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?