. I was just really happy. I have put in quite a lot of hard work over the last couple of months, so it’s nice that I didn’t stand up and muck it all up.’

The 27-year-old added: ‘I really like working [at Rockfield]. The kids are lovely, I teach pretty much every child in the school.

‘Oban Gaelic Choir have helped me a lot. They are really supportive. It can feel quite isolating with the solo competitions.

‘If I had any advice, if someone does sing and they are wanting a bit of confidence or experience, join a choir. It’s great. I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it. By week two I was obsessed.’

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: ‘The Dunoon Royal National Mòd has been as spectacular as ever.

‘We’re delighted to have delivered a Mòd that, while holding true to tradition, used new ways to engage with young people and we couldn’t be prouder of the young Gaels on our Youth Committee.

‘The level of competition has been superb and it’s been a treat to welcome Mòd regulars and newcomers alike.

‘We are grateful as ever to everyone involved in running this year’s Mòd, especially the local organising committee and all of our volunteers and sponsors.’

Next year’s Royal National Mòd will take place in Glasgow from October 11-19.