AN award-winning Scottish housebuilder has announced it is sponsoring this year’s Royal National Mòd in Glasgow to celebrate its Gaelic heritage.

Mactaggart & Mickel yesterday hosted the launch party in George Square for Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival as it returned to the city for the first time in almost 30 years.

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the return of the nine-day event gave the company, whose headquarters are in Glasgow, the chance to re-engage with its Gaelic roots as well as sponsoring the Mòd.

Mactaggart & Mickel said it had a rich Gaelic history and is proud of its family links.

Captain Murdoch Archibald Mactaggart, who was born on the Inner Hebridean island of Islay, has been recognised in the Mòd for several years with the Col Murdoch Mactaggart Memorial Trophy as part of the bagpiping competition.

Director Andrew Mickel said: “My grandfather, Alec Mactaggart, was born on Islay and his first language was Gaelic.

“My great uncle is honoured with the Col Murdoch Mactaggart Memorial Trophy which is awarded at the Royal National Mòd, so Gaelic has been a big part of not only my family life but also our company history here at Mactaggart & Mickel.

He continued: “With these important family ties, we are absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring Mòd Ghlaschu 2019, which promises to be a major celebration and nine days of wonderful Gaelic music and culture that will be showcased across the city for the first time in 30 years.”

The free opening ceremony concert yesterday was headlined by trad-rock superstars Mànran and featured Scotland’s 33-strong Gaelic Eurovision choir Alba, along with some of Scotland’s top pipers, highland and contemporary dancers, traditional singers and even a beat boxer.

Tonight – the first Saturday night of Mòd Ghlaschu – will showcase a special performance curated by three young Gaelic speakers who attended Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu (the Glasgow Gaelic School).

They have been collaborating with the Glasgow Schools Orchestra on a night that explores young people’s interpretation of Gaelic language and culture in the world they inhabit.

The opening concert is the first of a number of Mòd Fringe performances which make up a packed programme of ceilidhs, concerts, sport and family events running alongside the actual Mòd competition.

This sees thousands of people from all around the world take part in or watch more than 200 competitions in Highland dancing, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song.

D-I Brown, convener of the local organising committee (LOC) for Mòd Ghlaschu, said: “The LOC are delighted to receive the much welcome sponsorship from Mactaggart & Mickel.

“This is a Mòd for the people, whether you’re a Gaelic speaker or not.

“We have organised a Fringe programme that is reflective of multi-cultural Glasgow and to have assembled a range of musicians and performers who are collaborating to deliver an ambitious programme of events between October 10 and 19.”