Red Branch Knights

The Red Branch Knights flourished under Conor MacNessa in the first century of our era. Cuchulain was their most renowned hero. His first name was Setanta, and he came by the popular name in this way: Setanta being then six years old killed a fierce dog belonging to a smith called Cullain. " Little boy," said the smith, " that was a good member of my family you took from me, a safeguard of raiment, of flocks, and of herds." " Be not angered thereat," said the boy, " for in this matter myself will pronounce an equitable award. If in all Erin there be a whelp of that dog's breed, by me shall he be nurtured till he be as fit for action as his sire (that I have killed). In the meantime myself will do thee a bandog's office in guarding of thy cattle and substance and strong place." " Well hast thou made the award," said Concabar, and Cathbad the Wizard, chiming in, declared that he could not have done it better, and that thenceforth the boy should bear the name Cuchulain, or Culain's hound. " I like my own name better," said the boy—" Setanta MacSultaim." " Never say it," remonstrated Cathbad, " for all men in the world shall have their mouths full of that name."

Meve, Queen of Connaught, at this time, resolved to invade Ulster. She had her army mobilised and formed into three corps, each consisting of 3,000 men, besides contingents from other provinces, who joined her forces. On arriving on the borders of Ulster she found many of the men of that province suffering from a serious malady called the noinden ulad, a kind of lethargy which lasted for some days. The heroes of both armies in the meantime fought single-handed. The feats of Cuchulain surpassed all the others. Ferdiad was the most formidable of his antagonists, and the fight between them lasted four days, at the end of which Ferdiad was worsted. A few years later Meve again invaded Ulster, and a battle was fought in which Cuchulain fell mortally wounded at the age of twenty-seven years.

The exploits of that period have come down to us in story. The historical and romantic tales of that cycle are the best in the Irish language. The most celebrated of the tales is the Tain bo Cuailnge.

Read "The History of West Cork" at your leisure

Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork

Read The History of West Cork at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

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My Lady of the Chimney CornerMy Lady of the Chimney Corner

A memorable and moving story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. In 1863 the author, Alexander Irvine, was born into dire poverty, the child of a 'mixed' marriage. His parents had survived the ravages of the famine years, but want and hunger were never to be too far away from their door. Irvine was ultimately destined to leave Ireland for America and to become a successful minister and author. He learned to read and write when he had left his home in Antrim far behind, but he came to realize that the greatest lessons he had received in life were at his mother's knee. My Lady of the Chimney Corner is the depiction of an existence that would be unthinkable in modern Ireland; but, more than that, it is the author's loving tribute to his mother, Anna, who taught him to look at the world through clean spectacles. ISBN 978-1-910375-32-7. USA orders. The book is also available as a Kindle download (UK) and Kindle download (US).

Popular Rhymes and Sayings of IrelandPopular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland

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Annals of the Famine in Ireland

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The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

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This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

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Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


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