Fergus MacRoigh

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Fergus MacRoigh, King of Ulster, one of the heroes of Fenian romance, said to have flourished in the 1st century. He won the hand of a beautiful widow Nessa, upon the condition that he would permit her son, Conor MacNessa, to sit beside him on the judgment seat of his kingdom for one year, and he allowed himself to be gradually supplanted in the affections of his people by Conor, who delighted them by his wisdom and kingly bearing. Afterwards, when Conor had treacherously put to death the sons of Uisneach, for whose safety Fergus had pledged his honour, Fergus went into voluntary exile to the court of Meave and Ailill in Connaught.

In the legend of the Tain Bo Chuailgne he was the guide and director of the expedition on the side of the Connaught men against Conor MacNessa, and, as it would appear, was himself the historian of the war. He eventually fell a victim to the not unmerited jealousy of Ailill, husband of Meave, Queen of Connaught, who caused him to be killed by a javelin, cast as he was swimming in Lough Ein, near Cruachan. It was by Fergus MacRoigh's grave that the seer Murgen was fabled afterwards to have recovered the story of the great Tain Bo Chuailgne. [See MEAVE.]

Sources

171. Ireland, History of, from the earliest period to the English Invasion: Rev. Geoffrey Keating: Translated from the Irish, and Noted by John O'Mahony. New York, 1857.

179. Ireland before the Conquest: M. C. Ferguson. London, 1868.

260. O'Curry, Eugene: Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History. Dublin, 1861.

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