Firbolgs

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

« start... Chapter III. ...continued

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The fourth immigration is that of the Firbolgs; and it is remarkable how early the love of country is manifested in the Irish race, since we find those who once inhabited its green plains still anxious to return, whether their emigration proved prosperous, as to the Tuatha De Dananns, or painful, as to the Firbolgs.

According to the Annals of Clonmacnois, Keating, and the Leabhar-Gabhala, the Firbolgs divided the island into five provinces, governed by five brothers, the sons of Dela Mac Loich:—"Slane, the eldest brother, had the province of Leynster for his part, which containeth from Inver Colpe, that is to say, where the river Boyne entereth into the sea, now called in Irish Drogheda, to the meeting of the three waters, by Waterford, where the three rivers, Suyre, Ffeoir, and Barrow, do meet and run together into the sea. Gann, the second brother's part, was South Munster, which is a province extending from that place to Bealagh-Conglaissey. Seangann, the third brother's part, was from Bealagh-Conglaissey to Rossedahaileagh, now called Limbriche, which is in the province of North Munster. Geanaun, the fourth brother, had the province of Connacht, containing from Limerick to Easroe. Rorye, the fifth brother, and youngest, had from Easroe aforesaid to Inver Colpe, which is in the province of Ulster."[8]

The Firbolg chiefs had landed in different parts of the island, but they soon met at the once famous Tara, where they united their forces. To this place they gave the name of Druim Cain, or the Beautiful Eminence.

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[8] Ulster.—Neither the Annals nor the Chronicum give these divisions; the above is from the Annals of Clonmacnois. There is a poem in the Book of Lecain, at folio 277, b., by MacLiag, on the Firbolg colonies, which is quoted as having been taken from their own account of themselves; and another on the same subject at 278,a.


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