Diarmuid Ua Duibhne
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne or Diarmid O'Dyna, was a demigod, son of Donn and one of the Fianna in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. He is best known as the lover of Gráinne, the intended wife of Fianna leader Fionn mac Cumhaill in the legend The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne. Among his sons were Donnchadh, Iollann and Ioruad. In the legend, the Tuatha Dé Danaan god of love and creativity Aenghus Óg was Diarmuid's foster father and protector. According to the story Diarmuid was a skilled warrior and a well-liked and valued member of the Fianna who single-handedly killed 3,400 warriors in a battle and saved Fionn and the Fianna. Aengus Óg owned a deadly sword named Móralltach or Nóralltach – the Great Fury, given to him by the sea-god Manannán mac Lir. In The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne it is said of Móralltach that it left no stroke nor blow unfinished at the first trial. Aonghus gave this sword to his foster-son Diarmuid, in addition to a sword named Beagalltach, the Little Fury. Along with these two swords, Diarmuid is known to have wielded two spears, Gáe Buidhe and Gáe Dearg, which caused wounds that could not be healed.
He used Gáe Dearg and Moralltach for adventures which were matters of life and death, Gáe Buidhe and Beagalltach for lesser battles. Diarmuid's father, was a warrior of the Fianna. At a dinner party, jealous of the attention given to the son of Aengus' steward, killed the steward's son Congus when no one was looking. Aengus resurrected the steward's son in the form of a boar, but the steward required Fionn to find out the truth and, upon learning the truth, put a curse upon Diarmuid: He was to be killed by the boar, the steward's transformed son. Diarmuid was famous for his beauty, for his'love spot', which made him irresistible to women. While hunting one night he met a woman, the personification of youth. After sleeping with him she put a magical love spot under his eye that caused any woman who looked at it to fall in love with him. One freezing winter's night, a'Loathly Lady' entered the Fianna lodge where the warriors had just gone to bed after a hunting expedition. Drenched to the bone, her sodden hair was knotted.
She demanded a blanket, beginning with Fionn. Only young Diarmuid, whose bed was nearest to the fireplace, took pity on the woman, giving her his bed and blanket, she said that she had wandered the world alone for seven years. Diarmuid told her she could sleep all night and he would protect her. Towards dawn, she became a beautiful young woman; the next day, she rewarded Diarmuid's kindness by offering him his greatest wish—a house overlooking the sea. Overjoyed, Diarmuid asked the woman to live with him, she agreed on one condition: he must promise never to mention how ugly she looked on the night they met. After three days together, Diarmuid grew restless, she offered to watch his hound and her new pups. On three separate occasions, Diarmuid’s friends, envious of his luck, visited the lady and asked for one of the new pups; each time, she honoured the request. Each time, Diarmuid was angry and asked her how she could repay him so meanly when he overlooked her ugliness the first night they met. On the third mention and house disappeared and his beloved greyhound died.
Realizing that his ungratefulness has caused him to lose everything he valued, Diarmuid set out to find his lady. He used an enchanted ship to cross a stormy sea to the Otherworld, where he searched for the lady through meadows filled with brightly coloured horses and silver trees. Three times he saw a drop of blood; when a stranger revealed that the King’s gravely ill daughter had just returned after seven years, Diarmuid realised it must be his lady. Rushing to her side, he discovered; the three drops of blood Diarmuid collected were from her heart, spilled each time she thought of Diarmuid. The only cure was a cup of healing water from the Plain of Wonder, guarded by a jealous king and his army. Diarmuid vowed to bring back the cup. At an impassable river, Diarmuid was helped by the Red Man of All Knowledge, who had red hair and eyes like glowing coals, he guided him to the king of the healing cup's country. Diarmuid called out that the cup should be sent out from the king's castle to him, or else champions to fight with him should be sent out.
Twice eight hundred fighting men were sent out, in three hours there was not one of them left to stand against him. Twice nine hundred better fighters were sent out against him, within four hours there was not one of them left; the king gave him the cup of healing. On the return trip, the Red Man advised Diarmuid on, he warned the hero that when her sickness ended, Diarmuid’s love for her would end as well. Having cured his lover, Diarmuid boarded an enchanted ship to return to the Fianna, where he was greeted by his friends and his greyhound, which the lady had returned to life as her final gift to him. Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne – in English "The Pursuit of Díarmuid and Gráinne" is a popular romance of a love triangle. Although the surviving text of The Pursuit of Díarmait and Gráinne is dated no earlier than the 17th century, there is a reference to this tale in the late 12th-century manuscript The Book of Leinster. Fionn Mac Cumhaill, much older than in his other adventures, had several wives over the years.
When his last wife died, his son Oisín and his companions one day asked Fionn. Diorruing suggested that the best woman for Fionn
Annals of the Four Masters
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland or the Annals of the Four Masters are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616. Due to the criticisms by Irish historian Tuileagna Ó Maol Chonaire, the text was not published in the lifetime of any of the participants; the annals are a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 at a Franciscan friary near the Drowes river in County Leitrim, on the border with County Donegal and County Sligo; the patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M. P. a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, County Sligo. The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon, assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain. Although only one of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as'The Four Friars' or in the original Irish, Na Ceithre Máistrí.
The Anglicized version of this was "The Four Masters", the name that has become associated with the annals themselves. The annals are written in Irish; the several manuscript copies are held at Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. The first substantial English translation was published by Owen Connellan in 1846; the Connellan translation included the annals from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. The only version to have a four-colour frontispiece, it included a large folding map showing the location of families in Ireland; this edition, neglected for over 150 years, was republished in the early twenty-first century. The original Connellan translation was followed several years by a full translation by the historian John O'Donovan; the translation was funded by a government grant of £1,000 obtained by the notable mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton while he was president of the Royal Irish Academy. The Annals are one of the principal Irish-language sources for Irish history up to 1616.
While many of the early chapters are lists of names and dates, the chapters, dealing with events of which the authors had first-hand accounts, are much more detailed. The reliability and usefulness of the Annals as a historical source has sometimes been questioned on the grounds that they were limited to accounts of the births and activities of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland and ignore wider social trends or events. On the other hand, the Annals, as one of the few prose sources in Irish from this period provide a valuable insight into events such as the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years War from a Gaelic Irish perspective; the early part of this work is based upon the Lebor Gabala. Today, most scholars regard the Lebor Gabála as myth rather than history, it appears to be based on medieval Christian pseudo-histories, but it incorporates some of Ireland's native pagan mythology. Scholars believe the goal of its writers was to provide an epic history for Ireland that could compare to that of the Israelites or the Romans, which reconciled native myth with the Christian view of history.]
It is suggested, for example, that there are six'takings' to match the "Six Ages of the World" Lebor Gabála Érenn is considered a "highly influential Middle Irish prose-and-verse treatise written in order to bridge the chasm between Christian world-chronology and the prehistory of Ireland". O'Donovan, John, ed. Annala rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616, 7 volumes, Royal Irish Academy. Volume 1, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 2, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 3, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 4, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 5, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 6, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, english † Volume 7 † The appendix of volume 6 contains the done pedigrees of a small selection of the Gaelic Irish nobility, pp.2377 ff Irish annals The Chronicle of Ireland Template:Cite AFM for citing the Annal in articles at Wikipedia Cunningham, Bernadette. The Annals of the Four Masters: Irish History and Society in the Early Seventeenth Century.
Dublin: Four Courts. ISBN 978-1-84682-203-2. Cunningham, Bernadette, ed.. O'Donnell Histories: Donegal and the Annals of the Four Masters. Rathmullan: Rathmullan & District Local Historical Society. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. The Irish Annals: Their Genesis and History. Dublin: Four Courts. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. "Irish Chronicles and Their Chronology". Retrieved 5 April 2010. Ó Muraíle, Nollaig. "The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters". Celtica. 19: 75–95. O'Sullivan, William. "The Slane manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters". Ríocht na Mídhe: Journal of the County Meath Historical Society. 10: 78–85. Catholic Encyclopedia: Annals of the Four Masters List of Published Texts at CELT — University College Cork's Corpus of Electronic Texts project has the full text of the annals online, both in the original Irish and in O'Donovan's translation. Irish Script On Screen — The ISOS project at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has high-resolution digital images of the Royal Irish Academy's copy of the Annals
The Déisi were a class of peoples in ancient and medieval Ireland. The term is Old Irish, derives from the word déis, meaning "vassal" or "subject", it became a proper name for certain septs and their own subjects throughout Ireland. The various peoples listed under the heading déis shared the same status in Gaelic Ireland, had little or no actual kinship, though they were thought of as genetically related. Déisi groups included Déisi Temro, Déisi Becc and the Déisi Tuisceart. During the Early Middle Ages some Déisi groups and subgroups exerted great political influence in various parts of Ireland, certain written sources suggest a connection to Britain as well. During early medieval Munster, the Déisi were under the hegemony of the Eoganachta confederacy; the early histories of the Déisi groups are obscure. As a class that evolved from peoples tied by social status rather than kinship, groups had independent histories in different parts of Ireland. While some medieval texts attempt to give the Déisi an aristocratic origin, these are fabrications dating to the period after the Déisi had gained political power.
Despite their tributary origins, representatives of at least one Déisi population would achieve spectacular success, founding a powerful medieval dynasty, still in existence. There were a number of different groups called Déisi, from south-west counties Waterford and Tipperary, up to north-westwards counties Limerick and Clare; the Déisi Muman were a prominent enough power to form their own regional kingdom in Munster from a early date. In a recent title, Paul MacCotter states "The regional kingdom of Déisi Muman must have existed in its present location from a early period. Oghams dating from the fifth century record unique first names associated with its kings." According to Francis John Byrne, there are certain inscriptional hints that both the Eóganachta and their Waterford Déisi vassals may have been of recent Gaulish origins. The ancestors of the Eóganachta are known as the Deirgtine and they are believed to have been active in Roman Britain, one piece of evidence being the name of their capital Cashel, thought to be inspired by the Roman castella they observed on raids.
The Déisi Muman enjoyed a position in the Eóganachta overkingdom suggesting of a special relationship. Byrne mentions it was noticed by Eoin MacNeill that a number of the early names in the Eóganachta pedigrees are found in oghams in the Déisi country of Waterford, among them Nia Segamain, after the Gaulish war god Segomo. According to MacNeill, the Waterford Déisi and the Eóganachta at Cashel "cannot well be disconnected"; the Uí Liatháin dynasty were western neighbors of the proto-Déisi Muman along the southern Irish coast and raided and colonized parts western Britain. They are the best characterized of the South Irish colonists because of clear references to them by name in both early Irish and early British sources, while a presence of the Déisi Muman cannot be confirmed. Noted are the Laigin in North Wales; the Déisi Muman are the subjects of one of the most famous medieval Irish epic tales, The Expulsion of the Déisi. This literary work, first written sometime in the 8th century, is a pseudo-historical foundation legend for the medieval Kingdom of Déisi Muman, which seeks to hide the historical reality that the kingdom's origins lay among the indigenous tributary peoples of Munster.
To this end it attributes to "the Déisi" an fictive royal ancestry at Tara. The term "Déisi" is used anachronistically in The Expulsion of the Déisi, since its chronologically confused narrative concerns "events" that long predate the historical development of déisi communities into distinct tribal polities or the creation of the kingdom of Déisi Muman; the epic tells the story of a sept called the Dal Fiachach Suighe, who are expelled from Tara by their kinsman, Cormac mac Airt, forced to wander homeless. After a southward migration and many battles, part of the sept settles in Munster. At some point during this migration from Tara to Munster, one branch of the sept, led by Eochaid Allmuir mac Art Corb, sails across the sea to Britain where, it is said, his descendants ruled in Demed, the former territory of the Demetae; the Expulsion of the Déisi is the only direct source for this "event". The historicity of this particular passage of the epic receives partial "confirmation" from a pedigree preserved in the late 10th-century Harleian genealogies, in which the contemporary kings of Dyfed claim descent from Triphun, a great-grandson of Eochaid Allmuir, although the Harleian genealogy itself presents an different version of Triphun's own ancestry in which he descends from a Roman imperial line traced back to St. Helena, whose alleged British origin the genealogist stresses.
This manifest fiction reflects a attempt to fabricate a more illustrious and/or indigenous lineage for the Dyfed dynasty as other Welsh genealogical material confirms the Irish descent of Triphun. If the relocation of some of the "Déisi" to Dyfed is indeed historical, it is unclear whether it entailed a large-scale tribal migration or a dynastic transfer, or both as part of a multi-phase population movement; however this movement is characterised, scholarship has demonstrated that it cannot have taken place as early as the date implied in The Expulsion of the Déisi (i.e. shortly after the blinding of Cormac mac Airt, trad
Connacht spelled Connaught, is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the west of the country. Up to the 9th century it consisted of several independent major kingdoms. Between the reigns of Conchobar mac Taidg Mór and his descendant, Aedh mac Ruaidri Ó Conchobair, it became a kingdom under the rule of the Uí Briúin Aí dynasty, whose ruling sept adopted the surname Ua Conchobair. At its greatest extent, it incorporated the independent Kingdom of Breifne, as well as vassalage from the lordships of western Mide and west Leinster. Two of its greatest kings, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair and his son Ruaidri Ua Conchobair expanded the kingdom's dominance, so much so that both became Kings of Ireland; the Kingdom of Connacht collapsed in the 1230s because of civil war within the royal dynasty, which enabled widespread Anglo-Irish settlement under Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Baron of Connaught, his successors. The English colony in Connacht shrank from c. 1300-c. 1360, with events such as the 1307 battle of Ahascragh, the 1316 Second Battle of Athenry and the murder in June 1333 of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster, all leading to Gaelic resurgence and colonial withdrawal to towns such as Ballinrobe, Loughrea and Galway.
Well into the 16th-century kingdoms such as Uí Maine and Tír Fhíacrach Múaidhe remained beyond English rule, while many Anglo-Irish families such as de Burgh, de Bermingham, de Exeter, de Staunton, became Gaelicised. Only in the late 1500s, during the Tudor conquest of Ireland, was Connacht shired into its present counties; the province of Connacht has the highest number of Irish language speakers among the four Irish provinces. The total percentage of people who consider themselves as Irish speakers in Connacht is 39.8%. There are Gaeltacht areas in Counties Mayo; the province of Connacht has no official function for local government purposes, but it is an recognised subdivision of the Irish state. It is listed on ISO-3166-2 as one of the four provinces of Ireland and "IE-C" is attributed to Connacht as its country sub-division code. Along with counties from other provinces, Connacht lies in the Midlands–North-West constituency for elections to the European Parliament; the name comes from the medieval ruling dynasty, the Connacht Connachta, whose name means "descendants of Conn", from the mythical king Conn of the Hundred Battles.
Connacht was a singular collective noun, but it came to be used only in the plural Connachta by analogy with plural names of other dynastic territories like Ulaid and Laigin, because the Connachta split into different branches. Before the Connachta dynasty, the province was known as Cóiced Ol nEchmacht. In Modern Irish, the province is called Cúige Chonnacht, "the Province of Connacht", where Chonnacht is plural genitive case with lenition of the C to Ch; the usual English spelling in Ireland since the Gaelic revival is Connacht, the spelling of the disused Irish singular. The official English spelling during English and British rule was the anglicisation Connaught, pronounced or; this was used for the Connaught Rangers in the British Army. Usage of the Connaught spelling is now in decline. State bodies use Connacht, for example in Central Statistics Office census reports since 1926, the name of the Connacht–Ulster European Parliament constituency of 1979–2004, although Connaught occurs in some statutes.
Among newspapers, the Connaught Telegraph retains the anglicised spelling in its name, whereas the Connacht Tribune uses the Gaelic. Connacht Rugby who represent the region and are based in Galway, use the Gaelic spelling also; the Irish language is spoken in the Gaeltacht areas of Counties Mayo and Galway, the largest being in the west of County Galway. The Galway Gaeltacht is the largest Irish-speaking region in Ireland covering Cois Fharraige, parts of Connemara, Conamara Theas, Aran Islands, Dúithche Sheoigeach and Galway City Gaeltacht. Irish-speaking areas in County Mayo can be found in Iorras and Tourmakeady. According to the 2016 census Irish is spoken outside of the education system on a daily basis by 9,455 people in the Galway County Gaeltacht areas. There are 202,667 Irish speakers in the province, over 84,000 in Galway and more than 55,000 in Mayo. There is the 4,265 attending the 18 Gaelscoileanna and three Gaelcholáiste outside the Gaeltacht across the province. Between 7% and 10% of the province are either native Irish speakers from the Gaeltacht, in Irish medium education or native Irish speakers who no longer live in Gaeltacht areas but still live in the province.
The province is divided into five counties: Galway, Mayo and Sligo. Connacht is the smallest of the four Irish provinces, with a population of 550,742. Galway is the only official city in the province; the highest point of Connacht is Mweelrea, in County Mayo. The largest island in Connacht is Achill; the biggest lake is Lough Corrib. Much of the west coast is not conducive for agriculture, it contains the main mountainous areas in Connacht, including the Twelve Bens, Mweelrea, Croagh Patrick, Nephin Beg, Ox Mountains, Dartry Mountains. Killary Harbour, Ireland's only true fjord, is located at the foot of Mweelrea. Connemara National Park is in County Galway; the Aran Islands, featuring pre
Munster is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the south west of Ireland. In early Ireland, the Kingdom of Munster was one of the kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland ruled by a "king of over-kings". Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In centuries, local government legislation has seen further sub-division of the historic counties. Munster has no official function for local government purposes. For the purposes of the ISO, the province is listed as one of the provincial sub-divisions of the State and coded as "IE-M". Geographically, Munster covers a total area of 24,675 km2 and has a population of 1,280,020, with the most populated city being Cork. Other significant urban centres in the province include Waterford. In the early centuries AD, Munster was the domain of the Iverni peoples and the Clanna Dedad familial line, led by Cú Roí and to whom the king Conaire Mór belonged. In the 5th century, Saint Patrick spent several years in the area and founded Christian churches and ordained priests.
During the Early Middle Ages, most of the area was part of the Kingdom of Munster, ruled by the Eóganachta dynasty. Prior to this, the area was ruled by the Corcu Loígde overlords. Rulers from the Eóganachta included Cathal mac Finguine and Feidlimid mac Cremthanin. Notable regional kingdoms and lordships of Early Medieval Munster were Iarmuman, Osraige, Uí Liatháin, Uí Fidgenti, Éile, Múscraige, Ciarraige Luachra, Corcu Duibne, Corcu Baiscinn, Déisi Muman. By the 9th century, the Gaels had been joined by Norse Vikings who founded towns such as Cork and Limerick, for the most part incorporated into a maritime empire by the Dynasty of Ivar, who periodically would threaten Munster with conquest in the next century. Around this period Ossory broke away from Munster; the 10th century saw the rise of the Dalcassian clan, who had earlier annexed Thomond, north of the River Shannon to Munster. Their leaders were the ancestors of the O'Brien dynasty and spawned Brian Boru the most noted High King of Ireland, several of whose descendants were High Kings.
By 1118, Munster had fractured into the Kingdom of Thomond under the O'Briens, the Kingdom of Desmond under the MacCarthy dynasty, the short-lived Kingdom of Ormond under the O'Kennedys. The three crowns of the flag of Munster represent these three late kingdoms. There was Norman influence from the 14th century, including by the FitzGerald, de Clare and Butler houses, two of whom carved out earldoms within the Lordship of Ireland, the Earls of Desmond becoming independent potentates, while the Earls of Ormond remained closer to England; the O'Brien of Thomond and MacCarthy of Desmond surrendered and regranted sovereignty to the Tudors in 1543 and 1565, joining the Kingdom of Ireland. The impactful Desmond Rebellions, led by the FitzGeralds, soon followed. By the mid-19th century much of the area was hit hard in the Great Famine the west; the province was affected by events in the Irish War of Independence in the early 20th century, there was a brief Munster Republic during the Irish Civil War.
The Irish leaders Michael Collins and earlier Daniel O'Connell came from families of the old Gaelic Munster gentry. Noted for its traditions in Irish folk music, with many ancient castles and monasteries in the province, Munster is a tourist destination. During the fifth century, St. Patrick spent seven years founding churches and ordaining priests in Munster, but a fifth-century bishop named Ailbe is the patron saint of Munster. In Irish mythology, a number of ancient goddesses are associated with the province including Anann, Áine, Grian, Clíodhna, Aimend, Mór Muman, Bébinn and Queen Mongfind; the druid-god of Munster is Mug Ruith. Another legendary figure is Donn; the province has long had trading and cultural links with continental Europe. The tribe of Corcu Loígde had a trading fleet active along the French Atlantic coast, as far south as Gascony, importing wine to Munster; the Eóganachta had ecclesiastical ties with Germany, which show in the architecture of their ceremonial capital at the Rock of Cashel.
The majority of Irish ogham inscriptions are found in Munster, principally in areas occupied by the Iverni the Corcu Duibne. Europe's first linguistic dictionary in any non-Classical language, the Sanas Cormaic, was compiled by Munster scholars, traditionally thought to have been directed by the king-bishop Cormac mac Cuilennáin; the School of Ross in Munster was one of Europe's leading centres of learning in the Early Middle Ages. Several sports in Munster are organised on a provincial basis, or operate competitions along provincial lines; this includes traditionally popular sports such as hurling, Gaelic football, rugby union and soccer, as well as cricket and others. Munster is noted for its tradition of hurling. Three of the four most successful teams in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship are from Munster; the final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship is one of the most important days in the Irish GAA calendar. Munster is the only province in Ireland that all of its counties have won an All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
Traditionally, the dominant teams in Munster football are Kerry GAA and Cork GAA, although Tipperary GAA and Limerick GAA have won All-Ireland Senior Football Championships. Kerry in particular are the most successful county in the history of football. Rugby is a popular game in the cities of Limerick a
The aos sí is the Irish term for a supernatural race in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology, comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans; this world is described in the Lebor Gabála Érenn as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living. In the Irish language, aos sí means "people of the mounds". In modern Irish the people of the mounds are called daoine sídhe, they are variously said to be the spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods. Some secondary and tertiary sources, including well-known and influential authors such as W. B. Yeats, refer to aos sí as "the sídhe". In many Gaelic tales, the aos sí are literary versions of the Tuatha Dé Danann —the deities and deified ancestors of Irish mythology; some sources describe them as the survivors of the Tuatha Dé Danann who retreated into the Otherworld—the mortal Sons of Míl Espáine who, like many other early invaders of Ireland, came from Iberia.
As part of the terms of their surrender to the Milesians, the Tuatha Dé Danann agreed to retreat and dwell underground. Geoffrey Keating, an Irish historian of the late 17th century, equates Iberia with the Land of the Dead, providing a possible connection to the aos sí. In folk belief and practice, the aos sí are appeased with offerings, care is taken to avoid angering or insulting them, they are not named directly, but rather spoken of as "The Good Neighbors", "The Fair Folk", or "The Folk". The most common names for them, aos sí, aes sídhe, daoine sídhe and daoine sìth mean "people of the mounds"; the aos sí are described as stunningly beautiful, though they can be terrible and hideous. Aos sí are seen as fierce guardians of their abodes—whether a fairy hill, a fairy ring, a special tree or a particular loch or wood, it is believed that infringing on these spaces will cause the aos sí to retaliate in an effort to remove the people or objects that invaded their homes. Many of these tales contribute to the changeling myth in west European folklore, with the aos sí kidnapping trespassers or replacing their children with changelings as a punishment for transgressing.
The aos sí are connected to certain times of year and hours. Some festivals such as Samhain and Midsummer are associated with the aos sí. Sídhe are the tumuli that dot the Irish landscape. In modern Irish the word is sí. In a number of English-language texts, the word sídhe is incorrectly used both for the mounds and the people of the mounds; however sidh in older texts refers to "the palaces, halls or residences" of the otherworldly beings that inhabit them. The fact that many of these sídhe have been found to be ancient burial mounds has contributed to the theory that the aos sí were the pre-Celtic occupants of Ireland. Others present these stories as mythology deriving from Greek cultural influence, deriving arguments from Hesiod's Works and Days, which portrays the basic moral foundation and plantation techniques of the citizens of Greece and describes the races of men, created by the Greek deities. However, many of these views have been deemed unlikely, the influence can be explained by the similar moral foundations stemming from the two cultures' Indo-European background.
The banshee or bean sídhe, which means "woman of the sídhe", has come to indicate any supernatural woman of Ireland who announces a coming death by wailing and keening. Her counterpart in Scottish mythology is the bean sìth. Other varieties of aos sí and daoine sìth include the Scottish bean nighe: the washerwoman, seen washing the bloody clothing or armour of the person, doomed to die; the sluagh sídhe—"the fairy host"—is sometimes depicted in Irish and Scottish lore as a crowd of airborne spirits the cursed, evil or restless dead. The siabhra, may be a type of these lesser spirits, prone to mischief. However, an Ulster folk song uses "sheevra" to mean "spirit" or "fairy". Creideamh Sí is Irish for the "Fairy Faith", a collection of beliefs and practices observed by those who wish to keep good relationships with the aos sí and avoid angering them; the custom of offering milk and traditional foods—such as baked goods, apples or berries—to the aos sí have survived through the Christian era into the present day in parts of Ireland and the diaspora.
Those who maintain some degree of belief in the aos sí are aware to leave their sacred places alone and protect them from damage through road or housing construction. Daoine maithe Enchanted Moura Edmund Lenihan Fairy riding Fir Bolg Otherworld Strontian Lebor Gabála Érenn in Lebor Laignech Annala na gCeithre Mháistrí Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta Lebor na hUidre Leabhar Buidhe Lecain Leabhar
Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The stories of Fionn and his followers the Fianna, form the Fenian Cycle, much of it narrated in the voice of Fionn's son, the poet Oisín. In Old Irish, finn means "white, lustrous, it is cognate with Proto-Irish VENDO-, Welsh gwyn, Cornish gwen, Breton gwenn, Continental Celtic and Brittonic *uindo-, comes from the Proto-Celtic adjective masculine singular *windos. Most of Fionn's early adventures are recounted in the narrative The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn, he was the son of Cumhall, leader of the Fianna, Muirne, daughter of the druid Tadg mac Nuadat who lived on the hill of Almu in County Kildare. Cumhall abducted Muirne after her father refused him her hand, so Tadg appealed to the High King, Conn of the Hundred Battles, who outlawed Cumhall; the Battle of Cnucha was fought between Conn and Cumhall, Cumhall was killed by Goll mac Morna, who took over leadership of the Fianna.
Fionn Mac Cumhaill was said to be from Ballyfin, in Laois. The direct translation of Ballyfin from Irish to English is "town of Fionn". Muirne was pregnant. In Fiacal's house Muirne gave birth to a son, whom she called Deimne "sureness" or "certainty" a name that means a young male deer. Muirne left the boy in the care of Bodhmall and a fighting woman, Liath Luachra, they brought him up in secret in the forest of Sliabh Bladma, teaching him the arts of war and hunting; as he grew older he entered the service – incognito – of a number of local kings, but each one, when he recognised Fionn as Cumhal's son, told him to leave, fearing they would be unable to protect him from his enemies. The young Fionn met the leprechaun-like druid and poet Finn Eces, or Finnegas, near the river Boyne and studied under him. Finnegas had spent seven years trying to catch the Salmon of Knowledge, which lived in a pool on the Boyne and became all-knowing through its diet of hazelnuts from a holy tree: whoever ate the salmon would gain all the knowledge in the world.
The old man caught it, told the boy to cook it for him. While cooking it Deimne burned his thumb, instinctively put his thumb in his mouth; this imbued him with the salmon's wisdom, when Finn Eces saw that he had gained wisdom, he gave young Fionn the whole salmon to eat. Fionn knew how to gain revenge against Goll, in subsequent stories was able to call on the knowledge of the salmon by putting his thumb to the tooth that had first tasted the salmon; the story of Fionn and the salmon of knowledge and the Welsh tale of Gwion Bach are similar. Every year for 23 years at Samhain, a fire-breathing man of the Sidhe, would lull the men of Tara to sleep with his music before burning the palace to the ground, the Fianna, led by Goll mac Morna, were powerless to prevent it; the Fianna were a band of warriors known as a military order composed of the members of two clans, "Clan Bascna" and "Clan Morna", the Fenians were supposed to be devoted to the service of the High King and to the repelling of foreign invaders.
Fionn arrived at Tara with his father's crane-skin bag of magical weapons. He kept himself awake by touching the point of his magically red-hot spear to his forehead; the pain kept allowing him to pursue and kill Aillen with the same spear. After that his heritage was recognised and he was given command of the Fianna: Goll willingly stepped aside, became a loyal follower of Fionn, although in some stories their alliance is uneasy. Fionn demanded compensation for his father's death from Tadg, threatening war or single combat against him if he refused. Tadg offered him his home, the hill of Allen, as compensation, which Fionn accepted. Fionn met his most famous wife, when he was out hunting, she had been turned into a deer by Fear Doirich, whom she had refused to marry. Fionn's hounds and Sceólang, born of a human enchanted into the form of a hound, recognised her as human, Fionn brought her home, she transformed back into a woman the moment she set foot on Fionn's land, as this was the one place she could regain her true form.
She and Fionn married and she was soon pregnant. When Fionn was away defending his country, Fear Doirich returned and turned her back into a deer, whereupon she vanished. Fionn spent years searching for her, but to no avail. Bran and Sceólang, again hunting, found Oisín, in the form of a fawn. In The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne the High King Cormac mac Airt promises the aging Fionn his daughter Gráinne, but at the wedding feast Gráinne falls for one of the Fianna, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, noted for his beauty, she forces him to run away with her and Fionn pursues them. The lovers are helped by the Fianna, by Diarmuid's foster-father, the god Aengus. Fionn makes his peace with the couple. Years however, Fionn invites Di