Wesstern Isles MP Angus MacNeil has sent his best wishes to all competitors preparing to take part in the Royal National Mòd in Oban, which starts this weekend.
Mr MacNeil, who hopes to attend events at the Mòd next week, said the high number of competitors from the Western Isles was an encouraging sign of the enthusiasm for Gaelic language and culture in the islands.
He said: “I wish all those who have spent months preparing for the Mòd in Oban the very best of luck in their competitions over the next few days.
“The recently published statistics on Gaelic from the Census of 2011 show there was an 8.6 per cent increase in the number of Gaelic speakers aged under 25, including increases for the 5-11 (8.8 per cent) and 18-24 (12.0 per cent) age groups.
“To be at least bilingual is the norm across the world, 70% of the world is at least bilingual and our high achieving Nordic neighbours typically speak three to four languages. Clearly here now more people in islands see the benefits of bilingualism for children from Maths in Gaelic to learning other languages later in life.
“The success of good Gaelic immersion education in all school subjects and events such as the Royal National Mòd are important to nurture the cultural interest of our corner of global culture and create role models for the youngest competitors.
“I wish all the competitors all the very best.”