Stories Myths & Legends

Cúchulainn kills his son 

When Aoife heard that Cúchulainn had married Emer, she was totally enraged because she had borne him a son against  her will, (he had raped her after he had defeated her in battle).  So she decided to turn her son into a weapon against Cúchulainn.  She trained her son in all aspects of being a warrior.  She then sent him over to Ireland but first she put three geasa (immutable taboos) on him.  First he was not to turn back, the second that he should never refuse a challenge, and the third that he should never tell anyone his name. 

When Conlaoch arrived at his father's home in Dundalk, he was met by the warrior Conall, who according to custom asked him his name and lineage.  Because of the geas his mother had put on him, Conlaoch could not comply with this request and was immediately challenged to a duel with Conall, which he could not refuse.  Conlaoch then came against Cúchulainn himself and was asked his lineage, but again could not tell it and so was challenged by Cúchulainn.  In the terrible battle that followed the hero light came upon Cúchulainn and Conlaoch realised that he was fighting his father and that his mother had been treacherous, he cast his spear sideways so that it would miss Cúchulainn and shouted that he was his son, but it was too late Cúchulainn had already thrown the gae bulga (which he had won from Aoife) and it was unstoppable once thrown and thus Conlaoch was slain.

Cúchulainn was thrown into a fit of rage and grief in which he lost his senses and started attacking anything in sight, so in order to save him and his friends from further tragedy, the Druid Cathbad cast a spell upon Cúchulainn causing him to see the waves of the sea as armed opponents.   He battled with the waves until he collapsed from exhaustion.

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