Top Gaelic learner blooms at the Mod

The 2018 Gaelic Learner of the Year at this year's Royal National M�d was presented to Izzy Flower (23) of Dunbar.
The 2018 Gaelic Learner of the Year at this year's Royal National M�d was presented to Izzy Flower (23) of Dunbar.
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A Dunbar resident has received a prestigious honour to celebrate one of the country’s best emerging Gaelic speakers.

Isabelle Flower, known as Izzy, was yesterday named as Gaelic Learner of the Year.

Sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society for Scotland (RHASS), the award acknowledges a Gaelic learner who has made significant steps to becoming fluent.

The honour was presented by RHASS’s George Young at the National Royal Mod in Dunoon.

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Ms Flower, 23, is one of a growing number of students who come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from Celtic or Gaelic departments at other universities to take a year out and study Gaelic in an immersive environment.

She has always had a keen interest in languages and studies French and Gaelic at Glasgow University.

Ms Flower was given a place on a course for fluent Gaelic speakers at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, with educators saying she had quickly established herself as a popular and supportive member of the young Gaelic community on campus.

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An Comunn Gàidhealach chief executive John Morrison said ahead of yesterday’s competitions: “Special congratulations to Izzy Flower, who epitomises everything the Gaelic Learner of the Year Award celebrates.

“The adult competitions begin with a bang today, with two of the most prestigious awards up for grabs. We’re expecting some incredible performances.”

Yesterday marked the start of the adult competitions at the Royal National Mòd.

Commonly known as “Literature Day”, the competitions included drama, poetry and storytelling.

Competitions in singing were also held, with the coveted gold and silver pendant medals being presented.

In both competitions, entrants are required to perform two songs – one prescribed and one of their own choosing. Rachel Walker and Alasdair MacMhuirich were triumphant in the prestigious Gold Medal finals in Lochaber last year.

Fringe activities continued with the literature theme, with the official book launch of Constabal Murdo – the first crime novel by renowned author Angus Peter Campbell.