Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Crúachán

Dressed to the nines! ~ a gallery of finery.

Fled Bricrenn is rich in its descriptions of finery. In its feasting halls, heroes and horse harness, detail is embelished with  vivid detail. Our text is, of course largely ninth century CE but the story telling recalls an earlier heroic age of epic deeds.  It is possible to identify memories of a mthologised pre-christian world throughout …

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The Coming of the Heroes to Crúachán ~ a description

From inside the dún, It sounded like an army approaching in full battle-stance. The whole household of Crúachán stopped still, startled in their strength. “Go see who is coming,” said Medb to her daughter. So Findabair went to the high place of the house and looked out. The sight before her dazzled her vision. Two matched …

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Dindshenchas 05: Fled Bricrenn 2 – The Road to Crúachán

In the second part of Fled Bricrenn, our heroes make their way to Crúachán to be judged for the Champion’s Portion. But their routes there and back are most circuitous. Follow on their heels with the Story Archaeologists as Cú Chulainn, Loegaire and Conall are tested in some unexpected ways! If you have any technical …

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The mead-circling hall ~ roundhouses and their stories

I have always liked round houses. Since, as a child, I first discovered that there were mysterious wicker chests of red-gold gem stories tucked away, unregarded, behind the marbled classical tales of fabled Greek heroes, I wanted to know more. But the stories from Wales and, above all, Ireland were hard to find, and even …

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The Dindshenchas of Carn Hill, Co. Longford – Carn Furbaide

Carn Furbaide, the cairn of Furbaide Fer Benn son of Conchobar and Eithne Úathach,  seems to be on Carn Hill in Co. Longford, a proverbial stone’s throw from Midir’s sid on Brí Leith / Ardagh Hill.  (See Hogan’s Onomasticon Goedelicum, Letter C). As ever, terms with notes below are in bold, and the notes are …

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Inis Clothran in pictures

Inis Clothrann Inis Clothrann is  the  largest of the islands in Lough Ree on the River Shannon, in County Longford.  Inis Clothrann is also known as “Quaker Island”  or even the “Island of the Seven Churches”. This map, from the six inch Ordnance Survey maps of Ireland completed in 1846, shows several important features of the island, including the Griannán Meidhbhe , “Medb’s …

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Who killed Medb? ~ a poem

And Medb? That famous queen of Connacht, That virtuous virago – woman of renown, Serpent wise and venomous, How did she die? Was it Ailill, on a night of pillow talk, On a night of boasting and bragging, Was there one too many pillows plumped, To stifle her competitive tongue. Was it Ailill who brought …

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Dindshenchas 03: The Well and the Cheese – The Unlikely Story of Medb and her Sisters

Inis Clothrann, the largest island of Lough Ree, Co. Longford, is famous for more than just its venerable monastic remains.  It was here that Medb of Crúachán would bathe in the island’s well in fulfilment of a geis, imposed for killing at least one of her sisters.  It was at this same well she met her death. …

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Other Appearances of the Morrigan

As discussed in the podcast, there are several other notable appearances which the Mór Rígan makes through Irish Mythology.  Below, I have produced a translation of the Dindshenchas poem, “Odras”.  Before we get to her, here are links to some of her other roles: Esnada Tige Buichet, “The Melodies of the House of Buchet”. This …

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Uaimh na gCait (Oweynagat)

The Cave of the Cats Taken from a personal journal entry after an early visit to the cave …..“There it is, by that house” and we tumble out of the car into the everlasting drizzle. The cave of Cruachán was said to be the most notorious otherworld entrance in legend. From here the Morrigan emerged …

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