Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool)

Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) the legendary Irish warrior was the son of Cumhaill and Muirne. Cumhaill who was leader of the Fianna was killed in battle by Goll Mac Morna who was then appointed leader. The child Fionn (the 'Fair One') was in danger because it was thought that some day he would avenge his Father's death and kill Goll Mac Morna. His mother left him in the care of Bodhmall (Cumhaill's sister) and Liath Luachra in the forests of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. They trained him from infancy in the use of weapons, hunting and other athletic skills.

As Fionn grew, news of this skilful youth spread and Bodhmall and Liath Luachra feared for his safety. He left the sanctuary of his childhood and set off on his travels with a band of travelling Poets. He reached the Boyne Valley where he met the Sage Finnegas, who had long sought 'The Salmon of Knowledge' (An Bradán Feasa) in the River Boyne. Finnegas welcomed him and taught him much. Eventually Finnegas caught the prized Salmon and instructed Fionn to cook the fish. On seeing a blister rise on the sizzling salmon skin as it cooked, Fionn burst it with his thumb. Burning his thumb, he put it in his mouth. On his return, Finnegas saw the light of wisdom in Fionn's eyes. He instructed him to eat the whole salmon so that he might fully benefit from all its knowledge.

Fionn and the Salmon of Knowledge
Irish postage stamp featuring Fionn and the Salmon of Knowledge.

Hill of Tara

Hill of TaraOn the Hill of Tara during the annual festival of Samhain the malevolent fairy Aillen would rise from the Underworld to burn the halls of Tara while the Fianna succumbed to an enchanted sleep rendering them powerless to defend themselves. Empowered by his knowledge, great strength and fighting skill, Fionn defeated Aillen, saving Tara. At this great victory, he was made Leader of the Fianna.

It is said that Fionn built the Giant's Causeway as stepping stones to Ireland and that the Isle of Man is a lump of Irish land which he hurled at an enemy.

Legend has it that Fionn is not dead, but lies in a cave somewhere beneath Ireland surrounded by the Fianna. Some day, when his hunting horn the 'Dord Fiann' sounds three times, he will rise again with his Fianna.

Proleek dolmen

Local legend claims that the Proleek dolmen dates back to a battle between Fionn Mac Cumhaill and a Scottish giant Para Buidhe Mór Mhac Seoidin. Para challenged Fionn mac Cumhaill to combat, but Fionn poisoned the nearby river and Para drank from it. The Scottish giant was buried at the wedge tomb nearby.

Proleek Dolmen
Proleek Dolmen

Jack Stones - Greenanstown

It is said that Fionn lived at Greenanstown and used to throw the Jack Stones over his house and before they would land on the other side, he would run around the house and catch them before they hit the ground.

The Jack Stones - Greenanstown
Jack Stones - Greenanstown