Ness singer Ceitlin L.R. Smith clinched the Traditional Gold Medal at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Inverness yesterday evening (Thursday).
The 21-year-old vocalist (she is also part of Gaelic girl group Gria, which performed as part of the Mòd Fringe) is from Aird, South Dell and works at MG Alba. This was her second attempt at the medal, after qualifying in 2012 and placing in fourth place.
The final of the competition took place in Eden Court’s impressive Empire Theatre, which although a big stage, is: “A nice stage to sing on, as it has good acoustics”, revealed Ceitlin.
She added: “The standards this year were really high, I don’t know how the judges are able to choose between them, everyone was amazing.”
The men’s Traditional Gold Medal was won by 20 year old Ruairidh Cormack from Portree, making it a double triumph for the Cormack family, as younger sister Eilidh won the An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal earlier in the day.
Talking about the work competitors need to put in for Mòd preparation, the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig student, said: “It’s a lot of work you have to do during the year, and then when it comes to the moment, you just have to hold your nerve.”
Ruairidh is currently doing a TV course at college, and also managed to gain a bit of hands on experience at the Mòd helping out the BBC ALBA team.
Organisers of the festival today (Friday) announced that The Royal National Mòd will return to Argyll in 2018, with the host town being Dunoon.
Locations are announced four years in advance and the hard work in organising the 2018 festival will start from today.
Says John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach: “I am delighted to announce we will be returning to Dunoon in 2018. We have fantastic memories of recent Mòd’s on the Cowal peninsula.
“It’s a fantastic host town for us and we hope to engage the local community in traditional Gaelic culture with nine days of competitions and entertaining fringe events.”