As the Royal National Mòd reaches its final day of competitions in the Western Isles, it has been announced that Inverness will host the Mòd in 2020. Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival will return to the capital of the Highlands for the first time since 2014.
The news comes the morning after Claire Macauley (Claire Nicamhlaigh), and Torquil MacLeod were announced as winners of the Traditional Gold Medal competitions.
In the final day of competitions this year, the area choirs will compete in the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine Trophy and Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy at the Lewis Sports Centre. Stornoway Town Hall will hold the ladies area choir competition and the Nicolson Institute will host the men’s competition.
The Fringe nears its end today as ‘Dol Fodha Na Grèine’ (The Going Down of the Sun) in Stornoway Town Hall looks at the triumphs and sorrows of the First World War. The presentation is delivered through the writings, photographs and artefacts of communities across the Isle of Lewis, from Ness in the North, to Ballantrushal further South. Leading Gaelic singers such as, Iain MacKay, Linda MacLeod and Arthur Cormack will perform songs from their home islands in a ‘Place of My Heart’ at An Lanntair. In the evening, festival goers will have the opportunity to dance the last night away at the Mòd Closing Ceilidh, taking place in An Lanntair, Stornoway.
The Massed Choir will assemble at Stornoway Town Hall tomorrow morning, before making its way to the Nicolson Institute for a final sing-a-long, before Mòd goers make for their flights and ferries home.
CalMac have also put on additional ferry crossings from Lewis on Saturday to accommodate the volume of traffic leaving Stornoway from the Royal National Mòd. Customers are advised to visit www.calmac.co.uk (external link) for more details.
John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “As we almost reach the end of our time here in the Western Isles, we can’t thank the Western Isles and the local organising committee enough for their hospitality. The level of competition across all age groups has been outstanding and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many familiar faces in Lochaber next year. It gives us great pleasure to finally be announcing a return to Inverness for 2020’s festival.”
Provost of Inverness Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “I am delighted that the Royal National Mòd will be returning to the capital of the Highlands in 2020. Highland Council is committed to the development of the Gaelic language and the flagship Royal National Mòd is most welcome to Inverness. A study showed that the 2014 Mòd when hosted in Inverness generated an impressive £3.5million to the business community in Inverness.”
She continued, “I wish to take this opportunity to thank An Comunn for inviting me here today to warmly welcome and accept that the Royal National Mòd will take place in the City of Inverness and wish An Comunn and the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee every success with the 2020 Mòd.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairperson of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said: “The Council’s commitment to Gaelic is evident especially in relation to Gaelic Medium Education which is currently available in many areas with the region from large combination’s to rural communities Ullapool, Dingwall, Tain, Newtonmore, Staffin, and Sleat, to mention just a few of the locations.”
He continued, “We also have successful dedicated Gaelic Schools in Inverness, and in Lochaber which was officially opened in the spring this year. Recently a turf cutting took place for a new Gaelic School in Portree. This all forms a strong basis for a successful Royal National Mòd in the Capital of the Highlands.”