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One of the most popular Scottish characters of all time has now had his adventures translated into Gaelic Oor Wullie – or Uilleam Againne as he will be know in Gaelic has a  book launched today at the Royal National Mod in Fort William.

The young rascal, who has immortalised catchphrases such as Jings, Crivvens and Help ma Boab, and is always getting into mischief, set his translators quite a challenge – especially with the speech bubbles that come out of his mouth.

The book, described as a “huge piece of work” was a labour of love for Dr Domnhnall Uilleam Stiubhart of the University of the Highlands and Islands who is based at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, on Skye and colleague, Mairi Kidd.

Dr Stiubhart is quoted as saying in the Highlands Press and Journal : “Every speech bubble had to be changed and made as simple as possible so that a child could read them. We felt that all the young Gaelic speakers were missing out by not having stories such as these in their language.

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“My two sons, Alasdair who is 10 and Seumas, seven, just love Oor Wullie, so we thought it would be great to do a book on him that youngsters can start reading by themselves. Lots of adults love the Oor Wullie adventures too, so it can really be for everyone.”

Press and Journal publishers DC Thomson first printed the Oor Wullie comic strip in the Sunday Post more than 80 years ago. He was created by Dudley D. Watkins and the character is as popular today as he was when he first appeared back in March 1936.

Dr Stiubhart added: “DC Thomson was very helpful when we approached them about translating Oor Wullie into Gaelic.

“It was a huge work and some of the translations were quite difficult as we wanted them to be easy for children to understand.

“Words like ‘whoosh’, which are used quite a lot, were tricky.”

Dr Stiubhart and Ms Kidd translated half the book each then swapped round so they could proof-read the other’s work.

The designer was Julie-Ann Murray who also worked hard changing the text in the speech bubbles.

Uilleam Againne is published by the not-for profit organisation, Cuilean Craicte, and will be officially launched at the library in Lochaber High School at 1pm.

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 The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) continues today (Tuesday 17 October) as children’s competitions ramp up to their grand finale.  Contests will take places across singing, poetry, reading and storytelling, with the coveted Traditional Silver Medals being handed out.

New to this year’s competition is the Charlie MacColl Memorial trophy. Charlie was chairman of the Lochaber Local Organising Committee the last time it played host to the Mod in 2007, and was a great champion of the Royal National Mòd. A lifelong supporter of the Gaelic language and culture, and particularly the encouraging of young Gaelic learners, he spent over thirty years fundraising for Mòds throughout Scotland. Charlie’s memorial award will be presented to the person who achieves the highest overall mark in the boys and girls Traditional competitions (ages 16-18) today. His son Calum is set to compete in a traditional singing competition tomorrow – carrying on the Gaelic tradition in a fitting legacy to his father.

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Another memorial award new for 2017 is the Cuach Aonghas Neacal, donated by Coisir Lunnainn (the London Gaelic Choir) in memory of the late Angus Nicol – it will be awarded to the winner of the poetry recitation competition (ages 11-12).  Angus Nicol, was a renowned expert on bagpiping music and lore, distinguished Gaelic scholar, and advocate for Gaelic culture – another huge loss to the Gaelic community.


Mary Sophia Morrison winner of the new Angus Nicol Quaich

The fringe brings a treat for fans of the old classic, Oor Wullie, as it can be enjoyed in Gaelic for the first time at the Lochaber High School. The book, which launches today, is published by the non-profit Cuilean Craicte (Crazy Puppy), was painstakingly translated into Gaelic by Donald W Stewart and Mairi Kidd, with speech bubbles edited  by designer Julie-ann Murray. In the evening, Nàdar will bring the music and songs inspired by the nature of the Highlands and Islands to locals and visitors – featuring performances from some of Scotland’s leading musicians.

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John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “It really is special to see youngsters of all ages so engaged in Gaelic culture at the Mòd, and today’s competitions will round off the contest for the under 19s. We’re delighted to be able to award a trophy in the name of both the late Charlie MacColl and the late Angus Nicol – both were stalwarts of the Gaelic community, and the trophies are a fitting and lasting legacy.  The level of competition already this year has been outstanding, and the rest of the week promises to live up to expectations.”


Allan Campbell, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “Charlie MacColl was a great friend of mine and to so many across Scotland – such was his enigmatic presence. It’s a fitting tribute that the first presentation of the Charlie MacColl Memorial trophy is to be made in Lochaber, where he headed up the organisation of our last Mod here in 2007.”


Fergus Reoch, conductor of Coisir Lunnainn (the London Gaelic Choir), said: “Coisir Lunnainn is delighted to commemorate Angus, our conductor, mentor, and friend for many years, with this quaich. Angus’ commitment to Gaelic poetry, music, and to the language itself was inspiring. We hope that this quaich will continue Angus’ legacy of encouraging Gaelic both in the Gaidhealtachd and further afield.”


For full event programme and details, visit



The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) in Lochaber continues today  as the Children’s competitions heat up. Day four at Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival sees thirty competitions takes places across poetry, drama, song and music, for young Gaels aged 5-19.

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Talia Graham


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In the Fringe, workshops to help parents teach their children to read in Gaelic will take place in Lochaber High School. In the evening, Hunting Songs in the Hebrides will see Mòd Gold medallist and Canna House archivist for the National Trust for Scotland, Fiona J Mackenzie, give her audience a unique opportunity to see a fascinating glimpse of the lives of our ancestors as they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Monday and Tuesday evenings will culminate with a children’s ceilidh at Caol Community Centre.


The children’s competitions are set to continue on Tuesday, with the coveted Traditional and Prescribed Singing Silver Medals to be awarded at the Nevis Centre. The adult competitions begin on Wednesday with this year’s Silver Pendant and Gold Medal Finals taking place.


The Traditional Final competition runs on Thursday, with the Lorne Shield and Sheriff MacMaster Campbell competitions being broadcast live on BBC Alba for the first time. Also set to be shown on BBC Alba are the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine shield and Margrat Duncan competitions, on Friday 20thOctober. The Royal National Mòd will conclude on Saturday October 21st with a procession of choirs and pipers making their way through Fort William towards the Nevis Centre, where a massed choir finale will close festival in style.


John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:

Witnessing the fantastic talent of the young Gaels is always a great start to the Mòd. So far, we’ve seen some wonderful musical performances, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store.  It’s real testament to the success of our Mòd Roadshow to see growth amongst the young choirs entering this year compared to previous years.

Lochaber has been most welcoming to us, and we thank the community for helping us get the Mòd off to such a great start. We’re looking forward to the rest, with some real treats still to come.”

For full event programme and details, visit