Stories, Myths & Legends 

How the River Barrow got its name


Once when the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Mac Cecht was out walking beside the river near his home.

He saw a most hideous baby lying on the ground. 

It was wizened like an old dried fruit, with small black eyes and brown sharp teeth and black nails on its wrinkled little hands. 

He knew it was no ordinary baby and that it meant the destruction of himself and his kin. 

He ventured up close and very quickly he put his knife through the baby's chest and pulled out its heart, which wriggled in his hand, he immediately cut it open and out sprang three venomous serpents which had the power to kill anything. 

As quickly as was possible he killed the three serpents and then he made a fire and burnt their remains, which he then threw into the nearby river. 

The ashes were so deadly that they made the river boil and killed every living thing in it and from that day forward it was known as the Barrow from beirigh which means 'boiling'.


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