Bute young people shine at Cowal Gathering


BUTE’S Highland dancers made their teachers and their family proud with a super show at the annual Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon.

Kirsty Barrett won the Isle of Islay Trophy in the 16 years and over section of the Argyll County Championship on Saturday.

And what made Kirsty’s winning performance even more special was her remarkable achievement of 11 first places (and one second) from the three judges across the four dances.

The trophy was donated by Islay dance teacher Ella Edgar MBE, a long-time friend of Kirsty’s own teacher Anne McIlroy, and both Ella and Anne joined Kirsty for a special photocall at Anne’s birthday party at Kingarth Hotel on Sunday night.

There were three other Bute trophy winners at Cowal on the Gathering’s final day – Amy Armstrong and Kiera Seath shared the Esplanade Hotel Trophy for the most points in the ten years and under beginners’ section, while Heather MacKay was awarded the Newbery Shield as the runner-up in the same section.

All three are pupils at the Margaret-Anne Speirs School of Dance in Rothesay – full results for the dance school’s pupils at Cowal are as follows.

Beginners, eight years and under – Careen Morrison was third in the Highland fling, third in the sean truibhas and third in the Hullachan reel.

Beginners, ten years and under – Amy Armstrong was second in the Highland fling, first in the sword dance, second in the sean truibhas and third in the reel; Heather MacKay was fifth in the Highland fling, first in the sean truibhas and first in the reel; and Kiera Seath was first in the Highland fling, second in the sword dance, third in the sean truibhas and second in the reel.

Novice, ten years and under – Alanis Morrison was fifth in the sword dance and sixth in the reel, and Chloe Robertson was third in both the sword dance and the reel.

Meanwhile, piper Daniel McDermott received two gold medals and two trophies after putting in a fine performance at the solo piping competition at the Gathering on Friday.

Daniel, a member of the Inveraray & District Pipe Band, came second in the open juvenile piobaireachd and received a Cowal Silver Medal, and also finished first in both the local juvenile march and the local juvenile Strathspey and reel, winning Cowal Gold Medals and trophies for each.