A PRESTWICK poet has been given one of the most prestigious accolades in the world of Gaelic language and literature.

Niall O'Gallagher was named the new An Comunn Gàidhealach Bard during the Royal National Mòd in Paisley.

The announcement was made on the sixth day of the 2023 Mòd, which is bringing thousands of people to the Renfrewshire town from around the world to take part in a series of competitions, performances and cultural activities.

The prestigious accolade was first awarded 100 years ago and recognises and honours someone who has made a significant contribution to the Gaelic literary world. 

Niall is the 59th Bard to be crowned and takes over the mantle from Lewis-born poet, broadcaster and lecturer Peter Mackay

Niall said: “I'm delighted to receive this honour from An Comunn Gàidhealach. I'm looking forward to getting down to work, following in the footsteps of so many wonderful poets.”

Niall studied and taught at the University of Glasgow, before going onto work as a journalist and begin writing poetry.

He published three critically acclaimed collections of poetry between 2013 and 2020, which saw him shortlisted for the Derick Thomson Prize and win the Wigtown Poetry Competition’s Gaelic prize in 2020.

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Niall’s English and Scots translations of Gaelic poems by Christopher Whyte were featured in the 2019 collection Ceum air Cheum/Step By Step, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year.

In the same year he was named Bàrd Baile Ghlaschu, Glasgow’s first Gaelic Poet Laureate.

Niall's own collection of Gaelic poems, Fuaimean Gràidh/The Sounds of Love, was published this year by Francis Boutle and he is currently working on a verse novella supported by an Ignite Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust and Gaelic Books Council.

The Mòd in Paisley continues until Saturday, October 21.