Paraig MacNeil

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

An established freelance tradition-bearing teller-of-traditional-tales, bard/performance poet, traditional singer, writer, author and broadcaster since 1988, Paraig has also composed his own verse and song in the traditional idiom, travelling all types of venues home and away, especially schools and colleges. Paraig can offer tales and verse both traditional and original on most of curriculum topics, having pioneered traditional arts in the field of raising attainment from the outset.

His preference is for pupils of upper primary age to adults. From arts festivals to heritage sites and schools, Paraig has an oral repertoire of over 500 tales and 600 songs and poems, both traditional and 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.

As an established author and national award-winning song-writer, Paraig has also published about 11,000 lines of original verse in the traditional idiom 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 and 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.

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