Gaelic Literature  of the Isle of Skye: an annotated  bibliography   


Traditional Prose: collections and collectors




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MACCUITHEIN, Domhnall  (19th Century)


A cotter, of Fernilea in Skye



Domhnall MacCuithein.  ‘Fionnladh Choinneachdain, Mac na Bantraich’.  TGSI, 5 (1875-1876), 19-37.


Tale noted by Alexander Carmichael from Domhnall’s recitation.  It begins with the hero’s sister plotting against him with a family of giants, and then develops into a tale upon the theme of the jealous stepmother.  Triadic motifs constantly occur: Fionnladh has three dogs, he kills three giants, he marries three times, his three sons are turned into dogs by their jealous stepmother.


The opening parts of this tale are very similar to Kenneth MacLeod’s version of ‘Na Trì Coin Uaine’.



Domhnull MacCuidhean.  ‘Gruagach an Eilein Uaine’.  Edited by J. G. MacKay.  Scottish Gaelic Studies, 1 (1926), 156-187.


From the MSS of J. F. Campbell of Islay.  Noted by Alexander Carmichael in 1861 from the recitation of Domhnall, who had learnt it as a boy from Donald MacPhee, a miller of Talisker and Waternish.


The King of Greece and his son, when on a voyage, discover by chance an enchanted Green Isle.  The prince falls in love with a beautiful girl who lives there, and his attempts to win her involve him in a series of voyages.  One of these takes him to Eilean na h-Oige, the Isle of Youth.  He loses the girl in the end, but falls in love with and marries an even more beautiful girl.


There is a parallel English translation, with notes and a summary of the tale.  In his notes J. G. MacKay writes that the theme of a journey to the Celtic Otherworld is embodied in several ancient Gaelic MS tales, but that this is the only orally preserved Scottish Gaelic tale known to him in which such a journey is the main theme.  For a discussion of the ancient Gaelic voyage-tales to which J. G. MacKay refers, see Myles Dillon’s Early Irish Literature (Dillon 1948: 101-131).



Donald MacCuithein.  ‘Tilg an dearg air Tarmaid dubh’.  Carmina Gadelica.  Vol. 2.  Edited by Alexander Carmichael.  Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1900, pp. 308-309.


2nd. ed.  Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1928, pp. 329-331.


Noted from Domhnall’s recitation.  Ten lines of rhythmical incantation said to have been made by the fairies of Dun Gharsain in Bracadale when their fairy fort was destroyed by a local man who took its stones for building.  There is an English translation, as well as Domhnall MacCuithein’s account of the destruction of the fort.  For another version of the tale, see Otta Swire’s Skye: the Island and its Legends (Swire 1967: 163-164).



Domhnall MacCuithein.  ‘Tàladh MhicLeòid’.  Carmina Gadelica.  Vol. 5.  Edited by Angus Matheson.  Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1954, pp. 216-219.


An account of the origin of this lullaby, noted by Alexander Carmichael from Domhnall’s recitation in 1860.  The infant son of MacLeod of Dunvegan is kidnapped by the fairies.  He is eventually found in a fairy mound from which a daughter of the piper MacCrimmon hears the sound of this lullaby being sung. 

There is an English translation.










Single items




An Cabairneach


Tormod Domhnallach I

Tormod Domhnallach II

Anna Ghreum

Gilleasbuig Aotrom

Iain MacAonghais

Aonghas Mac a’ Phi

Domhnall MacCuithein

J. G. MacKay

Hugh MacKinnon

Calum I. MacLean

Kenneth MacLeod

Niall MacLeòid

Alasdair MacNeacail

Eoghainn MacRath

Somhairle Thorburn




A-C,  An Cabairneach,

D-M,  N-Z,

Eilidh Watt


Journalism and


A-MacF,   MacG-Z













Poetry: homepage     


    Bibliography: homepage


© A Loughran, 2016