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Donald Mackay 's grandfather Calum Neill and his four sons, including Niall Beag, the Bard's father (Neil Mackay is recorded in a rent roll for Kirkibost in 1814), left the Lundale/ Kirkibost area, at the time of the Clearances. They had set up home by the shore of Loch an Ach in 1822.
About 1900 Donald Mackay the Bard was in North America, allegedly working on American railways. Sometime about 1908/09, when in his mid fifties, he was in an accident which left him severely disabled for the rest of his life. Though penniless and severely injured, miles from home, he somehow made it back to Lewis to spend the rest of his life in a wee bothy at the back of his brother's (Tarmod Neill) house at 2 Achmore. Senior residents of the village say he was a teacher, or pupil teacher in Balallan School at one time.