The Prose Tales in the Rennes Dindshenchas

Author: Whitley Stokes

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p. 32.


It was Aed Ruad, son of Badurn, king of Ireland, that was
drowned there while gazing at his image and swimming the
rapid. From him Ess Ruaid ‘Ruad’s Rapid’ is named. His
gravemound, Síd Aeda, is on the rapid’s brink.

Aliter: It was Ruad, daughter of Maine Milscoth son of
Donn Desa, who chose Aed [Rón] son of Labraid Lesbrecc,
son of Roga Rodam. Where she came from was out of the
ilatha (?) of Mag Maen. In Abcan the poet’s boat of bronze
she came, with Ireland on the larboard side. When she went
with Gaeth, son of Gaes Glan, to the assembly of the Men of
Fidga the girl hoists her sail of tin on his boat, and entered
the inver alone. Whereupon Aed saw her from the seat
he occupied, but he knew not who the girl might be, and
she knew not what land she was in. In the inver then she
heard the mermaid’s melody which none had ever heard, and
she said: ‘This inver is the noblest in Erin!’ And she fell
asleep (at the music), tumbled over the bow of her boat, and
was drowned. Hence is said Ess Ruaid.

Or it may have been named from Aed Ruad son of Badurn,
king of Ireland, when he defrauded his champion concerning
his stipend, and broke upon him the stars, visible and
invisible. Thereupon the champion incited against the king
the sureties, to wit, sea and wind, sun, ether and firmament,
and called Aed, by means of (the sun’s) sultriness, to enter the
rapid and bathe. Ess Duinn ‘the Rapid of Donn, son of Dubán,
son of Bile’ had been its name before that, till Aed was

p. 33.

drowned (therein) by a miracle of sea and mighty wind. Hence
Ess Ruaid (Aed) Ruad’s Rapid is said.


’Tis there that Curnan the Blacklegged, son of Reodoirche
son of Dibad, built thrice fifty boatframes to destroy Dún Barc
on Áinle son of Lug Longhand. A year and a half was he at
that destruction, and there Áinle fell with his queens and the
rest of his family. And ’tis then that Curnan said: ‘Good is
every gathering to which men go,’ etc. Whence Druim Cliab
‘the Ridge of (boat) frames’.

p. 34.


Dreco daughter of Calcmael son of Cartan, son of Connath
was a druidess and a female rhymer, and by her was prepared
a poisonous liquor for Fergus Redside’s four and twenty
sons, so that they all died of it; and the place at which they
perished bears the name Nem-thenn ‘strong poison’.

p. 35.


There were two sons whom Guaire son of the Dall
(‘Blind’) left, namely Guaire Gann (‘the Scanty’) and
Daire Dubchestach (‘of the dark questions’). And at Daiminis
Guaire killed Daire, so that a wood and stunted bushes
overspread Guaire’s country, because of the parricide which he
committed on Daire Dubchestach his brother. Whence Dubthir
‘dark land’.


’Tis there was the king-idol of Erin, namely the Crom
Cróich, and around him twelve idols made of stones; but he
was of gold. Until Patrick’s advent, he was the god of every
folk that colonized Ireland. To him they used to offer the
firstlings of every issue and the chief scions of every clan. ’Tis

p. 36.

to him that Erin’s king, Tigernmas son of Follach, repaired
on Hallontide, together with the men and women of Ireland,
in order to adore him. And they all prostrated before him, so
that the tops of their foreheads and the gristle of their noses
and the caps of their knees and the ends of their elbows broke,
and three fourths of the men of Erin perished at those prostrations.
Whence Mag Slecht ‘Plain of Prostrations’.


Crechmáel, Enda Cennselach’s buffoon, gave love to
Bentrae’s daughter Sampait. She was a herdswoman and a
poetess. The buffoon found her driving her kine home at
evening, and he made an urgent request of her, and put his
hand upon her to force her. The woman turns against him,
and cast him down and bound him and tightened her cow-spancel

p. 37.

round his neck, so that the buffoon died. Whence


Nothain, Conmaer’s daughter, of Connaught, was wandering
for thrice fifty years from one jungle to another, and her
face never fell on a field, and every day she would eat a dinner
for a hundred.

So her father fared forth of the district of Berre to seek his
daughter, and a full year was he a-searching for her, and then
he found her in the forest, and horrible enough was her
aspect. This she said to him: ‘Are your people alive, to
wit, my nurse and my mother and my brother and whosoever
I left at Druim Cáin?’

p. 38.

‘All are dead save myself,’says Conmaer.

‘Then I too should be dead,’ quoth she. ‘To-morrow I
go with thee on the plain that thou mayst set my gravestone
(lia) and dig my grave.’

Whence Lia Nothain, ‘Nothain’s Gravestone’.


Ethne, daughter of Eochaid Feidlech, wife of Conchobar
mac Nessa, was Furbaide’s mother. Now her wizard had told
Clothru, (another) daughter of Eochaid Feidlech’s, that her
sister’s son would kill her. So Ethne (who was then in-child

p. 39.

with Furbaide) goes from the east to Cruachan for her lying-in.
Then Lugaid of the Red Stripes — he was a son of Clothru’s
— went ahead of Ethne, and drowns her in the river
which bears her name. And after she was drowned he cut out
from her womb her son, even Furbaide Fer-benn, that is, two
horns (benn) were on his temples. Seventeen years old was
Furbaide at the Driving of the Kine of Cualnge. Then Furbaide
went to avenge his mother, and Clothru fell by his
hands. So Lugaid went in pursuit of Furbaide and killed him
on the top of Sliab Uillenn, and thereon was cast his cairn,
to wit, a stone for each man who accompanied Lugaid.
Whence Carn Furbaidi ‘Furbaide’s Cairn’, and Ethne are
(so) named. Sliab Uillenn, however, is named from Uillenn
Red-edge, son of Find hua Baiscni, who was killed there.


Fothad Airgthech son of Lugaid son of Mac nía, when he
was on an adventure slept there, till the end of three fortnights,
at the clucking of Bairche’s hen. Whence Ard Fothaid is named.

p. 40.


Ith son of Breogan, ’tis he that first of the sons of Míl found
Ireland, and the Tuatha Dé Danann killed him because they
were envious of the Milesians having Ireland. It was when he
got to Ailech Néit and said: ‘It is meet for you to make
peace between you and us. Good is the island wherein ye are.
Abundant are its honey and its fish, its mast and its wheat.
Moderate are the cold and the heat thereof.’ So then the
chieftains (of the Tuatha Dé Danann) conspired and killed
him on yonder plain. Whence Mag n-Itha ‘Ith’s Plain.’

p. 41.


Ailech from ail- and ech, that is ail ‘stone’ and eich
‘horses’ , for it is horses that drew the stones of which it
was built for Frighriu son of Rubne the Red, son of Didol, of

p. 42.

the Fomorians of the Isle of Mann. And Baine was his daughter’s
name, and Tairbert was his servant and Bernas his son.
Whence Ailech Frighrenn ‘Frighriu’s Stone-house’ , and
Cnoc mBaine ‘Baine’s Hill’ , and Snám Maige Tairbirt ‘the
Swimming-place of Tairbert’s Plain and Bernas of Tír Aeda.’

Otherwise: Ailech from the ail ‘stone’ which Corrchenn
of Cruach lifted for the grave of Aed the Dagda’s son, after
he had killed him (for seducing his wife). Now the Dagda
would not let Corrchenn be killed for that deed, but (sentenced
him to carry) the corpse on his back until he should find
a stone as long as Aed to put upon his grave. So Corrchenn
carrying that corpse searched Erin till he found at Lough
Foyle a stone of the right length. This he heaved up on his
back, and then he said while carrying it: ‘Ach, ach, ah, ah,
thy stone (ail), I shall die of it!’ ‘Meet it is,’ quoth the
Dagda, ‘that Ail-ach be the name of this noteworthy stead,’
and then Corrchenn died. Whence Ailech. And the Dagda afterwards
gave Ailech to his father’s brother Nét and to his wife Nemain.
Whence it is named Ailech Néit ‘Nét’s stonehouse’ .

Now it was built in the time of Abraham son of Terah.

Otherwise: Out of the island of Britain went Frighriu son of
Rubae the Red. He was the craftsman of Fubthaire king of
Scotland, and with the king’s daughter Ailech he eloped to
Ireland. Then Fubthaire went on his daughter’s track to Ailech,
(and the king of Ireland protected the two lovers from
Fubthaire, and granted to the girl the site of Ailech). There,
then, Frighriu built her a house of red yew, and that house
was set out with gold and silver and brass and gems, so that
it was equally radiant by night and by day. And therein
the girl was put to be hoarded, and ’tis said that she was a
fosterling (or pupil) of the craftsman, and she became the
wife of Eochu Doimlén and the mother of the (three) Collas.
And Fiacha Sraibtine was then king. Whence Ailech Frighrenn
‘Frighriu’s Stonehouse’ is named.

p. 43.


Lethderg (‘Red-side’) daughter of Conchobar mac Nessa,
wife of Tromdae son of Calatrom, gave love in a dream to
Fothad Cananne. So to her came he and three men with
himself, namely, Fethlenn son of Fidrue and Lurga son of
Luath and Eirisnech son of Inmaisech, and Fothad was the
fourth, but it was after the slaying of Ailill son of Eogan.
Briccen mac Tuinde ( ‘son of Wave’ ) gave them a boat. So
Tromda was killed and his wife was taken from him to the
crag. Whence Carrac Lethdeirg Lethderg’s Crag.

p. 44.


Coba the pitfall-maker (or trapper) of Erenn son of Míl of
Spain. ’Tis he that first prepared a trap and pitfall in Erin,
and he himself put his leg into it to see if it were in trim (?),
whereupon his shin-bone and his two fore-arms were fractured (?)
in it, and his drinkingcup after being emptied fell
down, so that he died thereof (i.e. of pain and thirst),
Whence Mag Coba.

p. 45.


Macha wife of Nemed son of Agnoman died there (on Mag
Macha) and was buried, and it is the twelfth plain which was
cleared by Nemed, and he bestowed it on his wife so that it
might bear her name. Whence Mag Macha ‘Macha’s Plain’ .

Otherwise: Macha daughter of Aed the Red, son of Badurn
— ’tis by her Emain was marked out — was buried there
when Rechtaid of the red fore-arm killed her. To lament her,
Oenach Macha ‘Macha’s Fair’ was established. Whence Mag

Otherwise: Macha wife of Crund son of Agnoman went
thither to race against king Conchobar’s horses, for her husband
had said that his wife was swifter (than they). Thus
then was the wife, big with child: so she asked a respite till
her womb should have fallen, and this was not granted to her.
So then the race was run, and she was the swiftest. And

p. 46.

— and she said that the Ulaid would abide under feebleness of
childbed whensoever need should befall them. Wherefore the
Ulaid suffered feebleness for the space of a nomad from the reign
of Conchobar to the reign of Mál son of Rochraide ‘Great
heart’ . And men say that she was Grían Banchure ‘the
Sun of Womanfolk’ , daughter of Mider of Brí Léith. And after
this she died, and her tomb was raised on Ard Macha, and
her lamentation was made, and her gravestone was planted.
Whence Ard Machae ‘Macha’s Height’ .

p. 47.


Oenfer Aife ‘Aife’s Only-man’ , a son of Cúchulainn’s,
[sent by his mother from Scotland] came over sea to Baile’s
Strand or to Littleford in Conailli Murthemni. There he met
with his father, and his father asked him who he was. And he
would not declare his name. He had completed (only) nine
years. So father and son attacked each other, and the son fell.
Then said the son, ‘’Tis hard that I should speak what is
or what turns’ . Then said Cúchulainn: ‘Aife’s only-man,
though ’twas meet (for him) to be hidden in his patrimony
during my time I shall be ever mindful | of my fight with Aife’s
only-man’ .

Thereafter Cúchulainn took him away and buried him at
Oenach Airbi Rofhir, and sang his dirge. Hence Lecht Óenfir
‘the Monument of Áife’s Only-Man’ .

p. 48.


‘The Lord’s Cairn’ in Mag Ulad, or ‘Lugaid’s Cairn’ ,
whence are they?

Not hard to say. Lord Lugaid, with the crews of seven
ships was expelled from Erin to Alba; but he returned to Ireland
with the great fleet of Scotland, and they gave battle to
the Ulaid and routed them. The cairn was made up of a stone
for every man who came with Lugaid, and upon it Lugaid
stood while delivering the battle. Whence Carn Luigdech
‘Lugaid’s Cairn’ .

p. 49.


Ráith Rogein ‘Rogen’s Fort’ was its name at first and down
to the reign of Bresal Brec son of Briun, King of Ulster. He
went on an adventure under Loch Lóig and was there for
fifty years. Now his wife Mór daughter of Rither son of
Derlam was all that time in the fort, and she said: ‘Bresal’s adventure
seems long to us’ . And another lady said ‘It will
be long for thee, for until their dead shall come back to all
others, never will he return from his adventure to his home’ .

Forthwith Mór died and her name clave to the rath,
whence Ráith Mór. And Bresal Brec returned at nightfall the
day after (?), as is told in Bresal’s Adventure, etc.


Boirche the cowherd of the son of Ross Rigbuide that benn
( ‘peak’ ) was his herdsman’s seat, and ’tis equally he would herd
every cow from Dunseverick as far as the Boyne, and they

p. 50.

would come (at his call) to Benn Boirchi, and never a cow
would graze a bit more than another. Whence Benn Boirchi
‘Boirche’s Peak’ is said.

Otherwise: Bennan son of Boirchenn (or Birchenn) killed
Manannán’s son Ibel for going in unto his wife hight Lecon,
Lotar’s daughter. And this was the cause of Manannán’s casting
from his heart his three draughts of grief (which became)
Loch Ruidi, Loch Cuan, and Loch Dacaech. And after that
he killed Bennan on that peak. Whence Benn Boirchi is said.

p. 51.


Tailtiu daughter of Magmór was the wife of Eochu the
Rough son of Dua the Dark. ’Tis by him that the Fortress of
the Hostages was built in Tara, and she was the fostermother
of Lug the son of the Dumb Champion, ’Tis she that asked
her husband to clear away for her the Wood of Cúan, so that
there might be an assembly around her grave. And after that
she died on the calends of August, and her lamentation and
funeral games were held by Lugaid. Hence we say Lug-nasad
‘Lugh-games’ , Lammas-tide.

Now that was fifteen hundred years before the birth of
Christ; and until Patrick’s advent the fair was held by every
king who took Ireland; and there were five hundred fairs in
Tailtiu from Patrick till the Dub-oenach ‘Black Assembly’ of
Donchad son of Fland son of Maelsechlainn.

Three were the tabus for Tailtiu: crossing it without alighting:
looking at it over the left shoulder (when leaving it);
and casting unprofitably in it (after sunset). Hence Oenach
‘Tailtiu’s Assembly’ .

p. 52.


When Fuat son of Bile son of Brig son of Breogann was
coming to Ireland he visited an island on the sea, namely Inis
Magdena or Moagdéda, that is Mór-óc-diada ‘Great-young-divine’ .
Whosoever set his sole upon it would tell no lie so
long as he was therein. So Fuat brought out of it a sod whereon
he sat while judging and while deciding questions. Now
when he would utter falsehood its under part would turn upwards
and its grass down to the gravel. But when he told
truth its grass would turn upwards. And that sod is still
on the mountain, and ’tis on it lay the single grain which fell
from Saint Patrick’s gelding. So thenceforward, because of
preserving the truth, it is the adoration of elders.

Otherwise: it may be from Fuat son of Bile, son of Breogan,
that the mountain, properly, was called. Whence Sliab Fuait
‘Fuat’s Mountain’ .

p. 53.


Callann was the herd-hound of Buide son of Becan son of
Forgamain; and when the Donn of Cualnge, before his proper
time, proceeded to bull the dry cows around him, he and the
hound began to contend for the cows, and by him the hound
fell. Or it may be that the hound fought at the taking of the
drove, whereupon a mighty deathblow was inflicted upon him
by every one, or by the Donn Cuailngi, at the mountain.
Whence Sliab Callann ‘Callann’s Mountain’ is said.

Now this the true account of that hound. He was a pup of
Celtchar’s hound Dael. And he was found in the skull of Conganchnes;
for there were three hounds in that skull, to wit,
the hound that Culand the craftsman had, and the hound that
Celtchar had, and the hound that Mac dá Thó had. Speckled
and black and grey were their (respective) colours, as is said.

p. 54.


Matha son of Roiriu son of Rogan Rechtaide was the chief
swineherd of Catháir the Great, king of Ireland. He was a
contender against Odba the swineherd of Conn of the Hundred
Battles. Now in the western part of the Plain of Macha
there was an oakwood, and no mast was ever like its mast for
size and for fragrance. When the wind would blow over it the
odour thereof would be smelt throughout Erin, to what
point soever the wind would carry the scent, so that it was
a heartbreak to the swine of Ireland when it reached them.
Now its fragrance came to Catháir’s swine, so they went mad
and rushed towards it as far as the Meeting of the Three Waters.
After them, then, went Matha furiously, and he fell and
fractured the frontal bone of his head. Then he went to
quench his ardour in the stream, and therein he was drowned,

p. 55.

and every one said by the brink: ‘The stream (sruth)
over Matha (dar Matha)!’ Whence Sruthar Matha.

103. ODBA.

Odba Uancenn son of Blae Broadlimb, son of Tathlomna
(Cathlomna?) of Line, was chief swineherd of Conn of the
Hundred Battles. He was, besides, a hunter of stags and does.
Moreover he was one who never lived in a house, but always
in woods and deep glens, hunting and herding swine. And yon
hill, Odba, was his herdsman’s seat, and therein he chose to
be buried when he died. Whence Odba is named.

Or it is Eremon’s wife Odba that was buried there, and
she was the mother of the Luigni and Laigni and Muimni;
and ’tis there that her grave was dug by Eremon. Whence
Odba is said.

p. 56.


Cich-Maine Andoe son of Ailill and Medb — he was their
seventh son — ’tis he whom Fergna son of Findcháime vanquished (?)
when contending for a boat on the strand.

Or ’tis Cichmuine son of Ailill Find whom the fishermen
found there loosing their nets and seines, so they killed him in
the inver, and hence Inber Cichmaini is named.


Nár son of Findchad son of Conall Cernach was there slain
by Etsine the championess, after he had killed her two birds

p. 57.

at Snám dá Én on the Shannon. Hence is said Snám dá Én
‘the Swimming-place of Two Birds’ , and Móin Tíre Náir
‘the Moor of Nár’s Land’ .


Buan daughter of Samaera gave her heart to Cúchulainn,
when the champions, even Loeguire the Gifted, Conall the
Victorious and Cúchulainn, went to contend for the Champion’s

p. 58.

Bit. For the award they fared to Emain, and thence
they were sent to Ailill and Medb. Ailill (refusing to arbitrate)
sent them on to Assaroe, to Samaera, and he adjudged the
Champion’s Bit to Cúchulainn.

Then Conall and his charioteer Rathen went over Snám
Rathin, and there Rathen was drowned: whence Snám Rathin
‘Rathen’s Swimming-place’ . Then Buan followed Cúchulainn
on his chariot’s track as far as yon rock (Fich mBuana),
and she leapt an awful leap after him (striking her head)
against the rock, and thereof she died. Whence Fich mBuana.
‘Buan’s Farm’ .


Two of the steeds of Echu Horsehead king of Munster were
sent by him, as a sign of submission, to the overking of Ireland
Enna Aignech son of Oengus Turbech of Tara, for they

p. 59.

were due from his tribes since they came not to the Feast of
Tara. Echu’s steeds were drowned in the lake.

Or also, Glascú had on his mountain (Sliab Glascon?) a
grey British stallion named Serrach ‘Foal’ , from which
Glenn Serraig is named. This stallion went following them
(Echu’s two steeds), to seek a mare to cover, till he was among
Enna Aignech’s studs, and the (two) horses fled before it into
the lake and were drowned therein. ‘Wind’ and ‘Sun’
were their names. Hence Loch Gabar ‘Lake of Steeds’ is

108. LUSMAG.

’Tis thence that Diancecht brought every herb of healing,
and grated them on Slainge’s well in Achad Abla to the north-west
of Moytura, when the great battle was fought between
the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians. Everyone of the

p. 60.

Tuatha Dé Danann whom they would lay under that water of
herbs would rise up smooth and healed of his wounds.
Whence Lusmag ‘Herb-plain’ is named.


Codal the Roundbreasted, ’tis he that was fosterer of Ériu
from whom Inis Érenn ‘Eriu’s Island’ , is named. And on yonder
peak he used to feed his fosterling. And every vigour which
he bestowed upon her used to raise the earth under them. Unless
Eriu had said to her fosterer. ‘I am heaved (?) up on
high so that (the sun scorches me and) the spears of wind are
coming through our ears’ — unless she said that, the
peak would have grown until Ireland was full thereof. And
the day that Ériu’s successor eats Codal’s food (game, fish or
venison) she increases her valour and her health. Whence
Benn Codail ‘Codal’s Peak’ .

p. 61.


Tlachtga daughter of Mog Ruith son of Fergus: three sons
of Simon Magus ravished her when she went with her father
to learn the world’s magic: for ’tis she that made for Trian
the Rowing Wheel and the Stone in Forcarthu and the Pillar-stone
in Cnámchoill. Then she escaped from the east, bringing
those two things with her, till she reached Tlachtga Hill;
and there she lay-in and bore three sons, namely Dorb, from
whom is Mag nDoirb, and Cuma, from whom is Mag Cuma,
and Muach, from whom is Mag Muaich. And till these three
names are forgotten in Ireland, foreigners’ vengeance will not
visit it. Whence Tlachtga is said.

p. 62.


Brega son of Breogan was the eldest of Breogan’s children,
and by him the plain was cleared (of trees), and from him it
takes its name.

Otherwise: Dil daughter of Lugmannair eloped from the
land of the Men of Falga (the Isle of Mann) with Tulchainde,
Conaire’s wizard. The same hour that she was born of her
mother a certain cow dropt a calf. So the girl loved the calf
more than the other cattle since it had been born at the same
time that she had, and Tulchainde could not get her away till
the calf was brought with her.

There was friendship between him and the Morrígan, so he
begged her to bring the drove to Mag mBolgaide — for that

p. 63.

was the first name of the plain, and there Dil’s ox Brega loved
that plain, and its name clave to it. Whence Mag mBreg.

112. MAG LENA.

Lena son of Roed i.e. son of Mes Roeda, ’tis he that reared
(his grandfather) Mac Dá-thó’s pig, which he found in Daire
Bainb in the eastern part of Bladma. It grew up with him till
the end of seven years, when there were seven inches of a
growth (?) of fat on its snout. When the Ulaid and the men of

p. 64.

Connaught went to Mac Dáthó’s feast, Maine Athrai (Mac Dathó’s
wife) sent to Lena to ask for the pig to help his hospitality,
and offered fifty choice hogs in lieu thereof, and Lena
did not take them. Now one night, shortly before he delivered
the pig (to Mac Dáthó), Lena went with it to Dubclais
‘Black Trench’ . There he fell asleep, and the pig (by its
rooting) raised the trench over him, without his feeling it, so
that he was smothered. Hereat then he attacks the pig, and
the point of his sword reached it and killed it. And Mac Dáthó’s
swineherd Follscaide went and carried the pig to the
feast, and there (on the plain) set Lena’s gravemound. Whence
Mag Lena, ‘Lena’s Plain’ .

p. 65.

113. ODRAS.

Odras daughter of Odarnatan son of Laime son of Luaidre,
’tis she was hospitaller to Buchat Buasach the cow-chief of
Cormac hua Cuind. She went after her husband with kine,
and to her came the Morrígan, bringing a bull of Liathmuine.
His name was Slemuin ‘Smooth’ , and he bulled one of
Odras’ cows around her. As he was being driven eastward
from Tara he halted at Oiriu’s Heath and grazed there. Hence
its name, Fraech Slemna ‘Slemuin’s Heath’ . The Morrígan
carried him off and installed him (with the cow) in the cave
of Cruachu. Thereafter went Odras along with her servant
Cada, who fell dead at Cúil Cada ‘Cada’s Recess’ . Still on
fared Odras, in the track of her cow, towards the elfmound
of Cruachu. Sleep fell upon her in the Oakwood of Falga,
and the Morrígan awoke her and sang spells over her, and
made of Odras a pool of water which entered the river that
flows to the west of Slieve Bawne (the Shannon). Hence Odras.

p. 66.


Cleitech a wizard (of the Tuatha Dé Danann) dwelt there,
and there he was buried. Whence Cleitech.

Or ’tis there was the top (i.e. chief) of the houses of Erin,
and this house was burnt on Muircertach son of Erc. Or the
death of Erc’s son there was the top (i.e. chief) of groans, for
Erin. Or the death of Cormac grandson of Conn, when the
salmon’s bone stuck in his throat.

Aliter: Or maybe it was there that Cleitech son of Dega
(Deda?), would build his house. Whence Cleitech.

p. 67.

115. CERNA.

Cerniam was the name of the chief of the elfmound that is
there. Whence Cerna is named.

Otherwise: Cerna i.e. caer-nia[d] ‘abundance of champions’ ,
because there is the principal burial-place of Bregia
and the eastern part of Meath, and, moreover, ’tis there that
Cerna Cass son of Cairpre son of Etáin, and his father were
buried. ’Tis because of the abundance of champions and chiefs
there that Caer niad is said, etc.: cáer (means) ‘abundance’ .


Cloen son of Ingor, son of the king of the Britons of Ail
Clúaide, was the first merchant that came out of Alba into
Erin with presents fit for princes of the men of the Gaels, and
there he fell, at yonder lake. Whence Cloenloch is named.

p. 68.


The (four) birds of Baile came haunting Cairpre Lifechair
to Ráith Cairpri. ‘Come, come!’ say two of them. ‘I
go, I go’ say the other two. For seven times fifty nights
they were lampooning (?) him, and no matter what house in
Erin Cairpre was in, to him they would repair. Now those

p. 69.

birds were the Mac Óc’s four kisses. He had shaped them into
the form of four birds that they might be girding at the nobles
of Erin.

Cairbre told that to his wizard hight Bicne. ‘In what
quarter do they cry (?) to thee?’ asked the wizard. ‘Between
me and the sunrise,’ says Cairbre. So then a tree from
every forest in Ireland was collected for the wizard, and he
was unable to sing spells over them until a tree was brought
to him out of Fid Frosmuine. Over this he sang a spell and
that herus (spindletree?) was uplifted over the woods of Erin,
and it detained yonder birds (on its branches), and there was
no mocking of Cairbre thenceforward.

Noble and high is the herus, O Bicne; and this shall be
the name of the place, Hér-herus ‘high herus!’ And to his
successor this was left, that when the men of Erin should be
unable to get any difficult question decided by him he should
partake of some of its fruit, corn, milk, mast or fish. Whence
Hirarus is named.

p. 70.


Lugaid Láigde came from the west, from the Etharlaige, to
deliver the battle of Crinna in aid of Cormac hua Cuinn against
the Ulaid; and that was the Lugaid who afterwards killed the
three Ferguses, — to wit, Fergus the Blacktoothed, Fergus
Longhair and Fergus Fire-over-Bregia — on the same flagstone
at Raith Cró. Whereof Cormac said:

On the same flagstone at Ráith Cro (was) the slaughtering
of the three Ferguses, so that Cormac said: ‘it is clear his
arm doth not fail Láigde’ .

And the Ulaid crowned Eochaid Longneck, and ’tis said
that Lugaid killed him; and that is the battle in which the
men of Erin used up their weapons so that no one could do

p. 71.

aught but drag with his hands the entrails out of another’s
belly. Hence is Áth in Inathair ‘the Ford of the Entrails’ ,
to the north-east of Crinna. And on that day Lugaid Láigde
(himself) fell. So then his daughter Findabair came from the
west over Cetha Forngairi [?] to learn about her father, and on
yon plain she met the news of her father’s death, and her heart
broke in her like a nut. And in like manner the heart of her
fosterling Brech son of Broichde broke out of grief for her.
Whence are Mag Finnabrach ‘Finnabair’s Plain’ , and Brechmag.

p. 72.


Lindgadan son of Loeguire the Gifted, son of Connad the
Yellow, son of Iliach, stole out of Dundalk on Mag Murthemne
a hornless cow which belonged to Dechtere, Cúchulainn’s
mother, so Cúchulainn killed him at yonder stone. Whence
Lia Lindgadain.

Otherwise: Lindgadan the Arrogant, the crier of Erin in
the reign of Find son of Findtan, and no one durst speak to
him, on sea or on land, without being asked by him; for ’tis he
that was spencer and host-steward of the men of Ireland. Once
upon a time he heard, behind him, out of the crag the echo
answering him. He turned to the cliff and stretched towards
it to avenge on it the voice he had heard. Whereupon the crest
of the wave overtook him, and dashed him against the rock,
and there killed him. Whence Lia Lindgadain ‘Lindgadan’s
Stone’ is named.


From the gáir ‘outcry’ which the striplings of Emain sent
forth around (their fosterbrother) Cúchulainn as he lay in his
bed of gore. And chariots and horses and weapons and the
stones of the mires answered it on this side and that around

p. 73.

the ford, so that they became like a (redhot) ingot dipt (and)
boiling. Whence Gáirech is said.


A bow of red gold which was in the cétach Crimthainn,
that is, Crimthann Nia Náire’s beautiful mantle which the
Ulaid carried off from the west, from Tara Luachra, in the
furious foray which they made from the Fort of two Peaks to
Cenn Febrat of Sliab Cáin. When they wrecked the town, and
killed the king and brought away his mantle, ’tis in that place
(Luibnech) they broke it up and tore out its thrice fifty lúbáns
‘bows’ with an apple of gold on each. Of that place
Luibnech is said.

p. 74.


Tollchenn the jester of Enna Cennselach or of Eochaid, Enna
Cennselach’s son, fell in a battle against the Saxons on the
Ictian Sea when Niall of the Nine Hostages was mortally
wounded by Eochaid’s hand. The jester’s head was cut off, and
together with it the helmet, for the helmet stuck round the
head and could not be broken or separated therefrom. So the
head was cast into the sea, and one wave delivered it to another
till it arrived at yonder Lecc ‘flagstone’ ; and there were
nine holes therein, its two ears and two eyes and two cheeks
and two nostrils and the mouth. Whence was said Toll-chenn

p. 75.

‘Hole-head’ , and Lecc Thollchinn ‘Holehead’s Flagstone’
the stone whereat it arrived.


Bicne, Conall Cernach’s servant, died there while driving the
kine (of Fráech son of Idath) that were brought out of
Scotland after the great murrain that befel in the time of Bresal
Bó-dibad son of Rudraige, or (in the time) of Bresal Brecc.
There, then, died Bicne son of Loegaire (smothered in a
quicksand) when driving them ashore, and ’tis there that (in
grief for him) the cattle shed their horns. Whence Bennchor
‘horn-casting of Ulster’ is said, and Indber mBicni
‘Bicne’s Estuary’ is named.

p. 76.


The best sét ‘jewel’ that was then in Erin, to wit the
diadem of (the king of Leinster) Loeguire Lorc son of Ugaine,
which the daughters of Faindle son of Dub-dá-Roth flung
into the lake. Monchae, Dian, Dalb, Echan and Biblu were
their names. And afterwards Faindle and his five daughters
were killed for this crime, and they (the executioners) cast
them into the lake along with the jewel.

p. 77.


Tuirbe’s strand, whence was it named? Not hard to say.
Tuirbe Trágmar, father of the Gobbán Saer, ’tis he that
owned it. ’Tis from that heritage he used to hurl a cast of his
axe, from Tulach in Bela ‘the Hill of the Axe’ in the face
of the flood-tide, so that he forbade the sea, and it would not
come over the axe. And no one knows his genealogy unless
he be one of the defectives who fled from Tara before the
Master of Many Arts and who are (now) in the Diamrai of
Bregia. Whence Tráig Tuirbi ‘Tuirbe’s Strand’ .

p. 78.


Liath son of Celtchar of Cualu, was the fairest prince’s
son that lived in the fairy-troops of Erin, and he loved Brí
Bruachbrecc daughter of Mider of the Mighty Deeds son of
Indui, son of Cechtach. (To meet her lover) Brí went with
her maidens to the Grave of the Girls beside Tara. And Liath
went with all his youths till he stood on the Hill of the
After-repentance. And they could not come nearer together,
because of the slingers on Mider’s elfmound. For as numerous
as a swarm of bees on a day of beauty was the mutual answer
of their castings. And Cochlán, Liath’s servant, was sore-wounded
by them and he died.

Then the girl turns to (Mider’s elfmound, now) Brí Léith,
and (there) her heart broke in her, (and there she died). And
Liath said: ‘Though I shall not attain this girl, ’tis my name
that she shall bear,’ Hence Brí Léith, that is ‘Liath’s Hill’ .
Hence is said Brí Léith and Dind Cochláin ‘Cochlán’s Height’ .

p. 79.

127. TETHBA.

Tethba was Eochaid Airem’s daughter, and she was loved
by Nóisiu son of Nechtán of the White Shoulder, from Loch
Léin. And his fostermother was Etech daughter of Lennglass
son of Lon, of the Glomraige of Tuirbe’s Strand, and ’tis she
that went along with her fosterling (when he eloped with
Tethba). When Tethba reached Ard Nóisen — till then it had

p. 80.

been Ard n-Umai — she said: ‘My going hence will lessen
this land’s covert’ . ‘That is untrue,’ says Nóisiu: ‘thine
appellation will never be wanting to this land. Such is what
remains (and it will suffice).’ Quoth she: ‘The shameful
word which thou hast left on this land is deadly. Grief
therefor will follow thee on our journey.’ That came true,
for in wending southwards his fostermother died. So thence
is Cenn-Etich and Tethba.


Aindinn Óach ‘the Eared’ and Uar Etharchar were two
sons of Gumor (Ugmor?) of the kings of the Fir Bolg. And as
regards pedigree they were of the men of the Greeks, to wit,

p. 81.

Grecus son of Pont and Danaus son of Pont. The latter is
the ancestor of the Fir Bolg. And one of the two families prevailed
over the other and deprived them of their sweet-tasted
water, for in the lands of the Greeks a power of impounding
is given over water; and they were made subject to slavery,
namely to drag mould (in leathern bags) on to bare flagstones,
so that it might be seven cubits deep on the stones.

So (having built boats of the leathern bags) they fled before
that tyranny to Ireland, and there they set up only at
clear-watered lakes. So Aindinn and Uar set up at two of
these lakes which were equal, that is equal in the south and
in the north; and there they both died, each at his lake; and
from them the lakes are named.

p. 82.


Suamach son of Samguba was the storyteller and fosterfather
of Cormac Conlonges son of Conchobar, and Cormac’s
fostermother was Caindlech daughter of Geim Gelta son of
Rodba, son of Tuach Tuile, of the clan of Conall Hornskin.
When Cormac went eastward from Cruachan Ái to seize the
crown of Ulster his fosterfather had stayed behind him because
he knew that his fosterling would fall and never be
king of the Ulaid. (Howbeit) Suamach followed his fosterling
to forbid him to go on that journey. When he came to the
Hill of the Tears — that is, the tears of the Dagda bewailing
his son (Cermait) — there he beheld the blaze of the wrecking
of Bruden da Choca. Suamach died forthwith, and Caindlech
(hearing that her fostermother was slain) died on Ard Caindlech.
Whence Druim Suamaich ‘Suamach’s Ridge’ and
Ard Caindlech.

p. 83.


Necht of Inver Scéne of the Corco Láigdi, was the wife of
Fer Uillne son of Lugaid the Lord, and the mother of her three
sons, whose names were Diachail (Tuachail?) and Foill and
Fannall. ’Tis they whom Cúchulainn slew when he (first)
took arms, as is told in the Boyish Deeds of Cúchulainn.
Whence is said Dún Mac Nechtain Scéne ‘the Fort of the
sons of Nechtan Scéne’ .

© 2008 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae

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