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Warriors, Heroes & Villains


Fionn Mac Cumhaill

c.3rd Century A.D.

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Name: Fionn Mac Cumhaill Finn Mac Cool


Birth Name: Demne


Profession: Warrior Chieftain Poet Seer


Clan: Bascna


Father: Cumhal ( Uncle to the High King, Conn of the hundred battles)


Mother: Muirne of the white neck


Half-Brother: Tulcha


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


Wives:   Sabha (of the sidhe, the people of the Otherworld.)  Maighneis (mother of Fiachna)  Gráinne (who eloped with Diarmuid O'Duibhne and had four sons before eventually returning to Fionn)


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


Messenger: Taistellach


Hounds: Bran and Sgeolan ( from the sidhe )


Friends: Goll mac Morna (a former enemy who slew Cumhall), Fiacha mac Conga (also a friend of Cumhaill's), Diarmuid O'Duibhne (trained by the warrior woman Mongfinn), Conan Maol


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. 

The Cause of the Battle of Cnucha


The Early life of Fionn Mac Cumhaill

How Fionn got his grey hair

How the Fianna got their horses

The hostel of the Quicken Trees

Diarmuid and Gráinne

The Death of Fionn

The Battles of Fionn

The Best Men of the Fianna

The Boar of Beinn Gulbain

The Birth of Diarmuid

The Coming of Finn

Finn's Household

The Birth of Bran


Red Ridge

Black, Brown and Grey

The Hound

The Lad of the Skins

Ilbrec of Ess Ruadh

Oisin in Tir na nÓg

The Adventures of Art son of Conn

Cat-Heads and Dog-Heads

The Cave of Ceiscoran

Conn Crither

The Daughter of King Under-Wave

The Death of Bran

The Death of Goll

Donn Son of Midhir

The Enemies of  Ireland

Fighting and Peace

Finn and the Phantoms

Finn's Madness

The First Fighters

The Flight From Teamhair

Glas Son of Dremen

The Great Fight

The Green Champions

The Hard Servant

The Help of the Men of Dea

The High King's Son

The Hospitality of Cuanna's House

The House of the Quicken Trees

The Hunt of Slieve Cuilinn

The King of Britain's Son

The King of Lochlann and his Sons

The King of Ulster's Son