The An Comunn Gaidhealach (Meur Inbhir Nis) 2018 AGM will be held on Tuesday 4th December 2018 in the An Comunn Gaidhealach Office, Balnain House, 40 Huntly Street, Inverness IV3 5HR at 7.00 pm.
A warm welcome is extended to you all.
Take a look at this month’s newsletter for Mòd information & pics and news about different events happening in the Gaelic world…
The winner of this years Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy is Stirling Gaelic Choir and the Lovat and Tullibardine Sheild is Lothian Gaelic Choir. Congratulations to both choirs!
You can view photos from this year’s Royal National Mod on Graham Hood’s website.
This year’s Lorne Shield was won by Melvich Gaelic Choir. The Sheriff MaMaster Campbell Memorial Trophy was won by Bùrach - congratulations to both choirs!
Photographs can be viewed here: http://www.grahamhoodphotography.com/proofing/royal-national-mod-thursday-18th-october-2018/gallery
Steaphanaidh Campbell and Kieran Joseph Macinnes are this year’s winners of this year’s Traditional Gold Medal. Congratulations!
You can view the official Mod photographs from Thursday’s and Friday’s competitions here:
Gaelic Learner of the Year 2018: Izzy Flower
Originally from Dunbar, Izzy is a student at the University of Glasgow who has recently spent a year studying Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. She always had a keen interest in languages, but it was only in her final year in James Gillespies High School that she got the opportunity to learn Gaelic. Since then Izzy has done incredibly well, achieving fluency in Gaelic and is full of enthusiasm for the language and all that it entails. Congratulations, Izzy!
Ruairidh Cormack, Portree and Ceitidh Campbell, Inverness - winners of this year’s An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal - Congratulations!
Please click on the following link to view photographs from Wednesday’s competitions:
Eileen Duncan, Tongue and Mikie Henderson, Keiss, winners of this year’s Silver Pendant. Many congratulations!
Click on the link below to view this year’s official Mod photographs:
Keep up with the results through our website.
Click on the image below to view this year’s Mòd Fringe Programme:
Chief Executive- An Comunn Gàidhealach
40 Huntly Street
The funeral service of the Late John Macleod will be held on Friday 19/01/18 at 11.30am in Carloway Free Church with the interment at Dalmore Cemetery, Isle of Lewis. A wake will be held on Thursday evening at 9pm. We remember the family in the sad days ahead.
We lost a true Gael very suddenly on Thursday 4th January, and the death of John MacLeod, at just 66 years of age, is an enormous blow and his diligence and commitment to the Gaelic language and culture will be greatly missed.
However our first thoughts and condolences are with the close family which is left behind and where his widow Christine, son Calum, daughter Mairi and her husband Kevin, and John’s sisters and all their families, must attempt to adjust to this tragic loss in their midst. We wish them strength and solace.
John was an active supporter of Gaelic over many years, but when he retired from his post with Lothian and Borders Police in 2000 his involvement with Gaelic development increased dramatically. Among the many initiatives in which he engaged John was also Chairman of the National Gaelic Parents Association, a board member of Comunn na Gàidhlig, a member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and a board member of An Comunn Gàidhealach where he also served as President for ten years. When John stood down from that position at the Comunn Gaidhealach Annual General Meeting in early 2017 he described his term of office as an honour, and he said he was proud that the organisation was “in a strong position to support the development of our wonderful language; music and culture in the years to come.”
On behalf of An Comunn Gaidhealach I wish to re-state our appreciation and thanks for all that John did for this organisation and for Gaelic in general, and we were immensely proud that his enormous commitment was publicly acknowledged when he was awarded the honour of Sàr Ghàidheal (True Gael) at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s annual graduation ceremony in autumn 2017.
For me personally it was a privilege to have known John over nearly the past twenty five years, I wish eternal peace to a champion!
We understand that many will be looking for information regarding funeral service arrangements and we will publish this information as soon as we receive details from the family.
President – An Comunn Gaidhealach
I am very grateful to Professor Dòmhnall Meek for giving me the permission to share the poignant words he wrote when he heard of John’s death:
Thàinig naidheachd sa mhadainn
A thug bròn orm is smalan
Gun do leagadh an gaisgeach MacLeòid.
Mar chraobh chinnteach na daraich,
Sheas e làidir is daingeann
A’ toirt dùbhlan don ghaillinn ‘s e beò.
Fo gheugan bha fasgadh
Do gach neach a bha labhairt
Ann an cànan nan Gàidheal mar an còir;
Gu socrach ‘s gu gasda,
Anns an sgoil is an dachaigh,
Bheireadh Iain dhaibh taic agus treòir.
Ann an sràid a’ phrìomh bhaile
Bha a’ Ghàidhlig fo aire,
‘S e cur loinn agus mais’ air a seòl.
Mar cheannard bha snas air,
Gun àrdan, gun charachd,
Ach gu h-iriosal, tapaidh na dhòigh.
Gun fhiosda leagadh an darag
Le buille tuaighe bha aithghearr,
‘S chaidh ar grian is ar latha fo sgòth.
A Leòdaich uasail, a charaid,
Tha do bhàs-sa gar crathadh,
‘S tha naidheachd na maidne gar leòn.
Domhnall E Meek - 5.01.18
The Old New Year Cèilidh, hosted by Comunn Gàidhealach an Òbain will take place on Saturday 13th January 2018 at 7.30pm in the Masonic Hall, Albany Street, Oban.
Please forward this information to anyone you think may wish to come along.
Please click on the following link to view the latest issue of the An Comunn Gaidhealach newsletter:
Today, a Saltire Ceremony took place at our Inverness office, Balnain House, to celebrate the historical & heritage links between An Comunn Gàidhealach and The National Trust for Scotland.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Norman Maclean on the 31st of August at the age of 80 years.
Norman was a hugely talented man and was famous across the Gaelic community and beyond, as a brilliant comedian, actor, singer, teacher, poet, author and piper. Tormod was renowned for his exceptional knowledge of Gaelic language and culture and for inspiring so many youngsters and musicians to continue the Gaelic tradition.
Tormod was a Mòd Gold Medallist, winning the coveted award in 1967. In the same year, he was also crowned as the An Comunn Bàrd- the only person ever to receive both awards in the same year.
Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and friends at this sad time.
Còisir Gàidhlig an Iar Thuath are desperately short of sopranos and men for the forthcoming Mòd and are appealing for any budding choristers to join them.
“The competitions we sing in will be held in Fort William on 18th October. Help with words/music will be readily available - proficiency in Gaelic is not essential but a love of singing is!
“Practices are currently held on Thursday evenings - either in Ullapool or Inchnadamph.
“Please contact the choir if you would like to find out more.”
The Association of Gaelic Choirs are pleased to announce the launch of two choir conducting workshops aimed at developing the skills of aspiring conductors of Gaelic choirs. The workshops have received funding support from Creative Scotland’s ‘Tasgadh’ Fund and follow on from two similar workshops that were held by An Comunn Gàidhealach in 2014.
Donald MacLeod, a member of the Association of Gaelic Choirs said, “Following research carried out into what support Junior Gaelic choirs would most welcome, it was apparent that the provision of training from more experienced conductors was of most value.
We know that not all schools and areas have the skills, time and resources to be able to keep their choirs going or start up new ones. However, through these workshops we hope to be able to support any school or community choir that wish to do so.”
The workshops are open and aimed at Gaelic choirs in general but with an emphasis on current or any new, prospective conductors of Junior Gaelic choirs. The first workshop will be held in the Spectrum Centre in Inverness on 24th June from 0930-1530 and will be delivered by well-known musician and accomplished conductor of Oban Gaelic Choir, Sileas Sinclair. A second workshop will be held later in the year and led by the highly experienced and respected conductor of Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association, Kenneth Thomson, details of this will be distributed soon. Each workshop will cost just £25.
Experienced conductor, Kenneth Thomson, who will lead the Glasgow workshop, is looking forward to the prospect of working with his conductors. Kenneth said, “I have been involved in Gaelic choral singing for a very long time now and I am thrilled to be able to get the chance to pass on some of my experience to other conductors. We, effectively, want to support Gaelic choral singing and it would be great to see another few Junior Gaelic choirs forming around the country.”
If you are interested in attending either workshop, please contact Donald MacLeod: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 07900 512 614.
An Comunn Gàidhealach, The Highland Council and the Lochaber Royal National Mòd Local Organising Committee (LOC) are working in partnership with Fèisean nan Gàidheal to deliver the Mòd Academy Project in the lead up to the Royal National Mòd taking place in Lochaber during mid-October.
Schools in the Lochaber area are currently being offered the opportunity to participate in the Mòd Academy Project where experienced Gaelic tutors and tutors of traditional music will visit schools in the area to give language and musical tuition to pupils.
The Mòd Academy will ensure that appropriate recognition is given to Gaelic, Gaelic songs, bàrdachd and traditional music in schools, and that pupils will have the opportunity to receive tuition in these areas. This will support and prepare the young people to participate in the Mòd.
Currently 14 schools in the area have accepted the opportunity to participate in the Mòd Academy Project.
The Project also includes a series of Mòd Road Shows, which involves An Comunn Officers visiting schools to raise awareness about the Mòd and how the pupils can take part and participate in the competitions and events. It is hoped that this will lead to more young people participating in the Mòd.
Mr Ronald Cameron, Chairperson of the LOC said, “In the last few years Meur Lochabar, the local branch of An Comunn, did arrange for a tutor to prepare pupils in 3 local primary schools for the Lochabar Provincial Mòd.
We are delighted that The Highland Council, in partnership with An Comunn Gàidhealach and have engaged Fèisean nan Gàidheal to deliver the Mòd Academy Project which is extending tuition to 14 schools across the greater district and prepare pupils for both Local Mòds and the Royal National Mod. This is very exciting and will create a momentum for cultural and linguistic enrichment that will continue for years to come. This also provides early evidence of both the cultural and economic benefits that the Royal National Mod offers the area.”
He continued, “The Mòd Academy Project includes highly experienced and well renowned singers and tradition bearers from the surrounding area, including Joy Dunlop, Mary Ann Kennedy, Janet Campbell and Sìleas Sinclair. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the organisers, the tutors and all the Head Teachers who are involved with the project.”
Mrs Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager, Fèisean nan Gàidheal said,
“Participation in Gaelic music making, especially in a group setting, is a good example of the Curriculum for Excellence at its best. By working in partnership with The Highland Council and An Comunn Gaidhealach, it has enabled us to engage with a fantastic tutor team, and the programme that we have pulled together, is able to support staff and encourage children, at the same time showing them that learning Gaelic songs is entirely achievable whatever your previous knowledge of the culture, not to mention lots of fun!”
Mr John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn said,
“The Mòd Academy is an excellent example of the Highland Council Gaelic Team, An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd 2017 Local Organising Committee and Fèisean nan Gàidheal working in partnership to deliver an innovative project which will benefit all those participating. We are grateful for the funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Highland Council, the Patrons Fund and the contributions from the families of the late Charlie MacColl and the late George Smith.”
The AGM of Comunn Gàidhealach an Òbain will take place on Tuesday 23rd May at 7.30pm in Furan Gaelic Centre, Corran Halls, Oban.
All current and new members are welcome to attend.
After 10 years as President of An Comunn Gàidhealach Mr John Macleod has stepped aside from the role and welcomed Mr Allan Campbell as the new President. Allan, who is originally from the Isle of Skye and now lives in Inverness, has been involved with An Comunn Gàidhealach and the Royal National Mòd for many years and has served as a Director of the organisation for the last eight years.
John Macleod welcomed the appointment saying “Allan is a well-known and greatly respected member of the Gaelic community. He will bring his vast experience as a broadcaster, and as a Gaelic language campaigner, to the role. Indeed, to many Gaelic speaking households, Allan is already the face of the Mòd through his active role as the presenter of many of the Royal National Mòds biggest events. From a personal point of view, it has been an absolute privilege to have served An Comunn Gàidhealach as President and I am confident that I am handing the role to someone who will further enhance the work of An Comunn and the Royal National Mòd. The organisation is now in a strong position to support the development of our wonderful language; music and culture in the years to come.”
Allan Campbell, speaking following the AGM of An Comunn Gàidhealach in Lochaber, said “I would like to thank John Macleod for his work over the last decade. The role of President of An Comunn Gàidhealach will be both challenging and, hopefully, fulfilling. I do not underestimate the challenges, but I also recognise the opportunities that we are now presented with, through Gaelic Medium Education and the Arts. The supporting infrastructure is now in place and we can help to move the re-emergence of our language, music and culture forward over the coming years. We will strive to fulfill the aspirations outlined in the National Gaelic Plan. I look forward to shaping An Comunn Gàidhealach in the years to come.”
In addition, at the AGM, Janet Macdonald stepped down as the Mòd Director. The role is the key position liaising between the staff of An Comunn Gàidhealach and the communities that support the Royal National Mòd. Allan Campbell paid tribute to Janet saying that he recognised the power of work that Janet has undertaken for over a decade. “Janet has been the driving force behind the smooth running of the huge event that the Royal National Mòd has now become. She has brought a quiet authority and a meticulous attention to detail to the whole event. Her ability to work with everyone in high pressure competitive situations has defined the external perception of the event and we are grateful for her support. We hope that Janet will remain in our midst over the next years to help assure, and direct us, when assurance and direction is needed.”
An Comunn Gàidhealach is grateful to have received £2,500 gift from The Patron’s Fund, the charitable fund set up to acknowledge the work of the charitable organisations for which Her Majesty The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
Around £750,000 is available to distribute between nearly 300 charities and other organisations in the UK and the Commonwealth. The Fund received generous donations from a range of supporters; including individual donors, businesses, schools, community groups and the proceeds from The Patron’s Lunch, the event on the Mall last June.
This gift will support a “Mod Academy”, a bequest from the family of the late Charlie MacColl,. The Academy aims to give young people in the Lochaber area an opportunity to learn and develop their music and Gaelic language skills through professional tuition in Gaelic music, song, poetry and storytelling.
As well as developing new skills, the Mòd Academy will build confidence to perform and it is hoped that this will lead to continued development in the language as well as an increase in participants entering the Royal National Mòd in years to come.
A collection of nearly 300 items published by An Comunn Gàidhealach has been digitised by the National Library of Scotland and is available in the Digital Gallery on the Library’s website at http://digital.nls.uk/an-comunn-gaidhealach
The collection, in Gaelic and English, includes journals and newspapers, annual reports, educational books, Royal National Mòd programmes and published Mòd literature.
All of the Royal National Mòd programmes in our collection have now been digitised, so if you were a competitor you will be able to find yourself here!
The complete run of “An Deò-Greine” and “An Gaidheal”, rich sources of information about the development of the Gaelic language during the twentieth century, are also available here.
The National Library hopes to add Mòd music to this collection, and will be digitising future Royal National Mòd programmes as they are published.
If you would like to know more about this collection, or have An Comunn publications which might fill gaps in the collection, please contact Jennifer Giles, (email@example.com or phone 0131-623-3910)
Harris Tweed Hebrides of Shawbost have created an exclusive design to celebrate the return of the Royal National Mòd to the Western Isles.
Commissioned by An Comunn Gaidhealach, Harris Tweed Hebrides’ design team, led by Ken Kennedy, have incorporated the colours of An Comunn’s crest, blended with the Hebridean summer landscape and seascape, to form a striking tartan pattern which will feature in an extensive range of accessories, as well as adorning Mòd stages.
The Mòd will be held from 15th to 22nd October with several thousand visitors expected to descend on Lewis and Harris.
The new tartan will also mark the 125th anniversary of An Comunn Gaidhealach’s founding.
Margaret Ann Macleod, Brand Development Director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: “The link between Gaelic culture and Harris Tweed is exceptionally strong, so it is natural to have the Clo Mor represented at a celebration of the language, particularly when it is being held in our own community. The vibrant colours will reflect the spirit of the Mòd”.
The accessories range – which includes corsage, purses, make-up bags, hand-bags, men’s ties and of course hip flasks – has all been made in Scotland with local firms By Rosie and Rarebird among the suppliers.
John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gaidhealach, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Harris Tweed Hebrides to create a special edition tweed celebrating a landmark 125 years of An Comunn Gàidhealach.
“It’s great to be returning to the Western Isles for this year’s Royal National Mòd and what better way to mark such an occasion than to work with such a prestigious organisation as Harris Tweed Hebrides. I’m sure the Gaelic community and beyond will love the tweed and I hope we’ll see many people wearing it at this year’s Royal National Mòd, and at many more Mòds in the future.”
Here is the next issue of our monthly Newsletter. You will find lots of information about Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2016 and much more!
Please find the newsletter here.
Do you have Mòd programmes or Mòd music that you no longer need taking up space in your home? If so, then the National Library of Scotland would love to hear from you.
The Library is currently digitising all of the Mòd programmes we have in our collections, which means that they will be available on our website for all to use without having to come into the Library. This means for example that you will be able to search for names of competitors, or to find out what the competition pieces were in a given year - a great resource for the future!
However, we can only digitise what we have, and we don’t have them all, so are seeking your help to fill our gaps. We don’t have many programmes before 1966 and we have later gaps too.
If you think you can help us, please contact Jennifer Giles on 0131-623-3910, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Library will also have a stand at the Nicolson Institute during the Mod in Stornoway, from 17 – 21 October, and we would be delighted to meet you there.
The March issue of our Newsletter is now available. To view this month’s newsletter, please click here.
If you would like to contribute anything to a future issue of the newsletter, please contact email@example.com
The January issue of our Newsletter is now available. To view this month’s newsletter, please click here.
If you would like to contribute anything to a future issue of the newsletter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burns Supper –
Due to the low numbers that have expressed a wish to attend this event it has unfortunately had to be cancelled.
We apologise for this and hope that those that had wished to attend are not too inconvenienced and that you are able to make alternative arrangements for this date.
To the artistes and all that had prepared for the event a special apology.
Gaelic Psalm Workshop in Edinburgh…
Hogmanay Dance in Inverness…
The November issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach Newsletter is now available.
Please click here to view this issue and any previous issues.
If you would like to receive the Newsletter by email, please contact email@example.com
Competitors in A252 (Ladies) and A253 (Men) must choose a song which follows a theme which is specified annually.
For 2016, the theme for A252 (Ladies) is ‘lament’ and for A253 (Men) ‘love’.
This will appear on the 2016 syllabus soon
How time flies! Kirsteen Grant has been conducting the Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir for 25 years and to celebrate this wonderful achievement a Dinner will be held in Hillhead Sports Club, 32, Hughenden Road, Glasgow, G12 9XP on Friday 27th November at 7pm for
7.30pm. Cost £25 including a drink on arrival.
If you wish to attend please respond to Neil Murray, 58, Munro Road, Glasgow, G13 1SG by 31st October enclosing a cheque for £25 (made payable to Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir) together with your personal details and any specific dietary requirements
The Choir look forward to the company of as many as possible joining them on this very special occasion.
The latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter is now available.
Please click on the following link to view the August issue and past issues.
We were saddened yesterday to learn of the death of Katie Anne Macleod (Maclean). She would have celebrated her 102nd birthday on the 18th of June this year.
Katie Anne, from South Bragar in Lewis, was born on the 18th of June 1913. She won the An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal at the Glasgow Mod in 1938.
She was a resident at the Dun Berisay care home in Stornoway in her latter years.
We remember her family and friends at this sad time.
The telephone system in our Stornoway office has been out of order over the last few days. We apologise for any incovenience this may cause. We have been assured that the problem will be fixed within the next day or so.
In the meantime please do not hesitate to call our Inverness office on 01463 709 705.
Please follow the link below to view the latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach monthly Newsletter.
The Annual General Meeting of An Comunn Gàidhealach will take place this evening (Friday 13 March) at 6.30pm in Eden Court, Inverness.
All members of An Comunn Gàidhealach are invited to attend.
MG ALBA (The Gaelic Media Service) is undertaking a series of public meetings seeking the views of communities throughout Scotland on the future of Gaelic broadcasting. Meetings will be held as follows and all are welcome to attend:
Thursday 5 March - Glasgow - Coffee & Craic - 5pm
Friday 6 March - Glasgow - Glasgow University - 2pm
Thursday 12 March - Skye - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig - 7pm
Friday 13 March - Inverness - Waterside Hotel - 12.30pm
Monday 16 March - Oban - Caledonian Hotel - 12.30pm
Monday 16 March - Fort William - West End Hotel - 5.30pm
Wednesday 18 March - Tiree - An Talla - 7pm
Thursday 19 March - Lewis - Ness Historical Society - 7pm
Friday 20 March - South Uist - Cothrom - 12.30pm
Friday 20 March - Barra - Castlebay Community School - 7.30pm
In addition to the public meetings MG ALBA is also welcoming people’s views via an online questionnaire with details available on www.mgalba.com.
To reserve a place at any of the meetings or for further information contact Murdo Morrison (MG ALBA) on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01851 705550.
The Annual General Meeting of An Comunn Gàidhealach will be held on Friday 13 March 2015 at 6.30pm in Eden Court, Inverness.
All members of An Comunn Gàidhealach are invited to attend.
The Highland Council seeks to appoint a full-time Head Teacher for the new Gaelic Primary School in Fort William; Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified and experienced Teachers who are fluent Gaelic speakers and who can also read and write Gaelic.
Contact Person: Norma Young Tel: 01478 613697
Please click on the following link for full details:
The Mod 2015 Local Organising Committee website is now “live”. Keep an eye on the site to see how preparations are going for October.
The Committee will be developing and updating their website between now and Mod week. They hope you will find it useful if you are planning to come to this year’s Mod.
The winners in the January draw were:
1st - £100 - Beatrice Macleod,Stornoway
2nd - £60 - Donald Martin, Stornoway
3rd - £40 - Norman Macdonald, Ness
If you would like to take part in the Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2016 400 Club, you can download a form below.
You can view the latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter here.
Should you wish to contribute any news items to a future edition, please contact Marina Mackay at email@example.com or telephone 01851 703 487.
The Inverness Field Club is holding a lecture which I think might interest your members, Roddy Maclean will be talking on the subject “Marsh Marigold or Lus Buidhe Bealltainn” Gaelic perspectives on our native plants including uses for food, dyeing and healing.
The lecture will be held in Millburn Academy, Diriebught Road, Inverness on , Wednesday, 21st January 2015 starting at 7.30 p.m.
We would like to invite your members to join us at the concession price of £2.
Cumbernauld Gaelic Choir will be having a concert/ceilidh on Saturday 28th February. This will take place in the Village Hall, Cumbernauld from 7.30pm. Tickets will cost £8.00 and can be reserved by contacting the Choir Secretary, William McEvoy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07913047703.
If you have been trying to contact our Stornoway office, we apologise as we are having difficulties with our phone line.
Both our offices have now re-opened after the Christmas break.
A very Happy New Year to you all!
Are you all organised for Christmas? If not, there are lots of goodies on offer in the An Comunn Shop that would make great Christmas presents!
(Remember An Comunn members get a 10% discount in our shop).
We close on Tuesday 23rd December for the Christmas holidays and will re-open on Monday 5th January.
Tha latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter is available here.
If you would like to include anything in our next newsletter, please forward the information on to email@example.com by 15th December.
You can view photographs from this year’s Royal National Mod here.
You can order copies from the official Mod Photographer, Graham Hood, via his website:
Both our offices have now re-opened following a week off after the Mod. We hope you all enjoyed this year’s Royal National Mod in Inverness - a huge thank you once again to everyone who was involved.
There are many emails and messages to go through so we are busy catching up with all of these this week.
We also have adjudication sheets, trophies and monetary prizes to distribute - so please be patient as this will take time.
Any adjudication sheets not collected during Mod week will automatically be posted to competitors, to the address stated on entry forms.
Please click here to view Graham Hood’s official photographs from this year’s Mod. A selection of these will be available in our next newsletter which will be distributed as a double issue, at the end of November.
Both our offices in Inverness and Stornoway will be closed from Wednesday 23rd December and will re-open on Tuesday 5th January 2016.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us this year.
We now look forward to seeing you all next year - mòran taing dhuibh uile!
Congratulations to Eilidh Cormack, Portree and Angus Macleod, Inverness, winners of the An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal at this year’s Royal National Mod!
A full list of prize-winners is available at: http://www.ancomunn.co.uk/nationalmod/results-2014/#daysThursday
Thèid farpais crìochnachaidh an t-Seann Nòis a chumail an ath oidhche aig 7.30f ann an Cùirt Eden. The Traditional Final will take place tomorrow evening at 7.30f ann an Cùirt Eden. The running order is as follows:
1. Kirsty Netta NicFhionghuin, Tobar Mhoire
2. Neil MacRisnidh, Càrlabhagh
3. Ceitlin L R Smith, Eilean Leòdhais
4. Ruairidh MacCarmaig, Port Rìgh
5. Karen Elder, Barraigh
6. Tormod MacLeòid, Càrlabhagh
7. Ellen NicDhòmhnaill, Inbhir Nis
8. Torquil MacLeòid, Steòrnabhagh
9. Kerrie Finlay, A’ Mhanachainn
Thèid farpais crìochnachaidh am Bonn Òir a chumail madainn a-màireach (Diardaoin) aig 9m ann an Cùirt Eden. The Gold Medal Final will take place tomorrow morning at 9am in Eden Court. The running order for the Gold Final is as follows:
1. Ceitlin L R Smith, Eilean Leòdhais
2. Iain Gordon, Inbhir Narann
3. Isabel NicLeòid, Càrlabhagh
4. Dòmhnall-Iain MacIlleDhuinn, Glaschu
5. Eilidh NicCarmaig, Port Rìgh
6. Aonghas MacLeòid, Inbhir Nis
7. Ainsley V Hamill, Càrdanros
8. John Howieson, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach
Thèid farpais crìochnachaidh an Aigeallan Airgid a chumail a-nochd, ann an Cùirt Eden aig 7.30f. The Silver Pendant Final will take place this evening at 7.30f in Eden Court. The running order is as follows:
1. Kirsten Laurie, Ìle
2. Fergus Muir, Ìle
3. Donna Dugdale, Tobar Mhoire
4. Iain Eachann Ros, Inbhir Nis
5. Ellen L Beard, Dùn Èideann
6. Hector Mackechnie, Samharaidh
7. Rena Gertz, Prestonpans
8. Campbell Mackenzie, Steòrnabhagh
Barra and Vatersay Provincial Mod will take place this weekend!
Please click on the following link to view the latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter.
If you have missed any previous issues, you can view them at:
You can view the most recent issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter at: ACG Newsletters
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Royal National Mòd’s closing date draws near for applicants
With entries for Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail 2014 coming in thick and fast, Mod organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach are busy preparing for this year’s event, to be held in Inverness for the first time since 1997.
Although many entries have already been received and processed, An Comunn Gàidhealach expects a considerable influx before the closing date of 31st May 2014 and it is stressing the importance of complete entries being received on time.
Janet MacDonald, Royal National Mod Director reiterated this view saying, “It is important that you check the website and syllabuses for confirmation of changes that have been introduced this year. Some competitions which have had very low entries in the past few years have been discontinued, with others having been amalgamated; these changes are explained on the website. We hope that you will enjoy the Inverness Mòd when it comes, it promises to be a great event.”
The continuing success and development of Gaeldom’s premier cultural festival was praised by Convener of the Local Organising Committee, Allan Campbell. “If people didn’t enjoy the Mod they wouldn’t attend, and the level of participation and the substantial numbers who visit the Royal National Mod each year is testament to the enormous enjoyment which users and supporters of the Gaelic language and culture, and anyone with a love of good music, will find at this famous festival.
“In the 2014 Year of Homecoming we are making a particularly special effort to welcome you to Inverness, and to the best Mod ever, with traditional friendship and hospitality appropriate to the Capital City of the Gàidhealtachd and we also look forward to greeting friends from across the globe who will be returning to the land of their forebears!”
People are looking forward to the Mod returning to the Highland capital for the first time in seventeen years. Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairperson of Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said “People from across Scotland are very excited that the Mod is returning ‘home’ to the Highland Capital in the Year of Highland Homecoming.
I believe that the numbers of entries to the competitions are increasing daily. It is anticipated that there will be entries from Caithness in the North to Campbelltown in the South.
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Mod Local Organising Committee on their fundraising activities and also on the organising of an exciting and innovative Mod Fringe Programme, which will offer events and activities for all the family and visitors to the world’s premier Gaelic and cultural event.
The Council is very supportive of the Mòd and it is one of the key performance indicators in our Gaelic Language Plan. The Council is also a key funding partner as this linguistic and cultural event develops and promotes Gaelic and its associated culture. During October it will generate an economic input in the City and the surrounding Inner Moray Firth area. I wish all the competitors every success.”
The funeral of the late Neil McKechnie, Dingwall, will take place tomorrow (Thursday 15/05/14) at 11am in Dingwall.
Our sympathy goes out to his family at this sad time.
Stirling Gaelic Choir’s Annual Concert will take place this Friday, 25th April, at 7.30pm, in the Victoria Hall in Dunblane.
This year’s Royal National Mod features in the following ‘Homecoming Scotland’ supplement.
(Courtesy of Scottish Provincial Press)
You can now download entry forms for the Royal National Mod 2014 here.
You will also be able to submit entries online in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned to the news section of the website, our Facebook and Twitter to find out when you can enter online.
In the meantime, should you require any further information regarding this year’s competitions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Telephone: 01463 709 705
The winners in the March draw were:
£250 Margaret MacLennan, Stornoway
£100 E M MacDonald,Inverness
£50 James Matheson, Muir of Ord
Govan Gaelic Choir will host their annual concert on Wednesday 26th March 2014.
Please note that the two pieces for C78 that appear in the ‘Còisirean òigridh, luchd-ionnsachaidh’ booklet for Mòd 2014 have been amended and redrafted.
These are being reissued to choirs competing in this competition. To get the correct, amended copies please contact An Comunn at email@example.com.
Family Ceilidh organised by Oban Mod Committee
Dingwall Gaelic Choir - 60th Anniversary Concert
Remember that the Annual General Meeting of An Comunn Gàidhealach will be held this Friday, 7 March 2014 @ 6.30pm in the Maclean Room, Eden Court, Inverness.
All members of An Comunn Gàidhealach are invited to attend.
Edinburgh International Harp Festival will take place between the 4th and 9th April 2014.
The Inverness Branch of An Comunn Gàidhealach are hosting an evening with The Lochies.
Deadline: Friday 28 March 2014
Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland, invites applications for a new Gaelic playwright mentoring programme. This is a hugely exciting opportunity for the National Theatre Scotland and Playwright’s Studio, Scotland to continue to engage with and support Gaelic artists.
Two writers will be chosen for a programme of mentoring by established playwright and National Theatre of Scotland Associate Artist (Gaelic), Iain Finlay Macleod, to support the development of a new play. This is an opportunity to improve playwriting skills and gain valuable insight into the playwriting process and profession.
Each writer will receive three mentoring sessions with Iain Finlay over a six month period. There will be at least one theatre trip organised during this time, as well as supporting workshops and opportunities to meet representatives from the National Theatre of Scotland and other theatre professionals.
The new programme is part Playwrights’ Studio’s ongoing Gaelic development work. It builds on partnerships with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Books Council and Creative Scotland. It includes support and incubation of the Urlar Gaelic play laboratory (led by Iain Macrae, CCA, 16th January 2014) and the Gaelic New Playwrights Award. Alison Lang is the current recipient of this Award. Under the mentorship of Iain Finlay Macleod, she is currently under commission by Pròiseact Nan Ealan. Applications for 2015’s Award will open in summer 2014.
In 2014 the National Theatre of Scotland embarks on their fourth year of a far-reaching Gaelic action plan. In January the National Theatre of Scotland will be remounting their 2013 Gaelic music/drama production of A Little Bird Blown Off Course, by Fiona J MacKenzie, at the Tron Theatre as part of Celtic Connections. The production was recently shortlisted for a Scottish Gaelic Award. And in February the National Theatre of Scotland, in partnership with Pròiseact nan Ealan (PNE), with support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will be offering up to 10 artists the opportunity to undertake a week’s residential course in playwriting at Moniack Mhor. Iain Finlay Macleod is National Theatre of Scotland’s fourth Gaelic Associate although the first time the role has been in partnership with PNE. Previous Associate Artists (Gaelic) are: Fiona J MacKenzie, Maeve Mackinnon and Catriona Lexy Campbell.
Am I eligible for the Mentoring programme?
• You are a Gaelic speaking writer at any stage in your career, living in Scotland or from Scotland and living elsewhere;
• You have a particular idea you hope to develop through mentoring;
• You do not need to have had work produced, published or broadcast;
• You are not a student in full-time formal education (i.e. 16 hours or more per week) at the start of the Mentoring Programme. Applications may be considered from individuals who are working at a professional level within the arts and film sector, undertaking a part-time course of study, however, this will depend on how it relates to your course.
• You will be available from July 2014 for six months to work on your script, meeting three times with your mentor over the period;
• You have a commitment to delivering a completed script for the stage by the end of the process.
How do I apply?
To apply for mentoring, please provide (in Gaelic OR English):
• A covering letter explaining why you would like to be mentored and your commitment to developing your playwriting experience
• Your current contact details and brief biography detailing your writing experience to date
• A one page treatment for an idea you would like to develop.
• One ten-page extract of your writing and a synopsis of the piece from which the extract has come. (We would appreciate it if you could submit this in Gaelic with an English translation.)
Please email the above as one document in either Word or PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 28 March 2014 with ‘Gaelic Mentoring application’ in the subject line.
Alternatively, if you would like to post your application, please send it to:
Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street
Your application will be considered by a panel including Iain Finlay Macleod, George Aza-Selinger (Literary Manager, National Theatre of Scotland) and Fiona Sturgeon Shea (Creative Director, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland). The outcome will be known no later than May 2014, with the mentoring commencing July 2014.
Frequently asked questions
I am Scottish but based elsewhere. Will you pay my travel
Depending on where you are based, we may be able to make a contribution towards expenses, help you source alternative funding or, alternatively, consider other options such as Skype. Please do not let this put you off applying, if you are eligible.
The winners in our February draw were:
£250 Mrs K.A. Mackellar, Auldearn
£100 Iain Macaulay, Isle of Lewis
£50 E.M. MacDonald, Inverness
Please note that the rule for Junior choral senior choral competitions stating, “Prescribed pieces may be sung, if necessary, a semi-tone higher or lower than the set key” is no longer applicable and all choirs may sing prescribed pieces in their own chosen key.
An Comunn Gàidhealach are pleased to announce the launch of a new scheme in order to help establish new Junior Gaelic choirs. The scheme has been undertaken in partnership with Comunn nan Còisirean (The Association of Gaelic Choirs) and aims to increase interest in junior Gaelic choral singing.
Conductor training and workshops will be offered to any new, potential choir as part of the scheme aswell as other practical support such as providing and supplying songs and arrangements.
Kenny Thomson, chairman of the Association of Gaelic Choirs said, “The number of Junior Gaelic choirs competing at Mòds has gradually declined in recent years. We know that not all schools and areas have the skills, time and resources to be able to start up a choir and through this initiative we hope to be able to support any school or community that wish to do so.”
The scheme will be open to any new, aspiring Gaelic choirs that have a genuine interest and wish to establish a Junior Gaelic choir. Well known Gaelic singer and choir conductor Joy Dunlop will assist An Comunn Gàidhealach in delivering workshops and training for any new, prospective conductors and is looking forward to the prospect of working with new choirs. Joy said, “I have been involved in Gaelic choral singing from a very early age and continue to be involved as a senior member of a Gaelic choir as well as being a conductor of another Gaelic choir. I have gained so much from being part of choirs and choral singing was an important part of my development as a singer. The social enjoyment completely outweighs the hard work that is put in and it would be great to see another few Gaelic choirs forming around the country.”
Please click on the link below to view the latest issue of the An Comunn Gàidhealach newsletter:
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Robin Banks at the weekend, aged 81. Robin was a true friend and ambassador for An Comunn Gàidhealach for many years. Although Robin had been suffering ill-health for some time, his death came very unexpectedly.
The funeral service will be held in Oban Old Parish Church on Friday 7 February at 1pm followed by interment at Pennyfuir Cemetery.
Our thoughts are with Robin’s wife Ishbel at this difficult time.
An evening of traditional entertainment with some of Gaeldom’s top artists.
Ceòl nan Còisir
Isle of Mull Hotel, Craignure
Choral Workshop with Mary Ann Kennedy
Open to all but focusing mainly on the rural choirs prescribed SATB and the rural Puirt-a-Beul.
Saturday, February 22nd
Carvery Dinner £15
Ceilidh from 8.30pm
Please bring along your musical instruments for the ceilidh!”
Special B&B Rate is available at £20 per person - Quote Donna Dugdale, Mull Gaelic Choir workshop when booking to get room discount (Hotel phone: 01680 812 544)
Please contact Donna Dugdale DRamsay7S@hotmail.co.uk for details and to book a place at the workshop.
Are you interested in receiving some support to encourage the use of Gaelic in your area?
Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s funding scheme Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd is now open to new applications, to assist projects which will encourage and increase the learning and usage of Gaelic.
Further information and application forms are now available via the Bòrd na Gàidhlig website www.gaidhlig.org.uk/bord/en/funding-opportunities/taic-freumhan-coimhearsnachd.php or by calling 01463 225454, or email email@example.com.
The closing date for applications is Friday 14th February 2014.
Tha na h-oifisean againn fosgailte a-nise as dèidh saor-laithean na Nollaig. Tha sinn an dòchas gun robh tìde mhath agaibh uile.
Tha sinn a’ nise a’ coimhead air adhart ri bliadhna ùr eile agus ri Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail na bliadhna seo, a thèid a chumail ann an Inbhir Nis eadar an 10mh & 18mh den Dàmhair.
Ma tha sibh airson fiosrachadh sam bith a chur thugainn mu tachartasan, na Mòdan Ionadail, no coinneamhan sam bith agus mar sin air adhart, cuiribh fios thugainn agus sgaoilidh sinn an fhiosrachadh air an làrach-lìn, anns a’ chuairt-litir agus air an duilleag Facebook againn.
Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile!
Le bàs Tòmas Mitchell chaill sinn sàr Ghàidheal agus bidh eòlaich anns gach àite a’ cuimhneachadh air fìor dhuine gasta. Bha e iriosal na ghiùlain ach daingeann na dhìlseachd dha theaghlach agus dha charaidean, agus cuideachd dhan Ghàidhlig is a dualchas.
Born in Govan in 1933 Tom’s early life experience was of Glasgow but when World War 2 was declared on 3rd September 1939 Tom was shipped off to his grandmother in Tarscabhaig, and later to live with an uncle and aunt in Achadh na Cloiche. “Chaidh an cogadh a ghairm Latha na Sàbaid, is bha mise air falbh dhan Eilean Sgitheanach Diluain!” Tom spent the following five and a half years in Skye attending Tocabhaig Primary School and mastering the Gaelic language which he used with such pride for the rest of his life.
Returning to Glasgow after the War Tom completed his schooling and found employment in the print industry, and after a few years he was a lino-type operator working for the Daily Express in Glasgow.
Tom was a keen dancer and it was at Govan Town Hall that he met his future wife and soul-mate Rachel, and they were apparently exceptional dancers. Tom and Rachel married in 1955 and 3 days later Tom departed for national service, training initially with the Camerons in Lanark and then with the Royal Scots Fusiliers at Edinburgh, and from there to Penang Island in Malaya where he became a specialist dog-handler trailing terrorists. Rachel wrote to Tom every day of his national service and he kept and treasured these letters!
Following national service Tom resumed his work with the Daily Express until production of the paper was relocated to Manchester in 1974. Tom was a member of the workers cooperative involved in the unsuccessful venture to launch the Scottish Daily News in 1975.
Having lost his newspaper job Tom joined the ambulance service and trained as a paramedic, and as with everything he did Tom was a caring and dedicated ambulance man who received many commendations over his 27 years service, delivering many babies and supporting hundreds of families in very difficult situations.
Tom and Rachel were a treasured double-act assisting at Local Mods and at 47 consecutive National Mods up to the Dunoon event in 2012, and in March this year An Comunn Gàidhealach rightly recognised this extraordinary voluntary commitment by presenting Tom and Rachel with specially commissioned gold medals in appreciation of their work. “Fhuair mise bonn-òr gun facal a sheinn!!” (I got a Gold Medal without singing a note!) Tom jokingly said in a recent radio programme!
Tom Mitchell was a very special person. The kind of friend everybody needs but that not everyone is fortunate enough to find. He was quietly unassuming, but strong and intensely loyal to his family and friends, and to his language and culture. Tom will be remembered for his consistently smart appearance, his unfailing courtesy and friendly smile, and his firm handshake. His son and daughter acknowledge their good fortune to have had a father who was always there when they needed him, and who supported them in whatever they wanted to do.
Tom’s many friends and acquaintances will be thinking fondly of Rachel, his wife of 57 years, and their family as they face the future without him.
Sàr Ghàidheal da-rìribh, agus bidh sinn ga ionndrainn!
The winners in the November 400 club draw were:
£250 Audrey Barnett, Inverness
£100 Heather Campbell, Inverness
£50 Carol Mackay, Kyle of Lochalsh
Furan, (the Oban Gaelic Centre) is hosting a series of events, for Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers, as part of the Oban Winter Festival 2013.
Here’s what’s happening:
Monday 25th November
A Taste of Scottish Gaelic Workshop: an introduction to useful Gaelic words and phrases
Location: Furan, Corran Halls
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th November
Gaelic singing workshops with Mary Catherine MacNeil
Location: Furan, Corran Halls
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Thursday 28th November
Gaelic Pub Quiz
Location: Studio Theatre Bar, Corran Halls
**There will be a Gaelic speaker in each team**
All the above events are suitable for Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers.
To book a place, or get more information on events, please call 01631 567 886.
For more information on the Festival please visit:
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mr Tom Mitchell one of our dear friends and a loyal supporter of An Comunn Gaidhealach for many years. Tom passed away on Sunday evening.
The Funeral Service is to be held at Falkirk Crematorium on Wednesday 27th November at 2.30pm followed by tea/coffee at The Salvation Army Hall, Cumbernauld. All are welcome.
The family have asked An Comunn to convey their grateful thanks for all the messages and kind thoughts that they have received over the past number of weeks.
Our thoughts are with Rachel and all the family at this sad time.
Highlands & Islands Enterprise are currently advertising board appointments for Highlands & Islands Enterprise on their website:
The closing date is 15th November 2013.
If you are interested, please contact:
Public Appointments Centre Of Expertise
E1 Spur, Saughton House
0131 244 4372
You can view the official photographs for this year’s Royal National Mod by clicking on the link below.
Graham Hood, our official photographer, will be updating the photographs daily.
Should you wish to order any copies, feel free to contact Graham.