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Paraig MacNeil

Where east meets west, a Gael on his father’s side, a Fifer on his mother’s side, born in Stirling in 1955, but raised, in Perthshire’s Strathallan, spinner o’ yarns and weaver o’ words, Paraig MacNeil is Scotland rolled into one. 

As an established free-lance tradition-bearing teller-of-traditional-tales, bard/performance poet, traditional singer, writer, and broadcaster since 1988, he has also composed his own verse and song in the traditional idiom, travelling all types of venues here or world-wide, especially schools and colleges, and is a published author.

Paraig can offer tales and verse both traditional and original on most of the curricular topics. His preference is for that of pupils of upper primary age group to adult, but can cover all age groups.  He has pioneered such traditional arts in the field of raising attainment from the outset.

From arts festivals to heritage sites, to schools, in the bardic style, he tells tales on most curricular topics, and currently and has an oral repertoire of over 500 tales and 600 songs and poems, both traditional an original.  These are from all of Scotland’s languages and cultures, versifying and extolling the whole Scottish nation; to ‘inspire or raise the ire’.  He was also instrumental in bringing the topic of Great Scots on to the 3 – 18 Curriculum for Excellence, reflected in his Brainheart/Scotland the Brain poetry series, inspiring innovation and raising attainment by declaiming the Scots role-models who changed the world, presenting them with Tales of Wit and Wise Fools, from the ‘root to the fruit’, as in his life-giving axiom:

... " the tongue does set on fire the course of nature,
in words as seeds to sow that need no labour,
but reap the danger or the favour sought,
by showing what is sown by what is wrought."...

As an established author and national award-winning song-writer (Burnsong 2007), he has also published about 11,000 lines of original verse in the traditional idiom and with traditional values, in all of Scotland’s languages and its antecedents, expressed from the root of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

Paraig has had much experience in cross-media collaboration, having worked with most of Scotland’s cultural luminaries as well as those of other nations.
He has also carried out workshops/presentations, tutored from international Celtic festivals in America, to Gaelic Feisean, has been Honorary Gaelic Bard/Seanchaidh to Clan Gregor Society since 2000, and is a national authority on old Highland Dress.

He is a founder member of the Scottish Storytelling Forum, trustee and Scots-Bard of the Guardians of Scotland Trust, and has enjoyed the manifold benefits of full Equity membership since 1995, including full public liability insurance, having been a sole trader since 1988.

View Paraig's Books

Contact Information

Telephone: 01786 824 563



Area: Falkirk, Stirling & Clackmannanshire

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