The Hill Of Tara
Traditional Irish Stories
Folk Tales Of Ireland
|The Salmon Of Knowledge||How Cúchulann Got His Name||The Brown Bull Of Cooley||How Fionn Became The Leader Of The Fianna||How To Become A Fianna Warrior|
The Brown Bull Of Cooley
story is about Queen Maeve and her husband Ailill. They wanted to see who had the
most goods. They all had the same amount of goods except for one thing, Ailill had a fine
white bull. Queen Maeve had nothing to equal it. So she went to try to see if she
could get something to get even with Ailill. Maeve knew about the Brown Bull of Cooley.
Daire was the name of the man who owned the Brown Bull. Queen Maeve sent messengers off to Cooley. But the
messengers returned without the bull. Maeve sent messengers to steal the bull. Daire said
he would lend the bull to her for a year and a day. But then one of the messengers said
that even if Daire had not given them the Bull, they would have stolen it anyway.
When Daire heard this he became very angry and refused to give the bull to them.
However Maeve tried to steal the bull anyway.
A battle then started between Cúchulann and the soldiers of Connaught. Cúchulann defeated all that attacked him, even his best friend Ferdia.
|There was once a bull
known as the 'Brown Bull of Cooley'. It was a very fine bull. It belong to a man called
Daire, who lived in Ulster.
Queen Maeve of Connaught wanted this bull so that she would have more wealth than her husband, King Ailill. Maeve gathered her army to get the bull by force. As Maeve's army marched, her magician put a spell on King Conors warriors of Ulster, know as The Red Branch Knights.
Cúchulann was the only one who survived. Ferdia then had to fight Cuchulann because Maeve told him to. First they fought with swords. Finally Cuchulann won and he said to Ferdia "I will never be happy again because I have killed you....my best friend!"
How To Become A Fianna Warrior
|Usually before any man could officially become a Fianna warrior, he had to undergo some tests. If I may say so
myself these tests were not very easy. Anyway here they are !!No.1 While standing in a hole as deep as his waist he had to be able to defend
himself against nine warriors ,using only a shield and a hazel rod.
No.2 He had to escape from nine warriors by running through
the forest without breaking a twig under his feet ,or tearing his clothes on bramble.
No.3 He had to be able to jump over a branch as high as
himself and run under another as low as his knee.
No.4 While running at top speed through the forest he had to
be able to pick a thorn from his foot without stopping .
No.5 He had to learn twelve books of poetry by heart ,and
also know many of the
old legends and stories
No.6 When he had
passed all these tests he went on his knees and swore to obey the rules of the Fianna, and
to serve Fionn and his king.
See what I mean by the tests
being hard !!
| If you ever want to become a member of the Fianna, you must pass six
tests. These tests were very hard indeed.There was only one easy test. Now lets get to the
No.1 While standing in a
hole as deep as your waste you had to be able to defend yourself against nine warriors
using only a shield and a hasel rod.
No.2 You had to escape from
nine warriors by running through the forest without breaking a twig under your feet our
tearing your clothes on a bramble.
No. 3 You had to be able to
jump over a brach as high as your head and run under a branch as low as your waste.
No.4 While running trough
the forest at top speed you had to be able to pick a torn from yourshoe with out stopping.
No.5 You had to learn twelve
books of poetry off by heart and also know many old legends.
No.6 When you pass these
tests you had to go to your knees and swear to obey the rules of the fianna, and to serve
Fionn as his king.
How Cúchulann Got His Name
Cuchulanns name before this story was Setanta. One day a blacksmith worked for King Conor. He was holding a great feast for the king and his friends. Cuchulann was invited too. Hurry up said the King. Setanta replied I will come after this game of hurling. Well we will be off then said the King. And so they set off to Cullan the blacksmith. When they got there. There was a lovely feast of bread, turkey, meat, wine, fish and everything you could a imagine. Is everybody here said Cullan. Yes said the King forgeting about Setanta. And with hearing that he put the finest guard dog on guard.
Back then it was cheaper to use a guard dog because it cost way too much money to use a warrior. The match had ended ( which Setantas team won). So off went Setanta through the woods helping many animals. For instance he got a chicken out of a trap and brought it as a present for Cullan and off he went again. Now that he was through the wood he had to cross a river. He caught 11 fish for the feast. Now he was there and a dog started to attack him. He hit his sliotar with his hurley and with a mighty thud, the sliotar went down the dogs throat.
The noise brought the people of the feast out and everyone was happy that Setanta was all right. Thank goodness you are all rightsaid the King. "Who will guard my house now said Cullan I will until you find and raise another hound as good as I have killedsaid Setanta. From that day on Setanta was called Cuchulann which means "the Hound of Cullan"
By C. Sheehy
| There once was a boy called Setanta who one
day was playing hurling with all his friends. They wished they could be a part of the Red
Branch Knights. King Conor and his friends were invited to Culanns house for a big
feast. When they were walking to Culann's home, they saw Setanta and he said "I will
follow you when I finish this game".
A while later Setanta went along. The guard dog was outside the feasting hall. Setanta had to beat the dog to get in. He only had his hurley and sliotar. He gave it a mighty blow! It went down the dogs throat. The dog was lying there dead.
King Conor and his friends came out too. King Conor was delighted that Setanta was not hurt. Culann was sad seeing his guard dog lying dead on the ground. "Who will guard my house now" said Culann "I will" said Setanta "until you find another good trained dog as the one I have killed"From that time on Setanta got the name CúChulainn, which means 'The Hound Of Culann'.
BY E. O'Mahoney
How Fionn Became The Leader Of The Fianna
| Once upon a time there was a boy named Fionn. He ate a bit of the Salmon
of Knowledge. Then he became the wisest man to live and his destiny was to become leader
of the Fianna. Fionns father Cumhall was the king, but he was killed in a battle.
Fionn became wise enough to
ask the king for his rightful place. The king said he could, but only if he could destroy
After a while Fionn got to battle. The Goblin tried everything to stop Fionn. He used his majic harp, strength and flames but nothing worked. Fionn stuck his sphere through the Goblins heart and killed him. He came back to the king with the Goblins head on his sphere and Fionn became king.
| Once there was a boy and his name was Fionn. There was an old poet called
Finegas who had longed to catch the Salmon of Knowledge. Finegas wanted it's great powers.
Then one day Finegas caught
the salmon of knowledge. He then ordered Fionn to cook the salmon of knowledge. He
went down to the river to wash his hands. When the fish was cooking a blister rose on it
and Fionn pushed his on the blister. He forgot what Finegas had said and sucked his thumb
to ease the pain.
Then Fionn became the wisest man who ever lived.
|When Fionn was a little boy. His father was killed in a
fierce battle. So he went to live with a wise man called Finnegas. One day Fingas caught
the Salmon of Knowledge. He asked Fionn to cook it. Before he got ready for dinner, Finnegas warned Fionn not to taste the Salmon of Knowledge. If he did he
would become the wisest man in Ireland.
Finnegas wanted to become the wisest man in Ireland.That is why he warned Fionn not to taste the Salmon. Soon a blister rose on the salmon. Fionn burst it with his finger. He sucked his finger to stop the pain of the burn. Now Fionn was the wisest man in Ireland.
Many years later the high King of Tara had a great feast for all the warriors of the Fianna [which Fionn was at this stage].Suddenly the music stopped.The king started to speak about the Evil Goblin.
He said "He said who can kill the Evil Goblin. Fionn said I will kill the Evil Goblin. Ok said the King. Only if I kill the bull you let me be the leader of the Fianna. Ok said the King.
In the end Fionn kills the bull and becomes the leader of the Fianna.
|The Salmon Of Knowledge|
| Once there was a man named Finigas who lived near the River Boyne.
He wanted to catch the Salmon Of Knowledge. When Finnegas caught the Salmon Of Knowledge,
he told Fionn to light a fire. Finnegas prepared the Salmon. When Finnegas went out, Fionn
cooked the Salmon but he was warned not to eat any. Then a huge blister rose from
the back of the salmon. Fionn pushed the bilster down but it burst. To ease the
pain, Fionn sucked his tumb.
Then a cloud
rose from the fish and he saw himself leading an army (The Fianna). They faught many
battles and they won them all. Finnegas heard about the cloud and he was very sad
because Fionn was now the wisest man in all of Ireland !!
BY J. Keane
| There once was a man named Finegas. He hoped to catch the Salmon
of Knowledge. He tried for years, looking in the River Boyne.
Once a man
called Finegas was walking home from the River Boyne. While he was making the dinner there
was a knock on the door. A young boy came in and said Will you hide me from
some warriors? Yes, of course but what is your name?, said Finegas.
My name is Fionn, said Fionn. And my name is
Finegas, said Finegas.
Fionn cooked the dinner and waited for Finegas to come home from the River Boyne. One day
Finegas came home holding the Salmon of Knowledge. He said to Fionn, Fionn get
the fire ready. Ive just caught the Salmon of Knowledge.
everything ready and said nothing. While the salmon was cooking Finegas warned Fionn
"Fionn, dont taste any of the salmon." When Finnegas went out of the room
a blister rose on the salmon. Fionn burst it with his thumb and then he sucked it to ease
the pain. As soon as his thumb touched his mouth he received the gift of wisdom. When
finegas came back down he was very sad because fionn had received the gift of wisdom and
he was also angry because Fionn hadnt obeyed him.
The Hill of Tara is best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. They were at the height of their power in the early centuries A.D.
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