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MacNeill of Colonsay Clan

The MacNeills of Colonsay are said to be originally descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the earliest recorded high king of Ireland.

The clan would initially be based on the smaller island of Gigha, the most southerly of the Scottish Hebrides, after it came into the hands of Torquill MacNeill in 1449. It would remain the seat of the clan until 1530 when, during a turbulent time for the Western Isles as a whole, a fleet controlled by Allan MacLean would ravage the island and murder the Laird of Gigha, Neill MacNeill.

In the subsequent years, without an heir to take over following the atrocities of the Macleans, Gigha would be sold to James MacDonald of Dunnyveg, who had previously been living on the eastern side of the nearby island of Islay.

Thereafter would commence a ferocious feud between the MacNeills and MacDonalds over the control of Gigha which culminated in the murder of Archibald MacDonald of Gigha in 1619 after which the MacNeills would regain outright control of the island in 1631.

In the meantime, the seat of the clan had already moved to the island of Colonsay, from which the clan take their name today.

The current clan chief of the MacNeills of Barra resides in New Zealand.

Clan products


Translation: TO CONQUER OR DIE
Crest: An armoured dexter arm with dagger
scottish macneill of colonsay ancient tartan

MacNeil of Colonsay Ancient Tartan

scottish macneill of colonsay modern tartan

MacNeil of Colonsay Modern Tartan