Glasgow Gaelic School pupils launch The Mod in Glasgow (Photo: Paul Chappells)
Glasgow Gaelic School pupils launch The Mod in Glasgow (Photo: Paul Chappells)

Biggest Gaelic festival in the world returns to Glasgow

The Royal National Mòd will return to Glasgow next month for the 13th time – with an outstanding number of individual participants set to take to the competition stage.

This success is attributed to the work that An Comunn Gàidhealach and the Royal National Mòd do with Feisgoil and Glasgow Language Provision Schools, helping to encourage the learning of Gaelic in the early development phase.

Over600 sessions have been delivered so far and this has had a direct impact on the number of entrants for this year.

The nine-day spectacular of Gaelic music, arts and sport, running from Friday 11 October – Saturday 19 October, will take place in Glasgow for the first time since 1990, with a host of activities and competitions on throughout the week.

This year will welcome representatives from all over the world with the London Gaelic Choir returning to the stage after a long absence from the Royal National Mòd.

This year’s Mòd is making history with the introduction of a women’s football match, to be held alongside the male tournament at Glasgow Green – a nod to the popularity of women’s football in recent years. This competition is part of a wider day of sport, which will see both senior and junior football and shinty competitions.

Last year’s event generated around £2m for host location Dunoon and organisers are confident they’ll see a similar impact in Glasgow.

The festivities begin on Friday 11 th October with a joint reception being held between CalMac and the Lord Provost. Following this, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, will officially launch the Royal National Mòd with a speech at the opening ceremony, hosted by An Comunn Gaidhealach.

Glasgow Gaelic School pupils launch The Mod in Glasgow (Photo: Paul Chappells)

Mr Swinney presented the award for the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year in 2017 and will be returning once again to present the 2019 award.

Following this, the festivities will move on to George Square for a public celebration filled with bands and choir performances alongside drama recitals. This event will honor the contribution of young people to the Mòd and the Gaelic language.

Literature day, supported by the SQA, is bigger than ever this year, with two book launches from authors Maoilios Caimbeul and Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, and the appointment of a new bard. Since 2004, a bard has been crowned for a period of three or four years, but thanks to the success of Gaelic Literature in recent years, a new bard will once again be appointed on an annual basis.

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd is the biggest, and the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland. Each year, it sees thousands of competitors from across the world take part in or watch over 200 competitions in highland dancing, sport, literature and drama, as well
as Gaelic music and song.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: ‘We are incredibly excited to be hosting the Royal National Mòd in Glasgow, returning for the first time since 1990. It’s been fantastic to have such a healthy number of individual entrants this year and we put this down to our continued work with Glasgow Schools, teaching Gaelic at a grassroots level.

‘It is great to see the Gaelic culture and heritage thriving in Scotland, particularly in literature with this year being the first time since 2004 that a bard will be appointed annually – a testament to the growth of the Gaelic language. We hope to see this success continue during the Royal National Mòd 2019.’

Tickets for competitions and event are now on sale and can be purchased online at

Alongside the main competitions, The Mòd Fringe returns with a jam-packed programme filled with ceilidhs, concerts, sports and more. One of the highlights of this year’s Fringe is the Celtic Praise event, taking place at Princes Square from 7.30pm on Sunday 13 October, and is a unique
opportunity to enjoy a feast of lively Gospel singing by Gaelic and English-speaking gospel choirs.

The Final Fling, rounds off the Mòd week with an exciting evening of live music from Skerryvore and Trail West, two of the best traditional bands in Scotland, at the Barrowlands on Friday 18 October, from 7pm.

More information on the Fringe programme for 2019 can be found online.