Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Stories and Activities with Children 3: Finn and Conan Maeol

There are many stories about Finn Mac Cumhaill. The original texts are complex and difficult to say the least! This is largely because the Fionn (earlier Finn) stories remained in the oral tradition and were written down quite late. This means that there are many interwoven versions and duplications.

I have created a video of one of my favourite ‘tellings’. This is one version of the ‘The House of the Quicken Tree. There are several tales of the sharp tongued, Conan Maol who was always at odds with Diarmud , and generally got into trouble wherever he went. I have done my best with this telling but it usually includes the full participation of several members of my audience. I miss them!

In this tale I recount the challenges of becoming a part of the Fianna. the first important skill was to have the skills of a poet. The early Irish poetry had to fulfill all the roles of showing scene setting, action sequences and dramatic moments that you would find today in your favourite films. Having a go at becoming an Irish Hero Poet is easy and fun. You will find everything you need by clicking this link . Become an Irish Hero Poet

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