The HPMA protest song The Clearances Again has been named best Original Work of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

Written by Skipinnish co-founder Angus MacPhail from the perspective of his friend, inshore creel fisherman Donald Francis ‘DF’ MacNeil, the song beat off strong competition from some of Scotland’s biggest musical talent to win the award at the ceremony, held at Dundee’s Caird Hall on 2 December.

“We are thrilled to have been recognised as best Original Work of the Year, and we’d like to thank all those who took the time to vote for The Clearances Again,” said Angus MacPhail.

“We set out to write and record a song that would send a message to politicians, loud and clear, that HPMAs would devastate our coastal communities, their economies and their way of life. We know that message was heard, and the government took action.” The Scottish government confirmed in July that its proposal to designate 10% of Scottish waters would not go ahead.

DF MacNeil, who was lead vocal on the song, said: “This has been an amazing journey, and I’m delighted to have contributed to a piece of work that secured this award. It’s a worthy winner. Angus wrote a beautifully powerful song that made a real difference in securing my way of life and that of my children and grandchildren.

“The Clearances Again expertly illustrated the real-life implications of Holyrood policy on our communities, and I believe the powerful writing and beautiful music meant the song spurred on many who wanted to join our fight.”

A Gaelic version of the song was released last month. See below…

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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Main image credit: Stephen Kearney of Little Day Productions


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