Stories, Myths and Legends

The Story of Nemed

from the Book of Leinster 1150 A.D.

39. Now Ireland was waste thereafter, for a space of thirty years after 

Partholon, till Nemed son of Agnomain of the Greeks of Scythia came 

thither, with his four chieftains; [they were the four sons of Nemed]. 

Forty-four ships had he on the Caspian Sea for a year and a half, but 

his ship alone reached Ireland. These are the four chieftains, Starn, 

Iarbonel the Soothsayer, Annind, and Fergus Red-Side: they were the 

four sons of Nemed. 

40. There were four lake-bursts in Ireland in the time of Nemed: Loch Cal 

in Ui Niallain, Loch Munremair in Luigne, Loch Dairbrech, Loch Annind 

in Meath. When his grave [of Annind son of Nemed] was being dug 

and he was a-burying, there the lake burst over the land. 

41. It is Nemed who won the battle of Ros Fraechain against Gand and 

Sengand, two kings of the Fomoraig, and the twain were slain there. 

Two royal forts were dug by Nemed in Ireland, Raith Chimbaith in 

Semne, Raith Chindeich in Ui Niallain. The four sons of Matan 

Munremar dug Raith Cindeich in one day: namely, Boc, Roboc, Ruibne, 

and Rotan. They were slain before the morrow in Daire Lige by Nemed, 

lest they should improve upon the digging. 

42. Twelve plains were cleared by Nemed in Ireland: Mag Cera, Mag Eba, 

Mag Cuile Tolaid, and Mag Luirg in Connachta: Mag Seired in Tethba; 

Mag Tochair in Tir Eogain; Mag Selmne in Araide; Mag Macha in 

Airgialla; Mag Muirthemne in Brega; Mag Bernsa in Laighne; Leccmag 

and Mag Moda in Mumu. 

43. He won three battles against the Fomoraig [or sea-rovers]: the battle of 

Badbgna in Connachta, of Cnamros in Laigne, of Murbolg in Dal Riada. 

After that, Nemed died of plague in Oilean Arda Nemid in Ui Liathain. 

44. The progeny of Nemed were under great oppression after his time in 

Ireland, at the hands of Morc, s. Dela and of Conand s. Febar [from 

whom is the Tower of Conand named, which to-day is called Toirinis 

Cetne. In it was the great fleet of the Fomoraig]. Two thirds of the 

progeny, the wheat, and the milk of the people of Ireland (had to be 

brought) every Samain to Mag Cetne. Wrath and sadness seized on the 

men of Ireland for the burden of the tax. They all went to fight 

against the Fomoraig. They had three champions, Semul s. Iarbonel the 

Soothsayer s. Nemed, Erglan s. Beoan s. Starn s. Nemed, Fergus Red-

Side s. Nemed. Thirty thousand on sea, other thirty thousand on land, 

these assaulted the tower. Conand and his progeny fell. 

45. So, after that capture, Morc son of Dela came upon them, with the crews 

of three-score ships, and they fell in a mutual slaughter. The sea 

came up over the people of Ireland, and not one of them fled from 

another, so severe was the battling: none escaped but one ship, in 

which there were thirty warriors. They went forth, parting from 

Ireland, fleeing from the sickness and taxation: Bethach died in 

Ireland of plague; his ten wives survivied him for a space of twenty-

three years. Ibath and his son Baath went into the north of the 

world. Matach and Erglan and Iartach, the three sons of Beoan, went 

to Dobar and Iardobar in the north of Alba. 


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