Kristina takes home the trophies – but says fun comes first

A MULTI-TALENTED Glasgow schoolgirl has excelled in a host of competitions at the Royal National Mod in Oban this week.

Kristina MacDonald, 13, is the voice behind a new Gaelic cartoon that is being created by the Mor Media company, of Benderloch, near Oban.

And she loves the Gaelic language and music so much that all her spare time is spent practising her skills.

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Yesterday Kristina proved that practice makes perfect, as just two years after her first clarsach lesson, she won the K Barry Milner Trophy for junior solo playing of the instrument.

This week has also seen the Glasgow Gaelic High School pupil win the Sabhal Mr Ostaig Silver Medal for fluent Gaelic conversation with an adjudicator, for 13-15-year-olds.

Kristina, of Broomhill, came second in the fluent Gaelic poetry recital contest for 13-15-year-olds.

And the Glasgow Islay Junior Choir, of which she is a member, won the Tom Crawford Trophy for two-part harmony, two prescribed songs.

Kristina said: "I play the piano, the harp and the pipes, I sing and I also play the accordion and the guitar.

"I have been piping for four years, playing the harp for two years and I have been singing all my life.

"I go to a Gaelic school and there is music at the school but I have lessons every day at home. Quite a few of us at school are into competitions and Gaelic. It's not just about the competitions – we enjoy it, which is the main thing."

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Also enjoying herself this week is Oban police constable Katherine MacKinnon, the only Gaelic speaking officer in the town.

PC MacKinnon, 32, who hails from Struan, on the isle of Skye, is enjoying giving a traditional Gaelic welcome to Mod-goers.

She said: "People are quite surprised when they hear me speak Gaelic."

She added: "There are quite a few Gaelic speakers in the police, in Strathclyde and the Western Isles, but I am the only one in Oban.

"I have been looking forward to this week. I have been to quite a few mods before but this is only my second as a police officer. The people are usually very well behaved."

When PC MacKinnon finishes work tonight and tomorrow she will be giving the event her own personal stamp of approval by attending mod concerts – as a spectator.

Yesterday saw a new Gaelic Learner of the Year Award presented by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

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John Dykes, the society's chairman, presented the award – which comprises a silver medal and 100, to Inge Birnie, a science teacher from Banffshire, who is originally from the Netherlands.

Ms Birnie, 29, was nominated for the award by Sabhal Mr Ostaig Gaelic College on Skye, where she is studying the language by distance-learning. She is donating her award money to the college library, to fund books for the use of Gaelic students.



ORAN MOR: Mr and Mrs Archibald MacDonald Memorial Trophy (women); 1 Sineag MacIntyre, South Uist 2nd equal Rachel Walker, Spean Bridge and Joy Dunlop, Connel 4 Ceitidh Smith, Kyle of Lochalsh

ORAN MOR: FS Cameron-Head Memorial Trophy (men); 1 Seumas Mac an t-sagairt, Isle of Lewis 2 Steven MacIomhair, Poolewe 3 John Howieson, Isle of Skye 4 John Boa, Edinburgh

Sarah Weir Trophy; 1 Iain MacPherson, Campbeltown 2 Jennifer Speirs, Isle of Lewis 3 Ann Marie McLean, Argyll

LEARNERS: Katie Stewart Memorial Trophy (men); 1 Iain Gordon, Nairn 2 James Ruff, NY, USA 3 Philip Todd, Caithness 4 Raghnall MacAoidh, Australia

FLUENT: Caledonian MacBrayne Trophy (men); 1 John Boa, Edinburgh 2 Seumas Mac an t-saggairt, Isle of Lewis 4th equal Brus Caimbeul, Crieff and Eoghann Alasdair Pinkerton, Lunnainn's Earra-Ghaidheal and Sandy Mollison, Perthshire and Steven Maciomhair, Poolewe.

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LEARNERS: Margot Campbell Trophy (women); 1 Catriona Watt, Isle of Lewis 2 Rachael M J Deans, Cumbernauld 3 Rena Gertz, Edinburgh 4 Sandie Kennedy, Fife

FLUENT: Mary C MacNiven Memorial Salver (women); 1 Sineag MacIntyre, South Uist 2 Rachel Walker, Spean Bridge 3 F Ann MacLean, North Connel

FLUENT: "Oban Times" Gold Medal (men and women); 1 Kirsteen MacDonald, Glasgow 2 Deirdre Mactaggert, Aberdeen 3 Eilidh J Davies, Invergarry

PUIRT-A-BEUL: Duncan Johnston Memorial Trophy 1 Deirdre Mactaggert, Aberdeen 2 Darren MacLean, Isle of Skye 3 Joy Dunlop, Connel

TRADITIONAL: George Clavey Memorial Quaich (learners); 1 Emma A C Deans, Cumbernauld 2 Helen C Pearson, Oban 3 Nicola Pearson, Carnoustie

Lochewe Branch Cup (Former Prizewinners, Local Mods); 1 Elizabeth Campbell, Erskine 2 F Ann MacLean, North Connel 3 Laura Jane Rintoul, Perth

SKYE OR SUTHERLAND SONG: John D. Gillies Memorial Trophy; 1 Linn Phipps, Isle of Lewis 2 Lyle Kennedy, Bonnybridge 3 Sandie Kennedy, Fife

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PRECENTING A PSALM: Dr Alistair Barden Memorial Salver 1 Ailean Domhnullach, Inverness


Solos (Junior)

WITH GAELIC SONGS: Glendale Quaich; 1 Calum MacLeod, City of Edinburgh Music School 2 Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul, Isle of Skye 3 Mischa MacPherson, Sgoil Mhic Neacail

Helmsdale Trophy (beginners); 1 Sim MacDhomhnaill, Bun-sgoil Crois na cise 2 Sharyn Ferguson, Sgoil a'Bhac 3 Mairi Bell MacDonald, Sgoil Ghaidhlig Glaschu

Florence Wilson Trophy (elementary) 1 Sarah Lang MacDonald, Sgoil Ghaidhlig Glaschu 2 Ciorstaidh-Sarah Chaimbeul, Bun-sgoil Shleite 3 Nina Joynson, Inveraray Primary

K Barry Milner Trophy (intermediate 1); 1 Kristina MacDonald, Sgoil Ghaidlig Glaschu 2 Blair Hendy, Bun-sgoil Innis an Uillt 3 Catriona Clark, Dumfries and Galloway

Intermediate 2; 1 Brighde Chaimbeul, Bun-sgoil Shleite 2nd equal Ruaidhri Neil Irvine, Dumbarton Academy and Rebecca Hill, Connel 4 Aimee Clarke, Sgoil Ghaidhlig Glaschu

Sir Philip Christison Trophy (former winners); 1 Mairi Chaimbeul, Isle of Skye 2 Calum MacLeod, City of Edinburgh Music School

Solos (Senior)

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Elspeth A Hyllested Trophy (advanced); 1 Katie McIvor, Eddleston 2 Janette Bain, Clackmannanshire


Comunn na Clarsaich Cup (13-19); 1 Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul and Mairi Chaimbeul, Isle of Skye 2 Karen Pollard and Helen Smith, Lockerbie Academy 3 Elinor Evans and Megan Bruce, George Watson's College

Lord Birsay Trophy (under 13); 1 Ciorstaidh-Sarah Chaimbeul and Brighde Chaimbeul, Bun-sgoil Shleite 2 Sarah Land MacDonald and Caragh MacKinnon, Sgoil Ghaidlig Glaschu

Voice and Clarsach

Comunn na Clarsaich, Edinburgh Branch, Trophy; 1 Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul and Mairi Chaimbeul, Isle of Skye 2 Eilidh Munro and Heather Kindness, Glasgow Islay Junior Gaelic Choir 3 Elinor Evans and Megan Bruce, George Watson's College