The Prose Tales in the Rennes Dindsenchas
Author: Whitley Stokes
An electronic edition
Medraide son of Torchar, son of Tromda, son of Calatrom,
out of a western island of Spain came with Mac con into Ireland,
and set up on yonder strand (Medraide), whence Medraide
Also: on Ath cliath Medraide moreover i.e. Cliath son of
Cuilenn, son of Dub-duinn, of Mac con’s family, fell there. Dubri
son of Duban son of Derc, of Mac con’s family also, from
whom Dubri (is named), and Neide Nithgonach from whom
is Neide’s Water, and Gaeth son of Nechtan, son of Firmor, son
of Erimon, son of Ross, son of Inbirmuigi [?] i.e. Medraide’s
brother-in-law, and Marcán son of Donn, son of Dathach, of
the family of Hundred-battled Conn, and Gaillim daughter of
Bresal — from her is Gaillium, — came to the river to bathe
and Laigen Rough-grey, son of Daire, son of the King of Spain
— from whom is Laigen’s ford. Failenn son of Illann, son of
Ner, — from whom is Failenn’s Island — came from the strand
on the coast of Greece to help Mac con. And Boirenn son of
Bolcan, son of Ban — from whom is Boirenn — out of Spain
came to Boirenn Corcomruad.
132. CARN FRÁICH.
Conn of the Hundred Battles and Eogan Taidlech chanced
to be in joint-sovranty throughout Erin after dividing it by
the Escer Riada from one Áth cliath to the other, that is Áth
cliath Medraidi (Clarin Bridge) and Ath cliath Duiblinne
(Dublin). Now Eogan had a champion, Fraech Midlesach,
son of the king of Spain, and he was plundering as far as
Cruachan every second hour. Once upon a time he went to
Cruachu Ai to gather a prey, and they seized the cattle of
Cruachu. But Conall of Cruachu, Conn’s fosterfather, was
watching them, and he followed them with his four sons
Corc and Connla, Cétgen of Cruachu and Fraech; and they
overtook the raiders at Medraide, the place in which was
Eogan himself. Then they fought a champions’ battle between
them, and Fráech son of Conall of Cruachu attacked Eogan
and wounded him mightily. Fráech son of the king of Spain
came before Eogan, and the two Fráechs fought, till Fráech son
of Conall fell in the combat. After the fall of the hero the
Tuatha Taiden and the Fir Domnann and the Picts of Cruachan
and Conall himself and his three other sons closed
round (Fráech’s body), and they did not let him be stript of
his armour, and the Munstermen dispersed after casting away
their weapons at Áth Medraidi, and they were deprived of
their cattle and their prey. After Conall with his children became
unable to pursue them Fráech was carried up to the
Hill of the Assembly, to the south-east of Cruachain, and
there he was buried, and from him the cairn is named. Hence
Carn Fráich Fráech’s Cairn is said.
Otherwise: Carn Fráich, that is, Fráech son of Fidach (leg.
Idath ?) went for love of Findabair to shake the rowantree that
was over the black linn of Brei, which to day is called the
Suca; but the monster at the foot of the rowantree perceived
him, and pursued him, and wounded him sorely. But Fráech
brought Medb the monster in triumph, and the rowantree,
and he was healed in the cairn, wherefore it is called Carn
Or mayhap he was killed by the monster, and his grave is
still in the cairn. But that is not the truth of the tale, for he
fell by Cúchulainn, in a water-combat on the Driving of the
Kine of Cualnge, at Áth Omna on the edge of Sliab Fuait.
After he was drowned by Cúchulainn the men of Erin met the
great band of women coming to Fraech’s body, and they uttered
a mighty cry over his head and took him up with them
into the elfmound. Now Síd Fráich is the name of the elfmound
thenceforward, and to certify that this was sung:
Fráech’s cairn, what is the cause of it? etc.
133. ARD NA RIAG.
When envy and hatred of Cellach son of Eogan, son of
Cellach, son of Ailill Wether, son of Dathi son of Fiachra,
were in the heart of Guaire Aidne son of Colmán, he entreated
the four Maels, Cellach’s four foster-brothers, to kill him.
And those fosterbrothers consented to kill Cellach at Guaire’s
behest and for sake of great bribes.
After Cellach had been killed by his fosterbrothers, Cúchoingelt
son of Eogan was pursuing them, and he found
them at (the river) Sál Srotha Deirg (Brine of the Red
stream), and he brought them to the Hill of the Outlook, to
torture them, and there they were tortured, and from them
the height has its name.
134. INBER MBUADA.
When Parthalon son of Sera, son of Sru, son of Esru, son
of Goedel Glas, from whom are the Goedil, came out of
Greece, after his father and mother and brothers had been
killed for sake of their heritage, he wandered over the world
from one country to another, till at last he came to Ireland
and got a haven and landing-place at Inis Saimer. A band of
eight was his complement, and for some time they tarried in
that haven. After their provisions were spent they hunted
deer, and birded and fished. Parthalon found no fish in any
estuary or river in Ireland till he came to Inber mBuada, and
there first he found fish. So Parthalon’s people said: Profitable
(buadach) is the river! say they. That shall be the
name upon it, says Parthalon, even Inber mBuada. And
hence we say Inber mBuada estuary of profit.
135. DINDA HÚA N-AMALGADA.
Of the notable places of Húi Amalgaid here, to wit, Carn
Amalgaid, and Tír Amalgaid, and Fersat Trese, and Inis
Amalgaid on Loch Con, and Mag mBroin in Húi Amalgaid,
whence were they named?
Not hard to say. Carn Amalgaid, i.e. Amalgaid son of
Fiachra. Elgaid son of Dathi son of Fiachra, ’tis by him that
the cairn was dug in order to make around it an annual meeting-place
for the Húi Amalgaid, and to watch therefrom his
vessels and his fleet (going) out and (coming) in, and (lastly)
for his own burial (therein).
Amalgaid son of Fiachra, son of Eochaid Muidmedóin, from
him Tír Amalgaid was named.
Fersat Trese, now, whence is it? Not hard to say. Trese
daughter of Nadfraech, wife of Amalgaid son of Fiachra, son of
Eochaid Muigmedón, was drowned therein: so it is named
from her, and today it is called Fersat Ratha Branduib.
Inis Amalgaid, whence is it? Easy to say. When Ruad
daughter of Airdech the Broadbreasted, son of Firchoca, and
wife of Dathi son of Fiachra went to an island on Loch Con
to bring forth the child in her womb, she bore a son on this
island, even Amalgaid son of Dathi, so that the island, even
Inis Amalgaid, is named from him. And that island is a hallowed
Mag mBroin, whence is it? Easy to say. Bron son of Allot,
own brother of Manannan son of Allot, ’tis he that felled the
wood of the plain, so that it bears his name, even Mag
mBroin Bron’s Plain. And there was another brother of
theirs, Ceite son of Allot, from whom is Mag Ceiti.
Wherefore, to commemorate those notable places this was sung:
The story of the cairn of generous Amalgaid, etc.
136. MAG TIBRA.
Irial the Prophet son of Erem, son of Míl of Spain, was King
of Erin and Alba; and on his circuit Irial came round Erin till
he reached the Estuary of the Green Cairn, which is (now)
called Inber mBuada. And there he came to have speech of
his fostermother Tibir daughter of Cass Clothach of the
Tuatha dé Danann, and she brought the king of Erin to her
own fort, even to Mag Glas. There a deadly illness attacked
the King of Erin and he passed away in his fostermother’s
fort. The men of Ireland came at the news of the king’s death
till they reached Tibir’s dún, and they took him up to the
pagan burialground of Cruachain, and there he was interred.
Out of grief for her fosterling Tibir went into the sea to drown
herself, and after she was overwhelmed by the seawaves she
was brought on shore and buried in that plain beside the
strand. Wherefore the plain is named from her, even Mag
Tibra; and from the great cries which the folk of the stead
uttered in bewailing the King of Erin and his fostermother
Tulchán na ngairthe — the Hillock of the Outcries — is
137. SLIAB NGAM.
Gam the Bright-cheeked, a servant of Eremon the Great,
son of Míl of Spain, ’tis he whom the crones outraged as to
his head, and they struck it off him, and they cast the head
into the lake or into the well. And from the disturbance
which the head caused to the well it has at one time a bitter
taste and at another it is pure spring-water. Wherefore from
that Gam Sliab nGam is so called.
138. LOCH GILE.
Romra and Omra were two kings who lived in the plain
which became the lough. Romra had a daughter named Gile
Brightness. Omra asked Gile Romra’s daughter to be his
wife, but she refused and rejected him. One day when it was
raining Gile went to a well in the plain to bathe. She saw
above her head the man who was seeking her. The girl died
of shame and found death in the well. After her came her fostermother
and wept, and ’tis with the tears that burst from
her into the well that she made the lough, and from Gile
Romra’s daughter, the lough was named. Hence Loch Gile is
There Omra died by Romra’s hand, in vengeance for his
daughter, and a gore-burst of grief broke from his heart in
his own breast for sorrow because of his daughter. So that
from them the two cairns are named, to wit, Carn Romra
and Carn Omra. Wherefore of them hath been sung:
Romra’s daughter, pure Gile, etc.
139. ÁTH LIAC FIND.
A battle was fought between Find son of Cumall and
Fland son of Eochaid of the Red Eyebrows, and thither came
Sideng, daughter of Mongan of the Elfmounds, unto Find son
of Cumall with a flat stone and a chain of gold (fastened
thereto). And Find placed it in the hand of Guaire Goll till
he had used up his weapons, whereupon (snatching it from
Guaire Goll) he flung his stone, and thereby fell three sons of
Eochaid of the Red Eyebrows, namely Bran and Senach and
Senán. And the stone fell into the ford and no one found it
till Bé-tuinde (Woman of the Wave) daughter of Nothair,
or of Calad, son of Conchenn, found it. And ’tis she that
brings it up (on shore) on a Sunday morning, and there are
seven years thence till Doomsday. Hence Áth liac Find the
Ford of Find’s flagstone.
140. DRUIM CRIAICH.
Druim nAirthir (Ridge of the east) was its name at
first, till the three Find-emna (Finns of Emain) gave battle
to their father there, even to Eochaid Feidlech, king of Ireland.
Bres and Nar and Lothar were their names, and in
Emain Macha they were reared. Or emain is every thing connected,
and at one birth they were brought forth.
They marched through the north of Ireland over Febal and
over Ess Rúaid, and crossed (the rivers) Dub and Drobáis and
Dall and Sligech, and over Senchorann and Segais and Mag
Luirg and Mag nAi and Mag Cruachan, and there their sister
Clothru sought them, and wept to them, and kissed them.
And she said: I am troubled at being childless, and she entreated
them to lie with her. And thence was born Lugaid
Red-stripes, the son of the three Find-emna. This was done
that they might not get truth of battle from their father.
Thereafter they marched from Cruachan over Áth lúain
throughout Meath, over Áth Féne and Findglais and Glais
tarsna and Glais Cruind and Druim n-airthir.
Thrice three thousand were then with Eochaid, and he ordered
a fast against his sons to overthrow (?) them, or to make
them grant him a month’s truce from battle. Nought, however,
was given him save battle on the morrow. So then Eochaid
cursed his sons and said, Let them be like their names.
(Noise and Shame and Trough). And he delivered battle (to
his sons and their troops), and crushed seven thousand of
them; and the sons were routed with only thrice nine in their
company, to wit, nine with Nár, who reached Tír ind Náir in
Umall, and there he fell at Liath na cor; and nine others with
Bres at Dún Bres by Loch Orbsen, and there he fell; and
nine others with Lothar over Áth lúain, and there he fell (and,
like his brothers, was beheaded).
Then before nightfall their three heads came to Druim
Criaich, and there Eochaid uttered the word, that from that
time forward no son should ever take the lordship of Tara
after his father unless some one came between them.
141. TUAG INBIR OCUS LOCH N-ECHACH.
Tuag daughter of Conall Collamair, fosterling of Conaire
the Great, son of Etarscél, there was she reared, in Tara, with
great hosts of daughters of the King of Erin around her to
protect her. Now from ... to the end of her five years no man
was allowed to see her, so that the King of Ireland might have
the asking of her. So Manannan sent her a messenger) even
Fer Fidail son of Eogabal, a pupil of Manannan’s and a druid
of the Tuatha dé Danann, in the shape of a woman of his
own fair household, and there he remained for three nights.
On the fourth night, however, a Monday night, the druid
sang a sleep-spell over the girl, and carried her to Inber Glais,
for this was the first name of Tuag Inbir. There he laid her
down in her sleep while he went to look for a boat, and he
wished not to awake her that he might take her while sleeping
into the Land of Eternal Women. But a wave of the
floodtide came after him, and the girl was drowned. Whence
Then Fer Fidail son of Eogabal fared forth to his house,
and there Manannan killed him because of his misdeed.
Here now is declared Loch n-Echach Echaid’s lake (so
called from) Eochaid son of Mairid and brother of Ríb, whom
his father’s wife Eiblenn Guaire’s daughter loved. ’Tis from
her Sliab n-Eiblinne is named. They fared on a flitting from
Irluachair to Bregia and Brug maic ind Óc. Oengus was
there ahead of them, and he rejected them and on that night
he killed their cattle, and on the morrow their horses, and
he threatened to kill their households on the third night unless
they went away. So they begged him for carriage for
their goods, and he gave them a horse, telling them to send it
back to his house before it staled. In the mid-month of autumn,
on a Monday evening, they wend their way into Liathmuine.
There their horse lies down, after their goods had been taken
off him, and he lets his urine flow till it became a well in the
earth. Round this a house is built, and Eochaid takes the lordship
of Ulster and dwelt in Emain for nineteen years.
Then went Lind-múne over Liathmuine, and Eochaid was
drowned with all his children save only Dairiu and Conaing.
And from Conaing Dál Selle and Dál mBuain descend. ’Twas
then a hundred years after the birth of Christ. Hence Loch
nEchach Eochaid’s lake is said.
142. BENN BÓGUINE.
A cow of the kine of Flidas, daughter of Garb son of Grescad,
wife of Ailill Fesfonnad, escaped there and dropt two
calves, a bull-calf and a cow-calf, and the offspring of that cow
went wild, so that nought could be done with them, and the
plains were full of them. Now when the bull that was with
them would bellow the cows of the neighbouring country
would go to them, and then they would not come (back).
There was a female hospitaller there, namely Echdar daughter
of Uathach, wife of Bruachaid son of Baisgel. With her, then,
in fosterage was Fiacha son of Niall. Now the cow that was in
front of her went off at the roar of yon bull. So his fostermother
declared to Fiacha saying that he would not be nourished
by her on milk until the cow that was milked before
her should come back with him, or until he should kill the
wicked cattle. So Fiacha started off and cut down all the
cattle, and said: There is a cow-slaughter! (bó-guine), and
this shall be the name of the peak. Whence is said Benn Bóguine
peak of cow-slaughter.
143. SLIAB BETHA.
Now Bith son of Noah, forty days before the Deluge, came
with his daughter Cesair to Erin to avoid the flood, as is told
in the Capturae Hiberniae. After the first division (of the fifty
women who had come to Ireland with him and Cesair, Ladru
and Finntan) Bith went (to Sliab Betha) with his seventeen
wives, — or (if it was) after Ladru’s death, his twenty-five
wives — and there an ague attacked him, whereof he perished.
And the wives buried him in the great cairn of Sliab
Betha. Whence Sliab Betha Bith’s mountain is said.
144. ÁTH NGABLA OCUS URARD.
Orlam a son of Ailill and Medb, had four charioteers. They
went from the west after the Driving of the Kine of Cualnge.
These were their names: Fraech and Foichnem, Err and Indell,
four sons of Urard son of Ainching, son of Fer dá Roth.
Cúchulainn killed them at Áth Grencha, and put a fork with
four points under their heads over the ford. Whence Áth
nGabla the Ford of the Fork, hath its name.
When Fergus made the successful expedition from the west
against the hosts of Erin at Duma Granarda on Grellach Sruthra,
i.e. Sruthar Chuillinne and Sruthar Gartchon, at the
time that Urard’s four sons came eastward upon southern
Tebtha, then went Urard from the west by Bri Leith. And he
saw the dendgor (?) of the road (made) by his sons’ chariots, and
he thought that the men of Connaught had been defeated, and
that Ailill and Medb and his four sons had died. So he hastened
his horses — Cnamrad and Cruan were their names —
and they became furious and killed him on Fán Cruain
Whence Urard, and Áth nGabla and Tulach Cnamraid
Cnamrad’s Hill and Glenn Cruain Cruan’s Valley are
145. COIRE MBRECCÁIN.
A great whirlpool there is between Ireland and Scotland
on the north. It is the meeting of many seas, from east and
west, from north and south; and each of them hurls (itself)
round another’s place, so that they fall down into the deep,
and it resembles an open caldron which casts the draught
down (and) up, and its roaring is heard like far-off thunder.
Into this came Parthalon’s son Breccán, who went with pride
and wilfulness from his father out of Ireland, and it drowned
him with (his) fifty boats.
It was there, also, that Breccán son of Maine, son of Niall
(of the Nine Hostages) with fifty boats was drowned while on
a trading venture, and nought of them escaped save the tidings
of their destruction.
It was there, too, a long time after, that Colomb cille chanced
to be, when the sea rose up against him and upheaved
this Breccán’s bones. And Colomb cille said: That is
friendly, thou old Breccán, etc.
146. BENN FOIBNI.
Foibne son of Taircheltan, the cupbearer of Eochaid of the
Broad-joints son of Ailill of the Twisted Teeth, struck Illann
son of Erclan, son of Doithre, over the shoulder of Eochaid
of the Broad-joints in the house of Midchuairt in Tara
of Bregia. Then he went northward throughout Bregia.
Fergna the Man of the Broad Spear hurled himself after him,
and drove him before him from one peak to another, even
unto yonder peak (Benn Foibni), and there he killed him.
Whence Benn Foibni Foibne’s Peak.
147. MAG LÉIGE.
Liag, daughter of Trescadal son of Buan son of Belach of
the Fomorians, was a sister of Morc son of Dela. ’Twas she
that used (to be sent) by Morc and by Conang son of Faebar
to seek and measure the rent due (to them) from the clans of
Nemed. Thus then she used to be, a goblet (or) skimmer of
iron she had; and thrice fifty fills of that skimmer were levied
from every household of the clans of Nemed in Erin, (namely)
fifty fills of corn and milk, fifty fills of pure flour, and
fifty fills of butter.
Now the clans of Nemed challenged Morc and Conang to
battle. When Nemed’s offspring were marching westward to
fight them, Liach happened to be on Mag Léige, with the
tribute of the east of Ireland which she was taking to Tor Conaing
(Conang’s Tower). So Baitar son of Fergus Redside
killed her; and the clans of Nemed allowed her name to be on
the land where she was killed. Whence Mag Léige Liach’s
Plain is said.
148. SÉIG MOSSAD.
Mossad son of Maen, son of Iar, son of Flesc the Fair,
found a hawk in Fid Eóin (Bird’s Wood), and fed it so
that it grew and ate up the horse-herds and the flocks and the
human beings by twos and threes. When it could not get its
fill it turned on its fosterer and devoured him on the plain.
Whence Séig Mossad is said.
Mossad son of Maen, a bright band,
Son of Flesc Fhind, good was the man,
Nurtured a hawk for a joyous time:
It became furious to the great champion.
149. BREFNE &rl.
Brefne the woman-champion, daughter of Beóán son of
Beothach, son of Iarmuinél the prophet of the sons of Nemed,
there encountered Ragan Anglonnach of the clans of Cam,
the chief of the household of Oengus Mac ind Óc, and by his
hand the girl fell. Hence Brefne is said.
Then Ragan went to Aill meic Asuaill the Rock of
Asuall’s son, and there he was killed by the Tuath Dé Danann.
Whence Tuaim Ragain Ragan’s tumulus is said.
Mag Innusa is named from Innus daughter of Bres, son of
Sliab Fraech, that is, Fraech (one) of Cesair’s household
died there when they survived Finntan. On the mountain
they put a stone for each woman. Hence Sliab Fraech is said.
Mag Slecht: ’tis there that the men of Erin around Tigernmas
son of Follach, prostrated themselves to Crom Cruach;
and of them fell ten hundred and three thousands. Whence
Mag Slecht Plain of Prostrations, but Mag Senaig Senach’s
Plain, had been its name at first.
Whence Brefne is said. Findtan made (the following poem):
Brefne, from what cause is it? etc.
150. LOCH LAIGLINNI.
Laiglinne was son of Partholon, and Delbnat daughter of
Lochtach was his mother. With fifty warriors Laiglinne came
to the Well of Dera son of Scera. A wave burst over them and
drowned Laiglinne with his fifty warriors, and thereof a lake
was made. Hence we say Loch Laiglinni Laiglinne’s Lake.
And his mother Delbnat, Partholon’s wife, with her fifty maidens,
died of grief.
151. LOCH CENN.
On a certain day a battle was fought by Colmán Mór son
of Diarmait and Cairpre son of Eochaid son of Oengus son of
Nat-fráich. After being routed in battle Colmán fell and was
cast into Loch Cenn, and together with him nine hundred
heads of the heads of his army. Hence we say Loch Cenn
Lake of Heads, and before that it had been Loch Silenn.
152. MAG NDUMACH.
Between Eber and Eremon, two sons of Míl, a battle was
there delivered concerning the three ridges that were best in
Erin, to wit, Druim Cresach and Druim Bethech in Eremon’s
share, and Druim Fingin in Eber’s share. To Eber it seemed
small to have one ridge in the southern half (of Ireland) and
two in the northern country; but Erimon said that his portion
should not be obtained from him. So between them a battle
is fought in which Eber was defeated, and therein fell Eber
and Palap son of Eremon by Conmael son of Cathbad; and
barrows were built over the heroes there, whence Mag nDumach
the Barrowed Plain, and its original name was Mag
In the battle on Denus of the habitations,
In the plain where Eber fell,
There fell together
Goisten, Sedga and Suirge.
Hence Mag nDumach is said.
Cnucha daughter of Conaing, out of the country of Luimnech,
fostermother of Conn of the Hundred Battles, went
thither to die in her own house, and was buried by Conaing
in yonder hill, namely Cnucha. Whence Cnucha is said.
It endeth. Amen. It endeth.
© 2008 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae