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I love the legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill. What other legends are there on the island of Ireland?

I love the legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill. What other legends are there...

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Ireland
Posts: 55
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Wed 11 Dec 2019 12:35 PM Visits: 437
The island of Ireland is full of people who love to tell a good story. Storytelling is in our blood, from passing myths from around the campfire to bedtime stories. These are legends that have been told from generation to generation and have shaped the culture of Ireland.

We love the story of Fionn mac Cumhaill and his adventures. His most famous legend surrounds the Giant’s Causeway and his battle with the fierce Scottish giant Benandonner. But his name pops up in numerous places around the island of Ireland…

If you want to see more of Fionn’s legacy, then go to County Wicklow to see the mysterious Mottee Stone. Legend has it that this is Fionn’s very own hurling ball, which he hit from the very top of Lugnaquilla Mountain. It now rests on Croneblane Ridge and overlooks the Avoca valley. There are iron rungs embedded into the stone so if you’re not afraid of heights after climbing this 240m hill, you can climb the Mottee stone to look at the spellbinding views of County Wicklow.

Fionn mac Cumhaill’s final resting place is said to be in the Cooley peninsula in County Louth, a site of mythic proportions where the legendary Brown Bull of Cooley was fought over. It is here where Queen Medbh of Connacht, deciding that she wanted to be as wealthy as her husband, devised a plan to steal the Brown Bull of Cooley in the province of Ulster. But her plans were nearly thwarted by Cú Chulainn, as he fought her strongest and bravest warriors for three days. Finally Medbh’s army was driven from Cooley, but not before she stole the brown bull.

It wouldn’t be Ireland without a bittersweet love story. When Deirdre of the Sorrows was born, it was prophesied that she would become the most beautiful woman in Ireland but would bring great sorrow and war. King Conor, upon hearing the prophecy, wanted to protect this girl so that he could eventually marry her, but she fell in love with another, Naoise. They fled to Scotland to escape his wrath, but returned to County Antrim where Naoise was immediately killed by vengeful King Conor’s soldiers. When Deirdre eventually died she was returned to Naoise’s final resting place, and it is said that two trees grew from the soil, and their branches are forever entwined. 

Fierce battles and tragic love stories are all part of the island of Ireland’s culture, and there are many myths and legends that colour our landscapes. Can our Community members recommend any other exhilarating myths and legends of Ireland?  

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Posted Thu 27 Jun 2019 8:25 AM
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Ireland
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As Ellie has said, storytelling runs through our blood! Irish culture has been built on the foundation of myths and legends, with each county and province having their own unique tales and stories. In County Clare, these old stories and legends are still being told today... 

The Cliffs of Moher are famous for its spectacular view, but what many do not know is that these ancient rocks are deeply rooted in myths and legends. One such legend tells the tale of Cú Chulainn, the demigod and great Irish hero (pronounced Koo-Cullann), and the hag witch Mal. The legend goes that an old hag called Mal fell in love with the mighty hero Cú Chulainn, who was the revered commander of an order of knights called the Red Branch (who served the High King of Ulster). Unfortunately for Mal, Cú Chulainn did not return her affection and ran away in an attempt to get away from her! Mal, the ever-persistent, chased him all over the country in pursuit of his love. When they arrived at the cliffs, Cú Chulainn, using his mighty strength, leaped over the cliff edge to an island in the sea. Mal followed, and luckily for her, was caught by a gust of wind that carried her to the island. Cú Chulainn quickly leaped back, but when Mal, with a spark of false confidence from her last jump, tried to leap after him she fell to her demise without the help of the wind. Her blood ran through the water toward Miltown Malbay (hence the name). The unusual rock formation at the southern point of the cliffs was also named after her - Hags Head - so she definitely left her mark on the area if not on Cú Chulainn!

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/28-06-2019/3cc605b1-c292-4f13-9d10-665e.png

You can see Hags Head for yourself on a Cliffs of Moher cruise, and also get an insight to the absolute enormity of the cliffs and marvel at how Cú Chulainn had been able to leap over them with ease in the legendary tale.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/28-06-2019/72e75ea9-6c8c-476e-85ef-6f85.jpg

Posted Fri 28 Jun 2019 10:25 AM
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