Highlands & Islands

Gaelic Ambassador of the Year announced at Royal National Mod

Eilidh Cormack Image copyright PA
Image caption Eilidh Cormack said she was not expecting to receive the award

A 22-year-old singer from Skye has been named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, as the Royal National Mod gets under way.

Eilidh Cormack, from Portree, said she was "absolutely delighted".

The Gaelic cultural festival began in Dunoon on Friday night, with a special celebration honouring Scotland's Year of Young People.

Over the next eight days there will be more than 200 competitions and events in Highland dancing, sport, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song.

The ambassador award, presented by MSP Michael Russell, celebrates how much Ms Cormack has accomplished within the Gaelic community at such a young age, and what lies ahead for her in the future.

'Wasn't expecting it'

She said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded with the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year at the Royal National Mod this year and I certainly wasn't expecting it, especially being so young.

"It's going to encourage me to not only look back and appreciate what I've been doing and what the Mod have recognised, but also encourage me to keep doing it for years to come."

Image copyright Royal National Mod
Image caption Brothers Logie Johnston (12) and Archie Johnston (10) from Lee on the Isle of Mull. They both came away with medals. Logie came top in the under-13s novice junior piping competition, while Archie won a bronze in the under-13 chanter competition

The Mod's president Allan Campbell paid tribute to the late former president John Macleod, and announced that event organisers An Comunn Gaidhealach would establish an annual lecture in his memory.

The first annual John Macleod Memorial Lecture will take place in January 2019 at the University of Edinburgh, where Mr Macleod studied Law.

The lectures will be hosted by the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies and will always be delivered by speakers under 30 years of age, in a nod to Mr Macleod's enthusiasm and encouragement of young people in the Gaelic community.

'Fitting tribute'

An Comunn Gaidhealach chief executive John Morrison said: "The announcement honouring the late John Macleod is something we have been working to bring to fruition for some time, and we cannot think of a more fitting tribute for a man who offered so much to the Gaelic community in his time.

"This year we are celebrating young people in our community, and we aimed to reflect this with our opening ceremony performers and co-host, as well as the deserving Gaelic Ambassador of the Year award recipient.

"Eilidh Cormack is an exceptional talent. We are certain she has a bright future and that her role as Gaelic Ambassador of the Year will inspire others to follow in Eilidh's footsteps."

The Mod's torchlight procession, which was due to have been held on Friday evening, had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions.

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