Name:  Finegas


Profession:  Bard & Seer


Pupil:  Fionn Mac Cumhail

Finegas was a poet and seer who lived by the side of the river Boyne.  He had been given a prophecy that he would catch the magical fish called the Salmon of Knowledge but that a man called Fionn would eat of it's flesh and gain all the wisdom and knowledge that the salmon contained because it in turn had eaten a nut from one of the nine hazel trees of wisdom  which grew by the Well of Wonders beneath the sea.

A man who called himself Deimne came to Finegas and asked that he be trained in the ways of  poetry and druidic lore and Finegas agreed to this as the young man was pleasant and agreeable and could make himself useful about the place.  So Finegas set to imparting all his knowledge and learning to this young man.  Each day Finegas went to sit by the river to see if he could catch the Salmon of Knowledge when one day after Deimne had been serving with him for five years he finally caught it.  Now Finegas was hoping to somehow avert what had been prophesied and eat of the fish himself and deeming it to be safe and there being no-one in the region by the name of Fionn about, he gave the fish to his apprentice Deimne to prepare warning him not to eat the flesh of the fish or there would be dire consequences!

Now as the boy prepared the fish over the pan he went to turn it with his hand and as he did so he burnt his thumb and the pain of it made him put his thumb quickly into his mouth to cool the burning.  At once he was filled with all manner of wise thoughts and knowledge and knew the answers to all the questions that he harboured.  So he brought the cooked fish to Finegas but Finegas knew that something had changed about the youth and looking at him and using his gift of clairvoyance he at once said 'Your name is not Deimne but Fionn! and the prophecy has been fulfilled now, you have been chosen to have all the knowledge contained in the fish you may eat it all as it would be no use whatsoever to me anymore' and the boy revealed himself as Fionn the son of Cumhail who was captain of the Fianna the fighting band of Ireland before he was murdered by the sons of Morna.

Finegas held no ill will against his student Fionn who was destined for greatness, and he continued teaching him for a further two years until the boy had learnt all that he could teach him.

Stories, Myths and Legends associated with Finegas

The Coming of Finn

Boyhood  Deeds of Fionn



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