High Cross And Round Tower Of Monasterboice, Monasterboice, County Louth, Ireland

Myths and Folklore of Ireland by Jeremiah Curtin

Dunguaire Castle In Kinvarra Bay., Connaught, Ireland

Myths and Folklore of Ireland
by Jeremiah Curtin

The Son of the King of Erin and the Giant of Loch Lein

The Three Daughters of King O'Hara

The Weaver's Don and the Giant of the White Hill

Fair, Brown and Trembling

The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island

The Shee an Gannon and the Grugach Gaire

The Three Daughters of the King of the East and the Son of a King in Erin

The Fisherman's Son and the Grugach of Tricks

The Thirteenth Son of the King of Erin

Kil Arthur


Birth of Fin MacCumhail

Fin MacCumhail and the Fenians of Erin in the Castle of Fear Dubh

Fin MacCumhail and the Knight of the Full Axe

Gilla na Grakin and Fin MacCumhail

Fin MacCumhail The Seven Brothers and the King of France

Black, Brown and Gray

Fin MacCumhail and the Son of the King of Alba


Oisin in Tir Na N-Og


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Aedh Curucha (Aedh Crochtha), Hugh, the "suspended" or "hung up." As Aedh means also a fire-spark as well as the modern name Hugh, Aedh Curucha means the hung up or suspended fire-spark.

Alba, former name of Scotland.

Bar an Suan, "pin of slumber." met with frequently in Gaelic mythology, is found among the Slavs, but not so often. It appears in a Russian story,- one of the most beautiful in European folklore.

Cesa MicRi na Tulach, "Cesa, son of the king of the hill," said by my Donegal informant to be a small dark-gray bird.

Curucha na Gros (Crochtha na g-cros), "hung on the crosses," is a very interesting name, as is also that of the father of Fair, Brown, and Trembling, Aedh Curucha, q.v.

Conan Maol MacMorna, the Gaelic Thersites, always railing, causing trouble, unpopular, and attracting attention. This species of person is as well known in the mythology of the North American Indians as in Aryan myths.

Diachbha (pronounced Dyeeachva), "divinity," or the working of a power outside of us in shaping the careers of men ; fate.

Diarmuid (pronounced Dyeearmud), the final d sounded as if one were to begin to utter y after it), one of the most remarkable characters in Gaelic mythology, a great hunter and performer of marvellous feats. The prominent event of his life was the carrying off of Grainne, bride of Fin MacCumhail, at her own command. After many years of baffled pursuit, Fin was forced to make peace; but he contrived at last to bring about Diarmuid's death by causing him to hunt an enchanted boar of green color and without ears or tail. The account of this pursuit and the death of Diarmuid forms one of the celebrated productions of Gaelic literature. Diarmuid had a mole on his forehead, which he kept covered usually; but when it was laid bare and a woman saw it, she fell in love with him beyond recall. This was why Grainne deserted Fin, not after she was married, but at the feast of betrothal. The evident meaning of the word is "bright" or "divine-weaponed." It is very interesting to find Diarmuid called also Son of the Monarch of Light, in another story.

Donoch Kam cosa, " Donoch, crooked feet."

Draoiachta (pronounced Dreeachta), "Druidism," or "enchantment."

Erineach, or Eirineach, "a man of Erin."

Gil an Og, "water of youth."

Gilla na Grakin (Gilla na g-croicean), "the fellow (or youth) of the skins," - i. e., the serving man of the skins. This word " Gilla" enters into the formation of many Gaelic names, such as Gilchrist, Gilfillin, MacGillacuddy.

Gruagach (pronounced Grooagach), "the hairy one," from grœag, hair. "We are more likely to be justified in finding a solar agent concealed in the person of the laughing Gruagach or the Gruagach of tricks than in many of the sun-myths put forth by some modern writers.

Inis Caol, "light island," - i. e., not heavy.

Iron-back-without-action (Ton iaran gan tapuil).

Knock an Ar, "hill of slaughter," a mountain near the mouth of the Shannon in Kerry.

Lun Dubh MacSmola, "blackbird," son of thrush.

Mal MacMulan. Mulcan in this name is evidently Vulcan, substituted for some old Gaelic myth-power.

Oisin. In the Gaelic of Ireland this name is accented on the last syllable ; in that of Scotland on the first, which gives in English Ossian, the poet made known to the world by Macpherson. The poems of Ossian are of course nothing more nor less than the ballads of Fin MacCumhail and the Fenians of Erin, taken from Ireland to Scotland by the Gael when they settled in the latter country, and modified in some degree by Macpherson. Oisin is pronounced Usheen in Ireland, u sounded as in but.

Ri Fohin (Ri fo thuinn), "king under the wave."

Sean Ruadh, "John the Red," pronounced Shawn Roo.

Tiscan (pronounced Tishyan; as in pan), " envy." Son of King Tisean means "Son of King Envy."

Urfieist. rhis word is made up of Ur and peist. Ur is kindred with the German Ur, and in a compound like this means the " original '' or '' greatest.'' Peist -worm,'' ' beast," " monster'' is changed to feist here, according to a rule of aspiration in Gaelic grammar.

Curtin, Jeremiah. Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1890. (Also London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1890.)
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Page last updated June 1, 2005

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