Name: Fionn Mac Cumhaill Finn Mac Cool
Birth Name: Demne
Profession: Warrior Chieftain Poet Seer
Mother: Muirne of the white neck
Fosterers: Liath Luachra Bodhmall
Aunts: Tuiren sister of Muirne Bodhmall
Uncle: Crimhall (brother of Cumhal)
Foster Father: Fiacha Mac Conga
Foster Brother: Moling Lúath
King: Cormac Mac Art (High king of Ireland from 227 - 283 AD.)
Army: The Fianna
Related Sites: Tara, Co. Meath. Hill of Almu (Allan), Co. Kildare. ( his home ).
Gaohra/ Gabhra (west of Tara) place of his death.
Hunting grounds: Ben Bulben (Sligo) Slieve Cua Slieve Crot Cnoc Fianna
Tutor: Liath a female warrior
Sons: Oisín (son of Sabha of the sidhe ) Fiachna ( son of Maighneis) Faolan
Foster Sons: Innsa Duibhruinn Cael
Daughters: Cainche Lugach
Grandson: Oscar (son of Oisín)
Nephew: Caoilte mac Ronan
Druids: Cainnelsciath Diorraing
Bards: Daighre Mac Morna Suanach Mac Senshenn
Hounds: Bran and Sgeolan ( from the sidhe )
Enemies: Midac mac Lochlan (because the Fianna had slain his family) Sinsar of the battles Borba the haughty (son of Sinsar) The King of the World (father of Sinsar, grandfather of Borba) The King of Torrent and his sons Cairpre (son of Cormac mac Art, brother of Gráinne) Fear-Taigh mac Morna Fear-Ligh mac Morna (brothers of Goll mac Morna) The five sons of Urgriu
God: Manannan mac Lir (Lord of the sea)
Goddess: Morrigan ( Goddess of war, life and death )
Magical Powers: Could divine information about events by putting his thumb in his mouth, Could heal warriors by giving them water that was cupped in his hands.
Description of Fionn Mac Cumhaill/ Finn Mac Cool
This description was translated from an early source by Lady Gregory late 19th century.
Finn was a king, a seer and a poet, a Druid and a knowledgeable man; and everything he said was sweet-sounding to his people. And a better fighting man than Finn never struck his hand into a king's hand, and whatever anyone ever said of him, he was three times better. And of his justice it used to be said, that if his enemy and his own son had come before him to be judged, it is a fair judgement he would have given between them. And as to his generosity it used to be said, he never denied any man as long as he had mouth to eat with, and legs to bring away what he gave him; and he left no woman without her bride-price, and no man without his pay; and he never promised at night what he would not fulfill on the morrow, and he never promised in the day what he would not fulfill at night, and he never forsook his right-hand friend. And if he was quiet in peace, he was angry in battle, and Oisín his son and Oscar his son's son followed him in that.
This description is taken from the Fianaigecht translated by Kuno Meyer.
Then rose the royal chief of the Fiana of Ireland and Scotland and of the Saxons and Britons, of Lewis and Norway and of the hither islands, and put on his battle-dress of combat and contest, even a thin, silken shirt of wonderful, choice satin of the fair-cultivated Land of Promise over the face of his white skin; and outside over that he put his twenty-four waxed, stout shirts of cotton, firm as a board, about him, and on the top of those he put his beautiful, plaited, three-meshed coat of mail of cold refined iron, and around his neck his graven gold-bordered breastplate, and about his waist he put a stout corset with a decorated, firm belt with gruesome images of dragons, so that it reached from the thick of his thighs to his arm-pit, whence spears and blades would rebound. And his stout-shafted martial five-edged spears were placed over against the king, and he put his gold-hafted sword in readiness on his left, and he grasped his broad-blue, well-ground Norse lance, and upon the arched expanse of his back he place his emerald-tinted shield with flowery designs and with variegated, beautiful bosses of pale gold, and with delightful studs of bronze, and with twisted stout chains of old silver; and to protect the hero's head in battle he seized his crested, plated, four-edged helmet of beautiful, refined gold with bright, magnificent, crystal gems and with flashing, full beautiful, precious stones which had been set in it by the hands of master-smiths and great artists.
Stories, legends and myths about Fionn Mac Cumhaill/ Finn Mac Cool
Fionn Mac Cumhaill was the commander in chief of the entire Fianna, his father Cumhaill had been commander before him. He lived in the 3rd century A.D. Many of the stories about Fionn are versions of much earlier legends and folktales. There is also an element of the interaction between the pagan hero and the christian hero in the later stories as many are about Fionn and his son Oisín meeting up with the christian saint Patrick.
Celtic storytelling followed a mainly oral tradition but around the 3-4 century AD appeared the first of the Druid schools and centers of Learning and much of the Knowledge was beginning to be written down. It was from this time onward that Ireland received the name Isle of Saints and Scholars.
The Irish Druids were writing the stories in Ogham, while many of the early chronicles were also scribed in Latin by christian monks therefore a christian bias entered into some of the stories particularly the ones written in later times around the 11th and 12th centuries. It was these christian versions of the stories that survived the invasion of Ireland by the roman christians (The Norman Invasion) in the 12th century.