The Lovat and Tullibardine Shield, Gaeldom's premier choral award and the emotion-charged finale to every Royal National Mod, was won by Lothian Gaelic Choir for the first time this year .

The triumph at Fort William yesterday was a specially poignant moment for conductor Jackie Cottar and the members of her choir, which was founded by the late Marshall Stormonth, procurator-fiscal at Hamilton, who was murdered in 1993.

Choking back the tears after their surprise win in a competition dominated for years by the big Glasgow choirs, Ms Cottar said: ''Marshall was the founder of our choir and one of my very best friends, and he would have been very proud of us today.''

Mr Stormonth, whose family came from Islay and whose memory is commemorated in two Mod trophies for quartets and folk groups - one donated by Lothian Gaelic Choir and one by the procurator fiscal's office - founded the choir in 1985, when the Mod was last in Fort William.

Ms Cottar, a founder member and former president of the choir, took over as conductor only in May this year.

The choir, with only 23 members one of the smallest in the competition, also took the Oban Times Silver Salver for the highest marks in music. On Wednesday night choir member Lyle Kennedy, an engineer in Edinburgh, won the men's silver pendant, the top solo singing competition for Gaelic learners.

The choir's own choice of song for the competition was Cumhna na Oighe, meaning ''Lament for the Young''. Said Ms Cottar: ''It was the set piece for the Mod in Airdrie in 1993, and we haven't really been able to sing it since then - it's too emotional.''


Women's Choirs (Esme Smyth Trophy) 1. Coisir Ghaidhlig Inbhirnis. 2. Dingwall Gaelic Choir. 3. Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir.

Donald U. Johnston Trophy for Gaelic - Coisir Ghaidhlig Inbhirnis.

Angus Johnson Trophy for Music - Coisir Ghaidhlig Inbhirnis.

Men's Choirs (Mull and Iona Shield) 1. Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir. 2. Glasgow Hebridean Choir. 3. Dingwall Gaelic Choir

Glen Ballachulish Trophy for Gaelic - Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir.

Cor Meibion Bro Glyndwr Trophy for music - Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir.

Port-a-Beul (Greenock Gaelic Choir Cup) 1. Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir. 2. Dingwall Gaelic Choir. 3. Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir. 4. Glasgow Hebridean Choir.

Colin Grant Sangster Silver Baton - Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir.

Lovat and Tullibardine Shield 1. Lothian Gaelic Choir. 2. Dingwall Gaelic Choir. 3. Glasgow Hebridean Choir.

Weekly Scotsman Quaich for Gaelic - Dingwall Gaelic Choir.

Oban Times Silver Salver for music - Lothian Gaelic Choir.

Malcolm G. McCallum Silver Baton - Jackie Cottar.

J. Norman McConochie Trophy for music - (equal) Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir and Dingwall Gaelic Choir.

Rev William MacDonald Memorial Quaich - Dingwall Gaelic Choir.

Margrat Duncan Trophy 1. Coisir Lunnain. 2. Greenock Gaelic Choir. 3. Coisir Ghaidhlig Chomhail An Comunn Gaidhealach Centenary Baton - Coisir Lunnain.

John McNicol Memorial Trophy for Gaelic - Coisir Lunnain.

Stafffinders Quaich for Music - Coisir Lunnain.

Quartets (Stornoway Gaelic Choir Cup) 1. Na h-Uiseagan. 2. (equal) Comhla ri Cheile and Triuir is Teile.