Author details

Paraig MacNeil


Raised in Perthshire, a hereditary custodian of the oral tradition, veteran teller of traditional tales, declaimer of verse, and singer of songs since 1988 (see Storytelling Topics and Testimonies links below), Paraig MacNeil is also a bard in all of Scotland’s languages.

About writer's work

From his modern Scots epic Scotland the Brain (formerly Brainheart), extolling Scotland’s heroes of innovation, to the epic in English, about Stirling Castle's makars and monarchs, The Broach the Yarn and the Unicorn), to the epic rendering in Scots and English De Moray and 2 anthologies, Gaelic Bard to Clan Gregor Society, as well as being joint-winner of the Burnsong song writing competition 2007, Paraig has composed and published well over 11,000 lines of original verse and song, on most topics, and in most styles, fired with a passion to seek out Scotland’s heroes of virtue and extol them.   

His latest original epic work is his companion poem De Moray, which is written in medieval Scots with a rhyming rendering in modern English and appendixes. This work is on the life and times of Sir Andrew de Moray, hero of the Wars of Scottish Independence.    

Besides his epic works, Paraig’s other original verse has been published in periodicals such as Chapman, Poetry Scotland, Clan Gregor Newsletter, The Stirling Makar website and the media.     

His creative writing is heavily influenced by a remote military immersion, a passion for ancient writ, pride in ancestry, heart for attachment, and a soul for honour, expressed through his passion for folklore, traditional song, riddle, rhyme, proverb and Celtic customs.  An established authority on old Highland Dress, as a spinner o’ yarns and weaver o’ words, he wefts and warps his home-spun yarn into the web of the story the champions of brain and heart, both ancient and modern, who have left their fingerprints on the story of the nation that changed the world, Scotland.

Websites featuring the author

Scots do’n t-AilpineachJune poem of the month: PineMay poem of the month: Till Daith tae Pairt

Current events and projects

He mostly performs his own in both verse work from memory, often combined with traditional material according to the topic sought augmented by reflective traditional verse and root-tale.    This mostly takes place in schools, project events and festivals.

Other work

Apart from performing in schools and other events he is presently working on an anthology verse of Stirling, both traditional and contemporary.

Associated media and resources

Contact details



Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Outer Hebrides, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Storyteller, Writer


English, Gaelic, Scots

Books written

Book Cover

The Broach, the Yarn and the Unicorn

Author(s): Paraig MacNeil
An epic historical poem in English about Stirling castle, punctuating an anthology of the verse of the castle's historical makars and monarchs. Self-Published by: scotsbard.
Book Cover

De Moray

Author(s): Paraig MacNeil
An epic poem with renderings in both Scots and English, as well as referenced appendixes on the life and time of Sir Andrew de Moray, hero of the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Brainheart: A Salutation in Rhyme Metrically Mirroring and Lauding Scotland's Heroes and Heroines of Innovation and Discovery in a Celebration of Their Contributions to the Good of the Human Race

Author(s): Paraig MacNeil
<p><span>"Brainheart" is a collection of fifty eulogies celebrating great innovators; from politicians and inventors to architects and musicians, all of Scottish heritage.