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The most coveted prize in the world of Gaelic music is coming home to Barra, after John Joe MacNeil won the men’s gold medal in last night’s final (Wednesday 13 October).

John Joe MacNeil, from Barra, scored highest in the men’s singing to win at The Royal National Mòd 2021, becoming a double gold medallist after winning the traditional gold medal in 2017.

He said: "I don't think it's quite sunk in yet, but I'm just delighted to have won the gold medal this year and the traditional gold medal in 2017 and to be a double gold medallist. I'm particularly proud of the fact I can take that home to my island of Barra. It's just brilliant.

“I was very fortunate growing up to be immersed in such a wonderful culture of Gaelic song and of Gaelic music, particularly thanks to my grandparents who were very involved in passing on stories and songs. I'm just delighted to be taking this medal home."

The Royal National Mòd has had a very different feel this year, with virtual competitions and televised concerts taking place instead of the traditional high-octane competition environment.

With no choral competitions taking place this year, the rural choirs day is being represented by a choirs concert at 2pm at the Empire Theatre at Eden Court, Inverness.

Among the choirs performing this afternoon will be Lochs Gaelic choir, and Lewis singer Cara Morrison is competing in the traditional gold medal competition through the day today. The traditional gold medal final will be tonight.

Proceedings can be followed from home on BBC Alba and via the Mòd YouTube channel atàidhealach and Facebook page at

The picture shows Mòd gold medal winner John Joe MacNeil (Royal National Mòd).