Stories, Myths and Legends

The Firbolg

from the Book of Leinster 1150 A.D.

48. Now as for the Fir Bolg, they brought five chieftains with them, ut dixi 

supra, to wit, Gann, Genann, Rudraige, Sengann, Slanga: those were 

the five sons of Dela. Their five wives next, Anust, Liber, Cnucha, 

Fuat, Etar: [unde dicitur] 


Fuat, wife of Slanga, you do not think it crooked, Etar 

wife to Gann with valour, Anust wife of Sengann of the 

spears, Cnucha who was wife of pure Genann. 


Liber wife of Rudraige of the Road, a people sweet, that 

was not narrow: Slanga, master of wiles, I suppose, Fuat 

was his wife. 


49. The Fir Bolg separated into three. With Slanga s. Dela s. Loth his third 

[landed] in Inber Slaine: his Fifth is from Inber Colptha to Comar Tri 

nUisce; a thousand men his tally. The second third landed in Inber 

Dubglaisi with Gann and Sengann: two thousand were their tally, Gann 

from Comar Tri nUisce to Belach Conglais, Sengann from Belach Conglais 

to Luimneach - that is, over the two Fifths of Mumu. Genann and 

Rudraige with a third of the host, they landed in Inber Domnann: 

[whence they are called Fir Domnann]. Genann it is who was king over 

the Fifth of Medb and Ailell; Rudraige over the Fifth of Conchobor

other two thousand were his tally. Those are the Fir Bolg, the Fir 

Domnann, and the Gailioin. 


As to the Fir Domnann, the creek takes its name from them. The Fir 

Bolg - they were named from their bags. The Gailioin, from the 

multitude of their javelins were they named. 


They made one Taking and one princedom, for they were five brethren, 

the five sons of Dela s. Loth. And in one week they took Ireland, 

[though the days were different]. On Saturday, the kalends of August, 

Slanga landed in Inber Slaine. On Tuesday Gann and Sengann landed. 

On Friday Genann and Rudraige landed: and thus is it one Taking, 

though they were differently styled. The Gaileoin, from Slanga were 

they named. From Gann and Sengann were the Fir Bolg named. The 

Fir Domnann were named from deepening the earth: they were Genann 

and Rudraige with their followers.

 For they are all called Fir Bolg, 

and thirty-seven years was the length of their Lordship over Ireland. 

The five sons of Dela were the five kings of the Fir Bolg, i.e., Gann, 

Genann, Rudraige, Sengann, Slaine. 


50. [Now these men, the Fir Bolg, were the progeny of Dela.] Slanga was 

the eldest, s. Dela s. Loth s. Oirthet, s. Tribuat s. Gothorb s. Gosten s. 

Fortech s. Semeon s. Erglan s. Beoan s. Starn s. Nemed s. Agnomain. 

No king took, who was called "of Ireland," till the Fir Bolg came. 


Nine kings of them took Ireland. Slanga, one year - it is he who died 

of the Fir Bolg in Ireland at the first. Rudraige, two years, till he 

died in Brug Bratruad. Gann and Genann, four years, till they died of 

plague in Fremaind. Sengann, five years, till he fell at the hands of 

Rindail s. Genann s. Dela. Rindail, six years, till he fell at the hands 

of Fodbgenid s. Sengann s. Dela in Eba Coirpre. Fodbgen, four years, 

till he fell in Mag Muirthemne at the hands of Eochu s. Rindail s. 

Genann s. Dela. 

Eochu son of Erc, ten years. There was no wetting in 

his time, save only dew: there was no year without harvest. 

Falsehoods were expelled from Ireland in his time. By him was 

executed the law of justice in Ireland for the fist time. Eochu son of 

Erc fell at the hands of three sons of Nemed s. Badra: he is the first 

king of Ireland who received his death-wound in Ireland. [Unde Colum 

Cille cecinit "Dean moresnis a mic," etc.] 


51. The Fir Bolg gave them [the Tuatha De Danann] battle upon Mag Tuired; 

they were a long time fighting that battle. At last it broke against the 

Fir Bolg, and the slaughter pressed northward, and a hundred 

thousand of them were slain westward to the strand of Eochaill. There 

was the king Eochu overtaken, and he fell at the hands of the three 

sons of Nemed. Yet the Tuatha De Danann suffered great loss in the 

battle, and they left the king on the field, with his arm cut from him; 

the leeches were seven years healing him. The Fir Bolg fell in that 

battle all but a few, and they went out of Ireland in flight from the 

Tuatha De Danann, into Ara, and Ile, and Rachra and other islands 

besides. [it was they who led the Fomoraig to the second battle of 

Mag Tuired]. And they were in [those islands] till the time of the 

Provincials over Ireland, till the Cruithne drove them out. They came 

to Cairbre Nia Fer, and he gave them lands; but they were unable to 

remain with him for the heaviness of the impost which he put upon 

them. Thereafter they came in flight before Cairbre under the 

protection of Medb and Ailill, and these gave them lands. This is the 

wandering of the sons of Umor. [Oengus son of Umor was king over 

them in the east], and from them are named those territories, Loch 

Cime from Cime Four-Heads son of Umor, the Point of Taman in 

Medraige from Taman son of Umor, the Fort of Oengus in Ara from 

Oengus, the Stone-heap of Conall in Aidne from Conall, Mag Adair from 

Adar, Mag Asail from Asal in Mumu also. Menn son of Umor was the 

poet. They were in fortresses and in islands of the sea around 

Ireland in that wise, till Cu Chulaind overwhelmed them. 


52. Those are the kings of the Fir Bolg and their deaths; unde poeta cecinit :
The Fir Bolg were here for a season in the great island of 

the sons of Mil; the five chiefs which they brought with 

them from over yonder I know their names. 


A year had Slanga, this is true, till he died in his fine 

mound; the first man of the Fir bolg of the peaks who died 

in the island of Ireland. 


Two years of Rudraige the Red, till he died in Brug Brat-

ruaid, four of Genann and of Gann, till plague slew them in 

Fremaind. 


Five years of Sengann - they were reposeful -till Fiachu 

son of Starn slew him; five others - it was through battle 

-Fiachu Cendfhindan was king. 


Fiachu Cendfhindan before all, his name endures for ever; 

whiteheaded all, without reproach, were the kine of Ireland 

in his presence. 


Till he fell at the hands of red Rindail, he got six [years] 

with his free host; The grandson of Dela fell then in Eba, 

at the hands of Odbgen. 


Four to noble Odbgen till the battle of Muirthemne of the 

nobles: Odbgen died without reproach at the hands of the 

son of Erc, of lofty Eochu. 


Ten years to Eochu son of Erc, he found not the border-

line of weakness: till they slew him on the battlefield, the 

three sons of Nemed son of Badra. 


Till Rinnal grew, there was no point at all upon a weapon 

in Ireland; upon harsh javelins there was no fair-covering, 

but their being rushing-sticks. 


In the time of Fodbgen thereafter there came knots 

through trees: the woods of Ireland down till then were 

smooth and very straight. 


The pleasant Tuatha De Danann brought spears with them 

in their hands: with them Eochu was slain, by the seed of 

Nemed of strong judgement. 


The names of the three excellent sons of Nemed were 

Cessarb, Luam, and Luachra: it is they who slew the first 

king with a point, Eochu son of Erc, in Ireland. 


Thereafter the Tuatha De fought against the Fir Bolg, it was a 

rough appearance. They took away their goods and their 

lordship from the Men. 

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