Royal National Mod News

Barra Mod Starts Today!

Published: 30 Sep 2011

The first Barra & Vatersay Provincial Mòd since the 1930’s starts in Barra today! The event will take place over the next two days.

The organisers and competitors have been working hard over the last number of months preparing for the Mod. Riona Whyte, Provincial Mod Liaison Officer for An Comunn Gaidhealach has been working closely with the local organising committee, to bring the programme together.

We wish all the competitors taking part over the next two days and all the organisers and volunteers the best of luck and look forward to seeing the results!

For further details you should contact Jane MacNeil on

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Gold Concert this Saturday!

Published: 27 Sep 2011

Òr is Òrain Gold Concert


Gold Medallists resident in the Western Isles


Saturday 1 October

Caberfeidh Hotel

... 7.30pm

John Murdo Morrison – 1965

Iain MacKay – 1972

Murdo John Mackenzie – 1979/89

Cathie Ann Macleod – 1979

John ‘Tonkan’ Macdonald – 1990

Donald A Matheson – 1994

Iain Macaulay – 1998

Jenna Cumming – 2002/03

Norman Smith – 2003

Margaret McLeman – 2010

Music by Graham Maclennan and Andrew Yearley

Fear an Taighe – John A Maciver

Tickets £10

Available from An Comunn Gàidhealach Office

Tel : 01851 703 487

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Buy Mod 2011 Merchandise Now!

Published: 27 Sep 2011

Looking for the ideal gift for that someone who has everything? Well the Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011 local committee have just the solution! As part of fundraising efforts a bumper recipe book has been produced which contains over three hundred recipes to tantalise your taste buds! The book will be a welcome addition to any kitchen so why not purchase a few, for the bargain price of £8, for friends, relatives, neighbours or even work colleagues!

A limited edition Mòd nan Eilean Siar apron has also been produced and is also available for the princely sum of £5 or why not purchase the set, cookbook and apron, for just £12! If you are interested, call into An Comunn Gàidhealach in Perceval Square in
Stornoway, or give them a call on 01851 70 3487 to place your order.

The committee are also delighted to announce that our official Mod merchandise has arrived and is now available to purchase. The hoodies and zoodies (hoodies with zips!), which feature a stunning new Mod logo, are available in a range of colours and sizes. They are guaranteed to be a massive hit with young and old alike and members of the public are being encouraged to place their order now to avoid disappointment. Adult hoodies and zoodies are retailing at £20 and the children’s hoodies are £12.

There is also an opportunity to purchase the official 2011 Mod mugs and small and large bags (Baga Beag & Baga Mòr!) which incorporate the Mod logo.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the above items get in touch with the Committee via the Mod nan Eilean Siar Facebook group page, pop into An Comunn Gàidhealach or contact a committee member. The An Comunn Office will be open on both Saturday the 1st and Saturday the 8th of October to allow people to purchase merchandise and tickets for the main competitions.

Noah from Lochs models the green and blue children’s hoodies (click to enlarge).

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Volunteer for Ladies Committee?

Published: 27 Sep 2011

The Ladies Sub-committee of the Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011 local organising committee are currently seeking willing volunteers who would be available during Mod week to assist with the preparation and serving of teas, coffees and baking at the various Mod venues. Convenor of the Ladies Sub Committee, Moira MacLean, explained:

“We would be delighted to hear from any willing volunteers. There are many aspects to the running of a smooth and successful Mod and this is a crucial role which adds to what makes Mod’s in the Western Isles so special and hospitable. If you are available for just a few hours, a morning or afternoon or an entire day, your help would be greatly appreciated”.

If you are available to assist please contact Moira MacLean on 07769812361 by email on Alternatively call in to An Comunn Gaidhealach’s office in Perceval Square in Stornoway.

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Mod 5k Success

Published: 26 Sep 2011


The 2011 Mòd nan Eilean Siar 5k event has been hailed a tremendous success by organisers Marina MacLeod and Evelyn Coull. Despite the huge downpour that began half an hour before the race started and which continued for the first mile or so of the course over 120 people took part in the race.

The first male home, in an incredible time of 16 minutes and 27 seconds, was Iain MacCorquodale, who hails from North Uist and is a member of the North Uist Amateur Athletics Club. Due to an injury sustained round the course Iain was unable to receive his trophy from Convenor of the local organising committee, Alex MacDonald, as he was at the time being attended to at the Accident & Emergency Department of Ospadal nan Eilean where three stitiches were placed in his knee!

The first female to cross the finish line was a member of a Stornoway Running and Athletics Club, Stornoway girl, Rebecca Munro with a time of 22 minutes and 40 seconds. Rebecca was delighted to receive the splendid trophy, which incorporates the Mod 2011 logo, from Alex MacDonald and commented that ‘it was by far by nicest trophy I have ever won!’

The event was attended by young and old and clearly the damp weather conditions had no impact on the fantastic atmosphere. With less than three weeks until the start of Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011, which runs from the 14th to the 22nd of October 2011, this was an excellent way of promoting the event to a new audience.

Below: First Male crosses the finish line, Iain MacCorquodale of North Uist; First Female, Rebecca Munro receives her trophy from Alex MacDonald, Convenor of the Local Organising Committee

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Published: 15 Sep 2011

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s premier festival celebrating Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage, will this year travel to the Western Isles for the fifth time in its 120 year history, last visiting the Islands in 2005.

The eight day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature, running from Friday 14th until Saturday 22th October, is set to attract thousands of participants and embrace the entire community of the Islands including Lewis, Harris, Benbecula, Barra and the Uists.

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the world’s oldest and most respected Gaelic organisation, The Royal National Mòd is a competition based festival which attracts competitors from Gaelic communities throughout the UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Canada and the USA and is considered the biggest event of the Gaelic calendar.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “We are delighted to be taking The Mòd back to the Western Isles this year; an area which has a strong history of delivering a fantastic event for participants and spectators alike. The local organising committee has worked tirelessly to ensure this year’s event is a great success and has a spectacular array of fringe activities; I’d urge people to some along and see what the Mòd has to offer.

“We have already had a fantastic response from people of all ages signing up to take part in the competitions this year and have had entries from as far a field as Canada, United Arab Emirates, California and Virginia.” The Royal National Mòd offers a huge range of opportunities for people to compete, from fluent Gaelic speakers to those in the fledging stages of learning the language.

The fringe activities offer an annual opportunity for Gaels and non-Gaels to gather and renew old friendships as well as forging new ones. Activity for this year includes ceilidhs, open stage music evenings, road dances each evening, historical exhibitions, ‘come and try’ musical workshops, and the annual Angus Macleod memorial lecture. The festival kicks off on Friday 14th October with a grand opening ceremony taking place in the early evening followed by a traditional energetic ceilidh at night to get visitors in the mood for the week long competitive festival.

Competitions begin on Monday 17th October, kicking off a week filled with Gaelic music, song, dance, drama, sport and literature.

Children’s competitions take place at the start of the week and nearly 1,700 children from across the country taking part. The Traditional and Gold Medal qualifying rounds take place on Wednesday 19 October with the finals on Thursday 20 October.

The coveted Lovatt & Tullibardine and Margrat Duncan titles will be awarded on Friday 21 October before the final concert takes place. The grand finale of the 2011 Royal National Mòd will take place on Saturday 22 October when the Massed Choirs will gather and parade in Ceàrnag Phearsabhail (Perceval Square), led by local pipe bands.

2010 saw the Mòd come to Caithness for the first time; the successful event saw HRH The Duke of Rothesay visit and present the two winners of the Mod Gold Medal competition, Joy Dunlop and Iain MacLean, with their prizes. Over 2,000 competitors took part in the 2010 Royal National Mòd and with thousands of visitors travelling to Caithness during the event.

Alex MacDonald, Convener, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Local Organising Committee Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011, said: “As Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and of the local organising committee of Mod nan Eilean Siar 2011, I am delighted to have the opportunity of welcoming the Mod back to the Western Isles for the 5th time in its history. There is no more appropriate setting for this week-long celebration of Gaelic language and culture than the Gaelic heartland of the Western Isles.

“Gaelic is embedded in the very fabric of these islands, with a population that celebrates the language in all aspects of daily life: in the home, workplace and in the community. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is proud to support the Gaelic language and will do everything in its power to retain and promote its rightful place at the heart of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.”

Phil Preston, Managing Director of Caledonian MacBrayne, (CalMac) said:”The Royal National Mòd is one of the highlights of CalMac’s year, and we are particularly excited to be coming to Stornoway which is such an important part of our network. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with people from across our area, and look forward to welcoming them to our vintage MacBrayne’s bus, which was such a hit in Thurso last year.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Royal National Mod again this year. With its celebration of Gaelic music and culture the Mod appeals to many people across the world, helping to promote Scotland and the country’s unique heritage.”

The Royal National Mòd is supported by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the national events agency, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

Royal National Mod – Schedule of events 2011

Date Event Venue*
Friday 14 Oct Opening ceremony An Lanntair
Saturday 15 Oct Mod Shinty Cup Final Lionacleit
Fiddlers’ Rally Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Sunday 16 Oct Mod Church Service Talla Bhaile Steòrnabhaigh Stornoway Town Hall
Celtic Praise Martin’s Memorial Church
Monday 17 Oct Children Prizewinners’ Concert Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Tuesday 18 Oct Children Prizewinners’ Concert Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Wednesday 19 Oct Literature Awards Seòmar na Comhairle Council Chamber
Gold medal Qualifying A220 / A221 Assembly Hall, Nicolson Institute
Gold medal Qualifying A222 / A223 Eaglais Naomh Chaluim ChilleSt Columbus Church
Silver Pendant Final Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais
Drama Finals An Lanntair
Traditional Qualifying Talla Sgoil MhicNeacail Assembly Hall
Thursday 20 Oct Highland Dancing Bàgh a’ Chaisteil Castleby (Barra)
Gold Medal Finals Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Traditional Final Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Convener’s Traditional Ceilidh An Lanntair
Friday 21 Oct Lovat & Tullibardine Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais Sports Centre
Margrat Duncan Talla Bhaile Steòrnabhaigh Stornoway Town Hall
Final concert Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais
Saturday 22 Oct Mass choir/pipe band parade Ceàrnag Phearsabhail Perceval Square

* may be subject to change. Check website to confirm.

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Uist Ceilidh Dance

Published: 15 Sep 2011





Iain MacAulay

Mischa MacPherson

Neillie Ferguson

Seumas Campbell

Peigi Campbell

Patrick Hughes

Padraig Morrison

Mairi MacInnes

Colaiste Bheinn a’ Bhaoghla students

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band

Uist Pipe Band

Dance with the

Iain Angus Macleod Band

Licensed Bar


Entry £7 / £5

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1925 Gold Medal for Sale

Published: 02 Sep 2011

An opportunity has arisen to purchase a prestigious Mod Gold Medal that was won by Donalda Robertson at the Greenock Mod in 1925.

The medal is offered for sale—- it’s a 9ct gold medal weighing approximately 30gm.

The money raised will be used towards the expenses of a junior choir going to the MOD 2011.

Please refer offers to Una MacLeod:

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