Irish Sagas at UCC University College Cork



Aislinge Óenguso

Background information

References in the Annals of the Four Masters

M3371.1 The first year of the reign of Eochaidh Ollathair, who was named the Daghda, over Ireland.

M3450.1 After the completion of the last year of the eighty years which Eochaidh Ollathar passed in the monarchy of Ireland, he died at Brugh, of the venom of the wound which Cethlenn inflicted upon him in the first battle of Magh Tuireadh.

Lebor Gabála Érenn (Macalister), Volume 4

p. 131 Boind daughter of Delbaeth son of Elada. … Bodb of the Mound on Femen, son of Eochu Garb.

p. 181 Eochaid Ollathair, the Great Dagda, son of Elada, was eighty years in the kingship of Ireland. He had three sons, Oengus, Aed and Cermat the fair. Upon these four did the men of Ireland make the Mound of the Brug.

p. 191 Oengus mac in nOg and Aed Caem and Cermat Milbel, the three sons of the Dagda, son of Elada.

The History of Ireland (Geoffrey Keating), Volume 1

p. 217 Aonghus, Aodh, Cearmadh and Mídhir, the four sons of the Dághdha.

p. 223 The Daghdha Mór, son of Ealatha, son of Dealbhaoth, son of Néd, held the kingdom of Ireland seventy years. He died at Brugh of the bloody missiles of a cast which Ceithleann flung at him in the battle of Magh Tuireadh. Eochaidh Ollathar (was) the proper name of the Daghdha.

The History of Ireland (Geoffrey Keating), Volume 2

pp. 201-203 Now when Conchubhar heard that the women wished to see him, he set out alone from the height on which he was to visit them; while Ceat, on the other hand, went secretly and got into the midst of the women waiting in readiness to kill Conchubhar. When, therefore, Conchubhar was approaching the women, Ceat arose and arranged the brain of Meisceadhra in his sling to slay Conchubhar. But when he latter saw Ceat he retreated to the midst of his own people; and as he was proceeding to Doire Da Bhaoth, Ceat hurled the brain of Meisceadhra after him from his sling, and struck him on the crown; and his brain-pan was broken by that cast, and the brain of Meisceadhra clung to his skull; and thereupon his followers came up to protect him against Ceat. They then sent for Finghin Faithliaigh; and when he arrived, he said that if that ball were extracted from his head he would instantly die. ‘We had rather,’ said they all, ‘that our king should have a blemish than that he should die.’ Finghin cured him, and then told him not to get into a passion, to avoid sexual intercourse, to avoid riding on horseback, to abstain from violent exertion—otherwise, that by the repelling motion of his own brain, he would hurl the ball from his head and die.

Related text online: De gabáil in t-shída (Concerning the seizure of the fairy mound)
Vernam Hull (ed. & tr.), De gabáil in t-shída (Concerning the seizure of the fairy mound), Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 19, 1933, pp. 53-58.
Irish text at CELT; English translation at Tech Screpta
Brug meicc ind Óc (See Section 9)

Related saga online: Tochmarc Étaíne (The Wooing of Étaíne)
Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best (ed. & tr.), Ériu, 12, 1938, pp. 142-193.
Digital Edition at JSTOR; Irish text at CELT; English translation at CELT; English translation at
version 1, p. 147, ¶8, Brug meicc ind Óc (See Section 9)
version 2, p. 165, ¶3, Lovesickness (See Section 1)
version 3, p. 185, ¶15, Two swans (See Section 14)

Related saga online: Compert Con Culainn (the Conception of Cú Chulainn)
A. G. van Hamel (ed.), Compert Con Culainn and other stories, (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1933; repr. 1978), pp. 3-8.
Digital Edition at (pp. 3-8 (19-24)); English translation at (pp. 15-20 (106-112))

p. 106, Conchobar had a sister, Dechtire by name. She and fifty young maidens, her companions, disappeared one day from Emain Macha without warning to the king or the Ultonians. For three years nothing was heard of them. Then a flock of birds began to frequent the plain of Emania; they consumed everything before them, until not a blade of grass was left. The birds were Dechtire and her maidens, who sought to attract and to draw away the chiefs of Ulster. (See Section 12)

Related saga online: Serglige Con Culainn (The Sick-bed of Cuchulainn)
Eugene O’Curry (ed. & tr.), The Sick-bed of Cuchulainn and the only jealousy of Emer, in: The Atlantis, 1, 1858, pp. 370-392; 2, 1859, pp. 98-124.
Digital Edition at (pp. 370-392); Digital Edition at (pp. 98-124)

pp. 373-377, Whilst they were thus engaged, a flock of birds alighted on the lake in their presence, and in Erinn there were not birds more beautiful. …
It was not long after until they saw two birds on the lake, linked together by a chain of red gold. They chaunted a low melody which brought sleep upon the assembly. Cuchulain went towards them. … He then threw his heavy spear [croisech], and it passed through the flying wing of one of the birds. They plunged under the water.
Cuchulain went away then in bad spirits, and put his back to a rock, where sleep soon fell upon him. And he saw [through his sleep] two women coming towards him. One woman had a green cloak, the other had a five-folded crimson cloak on. The woman with the green cloak went up to him, and smiled at him, and she gave him a stroke of a horse switch. The other went up to him then and smiled at him, and struck him in the same manner; and they continued for a long tune to do this, that is, each of them in turn striking, until he was nearly dead. They went away from him then. (See Section 8)

Related saga online: Aided Chonchobuir (The Death of Conchobar)
Kuno Meyer (ed. & tr.), The Death-Tales of the Ulster Heroes, (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis and Co., 1906; repr. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1993), pp. 4-21.
Digital Edition at (pp. 4-21)

p. 9, §9, Fingen, Conchobar’s physician: “ ’Tis he would know from the smoke that arose from a house how many were ill in the house, and every disease that was in it.” (See Section 2)

Related saga online: Táin Bó Cúalnge from the (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley)
Cecile O’Rahilly (ed. & tr.), Táin Bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster, (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967; repr. 2004).
Irish text at CELT; English translation at CELT

§31, p. 236, Fíngin the seer-physician, the physician of Conchobor (See Section 2)

Cecile O’Rahilly (ed. & tr.), Táin Bó Cúalnge Recension 1, (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1976; repr. 2006).
Irish text at CELT; English translation at CELT

p. 209, Fíngin, the seer-physician, Conchobar’s own physician (See Section 2)

Related Saga online: Airne Fingein (Fingen’s Night-Watch)
Annie M. Scarre (ed.), Airne Fingein, in: Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, Volume 2, pp. 1-10.
Digital Edition at (pp. 1-10 (97-106)); English translation at Tech Screpta

p. 6 (102), §8, Loch Riach, … it is in it that Caoer Abarbaeth (Silly Berry) from the sid of Feadal Ambaid washed the mantle of Mac in Og with a multitude of colors unknown (to the world), so that it is variously colored and so that it showed a variety of color upon it every hour, although the men of Erin should be looking at it at one time, (See Section 8)

Lectures on the Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History (O’Curry)

pp. 426-427 (459-460), p. 632-633 (671-672), Cliach was the harper of Smirdubh Mac Smáil, king of the three Rosses of Sliabh Bán [in Connacht]. Cliach set out on one occasion to seek the hand in marriage of one of the daughters of Bodbbh Derg, of the [fairy] place of Femhen [in Tipperary]. He continued a whole year playing his harp, on the outside of the palace, without being able to approach nearer to Bodhbh, so great was his [necromantic] power; nor was he able to make any impression on the daughter. However, he continued to play on until the ground burst under his feet, and the lake which is on the top of the mountain, sprang up in the spot: that is Loch Bél Séad. The reason why it was called Loch Bél Séad, was this:
Coerabar boeth, the daughter of Etal Anbuail of the fairy mansions of Connacht, was a beautiful and powerfully gifted maiden. She had three times fifty ladies in her train. They were all transformed every year into three time fifty beautiful birds, and restored to their natural shape the next year. These birds were chained in couples by chains of silver. One bird among them was the most beautiful of the world’s birds, having a necklace of red gold on her neck, with three times fifty chains depending from it, each chain terminating in a ball of gold. During their transformation into birds, they always remained on Loch Crotta Cliach [that is, the Lake of Cliach’s Harps], wherefore the prople who saw them were in the habit of saying: ‘Many is the Séad [that is, a gem; or jewel, or other precious article] at the mouth of Loch Crotta this day’. And hence it is called Loch Bél Séad, [or the Lake of the Jewel Mouth.]
It was also called Loch Bél Dragain, [or the Dragon-Mouth Lake]; because Ternóg’s nurse caught a fiery dragon in the shape of a salmon, and St. Fursa induced her to throw it into Loch Bél Séad. … And it is on that account it is called Dragon-Mouth Lake.
Cliach the harper, however, always played upon two harps at the same time; and hence the name Crotta Cliach [the Harps of CliachCruit being the Irish for a harp], and Sliabh Crott, [or the Mountain of the Harps, on the top of which the lake of Cliach’s Harps is still to be seen]. (See Section 8)

Related saga online: Aided Ailella ocus Conaill Chernaig (The Deaths of Ailill and Conall Cernach)
Kuno Meyer (ed. & tr.), Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 1, 1897, pp. 102-111.
Digital Edition at (pp. 102-111); English translation at Tech Screpta

Related saga online: Aided Meidbe (The Violent Death of Medb)
Vernam Hull (ed. & tr.), Aided Meidbe: The Violent Death of Medb, Speculum, 13, No. 1, 1938, pp. 52-61.
Digital Edition at JSTOR; Irish text at CELT; English translation at

Airec Menman Uraird Maic Coise (Byrne), Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, Volume 2
List of the gnathscela Herenn includes:
Aislingi in Maic Oig, p. 43 (139), §3, line 6

R = The Rennes Dindshenchas (Stokes), Revue Celtique, 15-16, 1894-1895
M = The Metrical Dindshenchas (Gwynn)
S = Silva Gadelica (O’Grady), Volume 2
R: Boand §19 (See Section 3), Part 1, pp. 315-316, (‘Boand’)
M: Boand I (See Section 3), Volume 3, pp. 27-33, pp. 480-481
M: Boand II (See Section 3), Volume 3, pp. 35-39, pp. 481-482
B: Boann §36 (See Section 3), p. 500, (‘Boann’)
S: Bóann (See Section 3), pp. 519-520 (554-555)
R: Dindgnai in Broga §4 (See Section 14), Part 1, pp. 292-293, (‘Dindgnai in Broga’)
M: Brug na Bóinde I (See Section 14), Volume 2, pp. 11-17, pp. 92-94
M: Brug na Bóinde II (See Section 14), Volume 2, pp. 19-25, pp. 95-96
R: Crotta Cliach §47 (See Section 7), Part 2, pp. 440-441, (‘Crotta Cliach’)
M: Crotta Cliach (See Section 7), Volume 3, p. 225, p. 517
S: Crota Cliach (See Section 7), p. 523 (558)
R: Loch Bél Dracon in §47 Crotta Cliach (See Section 7), Part 2, pp. 440-441, (‘Loch Bél Dracon’)
M: Loch Bel Dragon in Crotta Cliach (See Section 7), Volume 3, p. 225, p. 517
S: Loch Bél Drecon in Crota Cliach (See Section 7), p. 523 (558)

Cóir Anmann: Fitness of Names (Stokes), Irische Texte, Ser. III.2
Connachta §76 (See Section 8), p. 325, p. 414
Cruachu (in Medb of Cruachu §274) (See Section 11), p. 403, p. 424
Dagda §§150-151 (See Section 4 above), p. 355, p. 418
Muma §1 (See Section 5), p. 289, p. 412

Egerton 1782
Mythological Cycle
Tuatha Dé Danann
Ulster Cycle
Aislinge Óenguso
Ailill mac Máta; Kings of Connacht
Bodb Derg
Caer Ibormeith
Conchobar mac Nessa; Kings of Ulster
Dagda; High Kings of Ireland
Brú na Bóinne
Rathcroghan (Cruachan)

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