Oban is second largest local Mòd

F. Ann MacLean from Lismore won the cup for solo singing of a song written by an Argyll bard - own choice.

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It’s official, Oban is now the country’s second largest local Mòd.

Trophies and medals were handed out over two days when youngsters and adults descended on Oban last week to take part in a host of keenly-fought competitions.

Entry numbers were so large for the children’s day on Friday that a mobile unit had to be brought into the Corran Halls car park to create extra space.

One of the organisers Duncan MacNeil from the Furan Gaelic Centre said: ‘Numbers are very healthy again and we’ve heard from the National Mòd  organising body that Oban is now the second largest Mòd in the country, so we really have turned it round.

‘The Mòd  academy is highly successful and the children from Oban and surrounding areas are not just taking part on their home ground but also going elsewhere. They will be at Fort William next weekend for the Lochaber Mòd and going to Mull and Barra in September, as well as the National Mòd  in Glasgow in October.

‘Not only are they taking part but they are also getting placed in these competitions, so Oban children are well and truly putting us on the map, which is fantastic and really encouraging.’

Due to event clashes, the number of children coming from Mull was down but there were plenty others who made the journey from as far away as Dunoon and Lochaber, as well as Appin.

Hundreds of children were competing at various locations on Friday around the town, including the Cathedral Hall, the Scout Hall and the Corran Halls.

Gaelic adjudicater  Christine MacIntyre praised this year’s standards and said: ‘The standards are very high. I’m having to nit pick. We no longer think about pronunciation because they are all so very good, it’s more a case of getting marked down for forgetting something. The Gaelic standards are on the rise, it’s something I’ve seen over the past four or five years and it’s making life very hard for us as judges.’

On the Saturday, the competitions for adults were held at Oban High School.

Taynuilt Gaelic Choir took home three trophies, including the Hugh MacPherson Memorial Quaich.

Music adjudicator Kathryn Callander and her fellow panelists were particularly thrilled to see three men singing in the competition, two travelled from Nairn and the other, Davy Macdonald, lives in North Connel.