Celebrating Mod Gold medallists across the years

The Women's Gold Medal at the Mod.
The Women's Gold Medal at the Mod.

In 2015 Carrie MacNeil was the latest in a long line of singers to win the prestigious An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal. One year on, Carrie reflects on her year, and looks at the history of this iconic competition, the premier award for Gaelic singing in Scotland.

The first gold medals were won in 1893 in Oban, and since then the competition has seen many changes - in format, in numbers taking part, and in styles of singing.

The 2010 winner Joy Dunlop faced the dilemma of being asked to stay behind to take tea with HRH Prince Charles, who had been the guest of honour at the competition, and finding that to do so would mean she would miss her next performance, singing with her regular choir.

After an agonising wait she eventually decided that her choir needed her and she ran down the street at full pelt to start the show!

Kirsteen MacDonald, the BBC ALBA and BBC Scotland weather presenter, won the Gold Medal in 2006 but despite her joy at winning the competition she also felt heartbreak that her fiancé James did not win in the men’s competition.

Her pain turned to delight when he triumphed in the Mod the following year.

Other Mod winners also taking part - Kenna Campbell, Norman MacLean, Margaret MacLeod, Anne Lorne Gillies and Mary Sandeman who won the gold medal in 1976 and then in 1981 topped the UK charts with her pop song ‘Japanese Boy’.

The Mod Gold Medal - a journey through the decades, looking at those who have won the prestigious An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on Monday 10 October at 9pm.