Balor of the Evil Eye

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  • Teideal (Title): Balor of the Evil Eye.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840119.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): story.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 24/01/1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Balor was one of the Fomorians, an ancient race that came from under the sea and inhabited Ireland long ago and had magical powers. As a result of a childhood mishap, Balor acquired an evil eye. His people kept the eye covered – except when it came in handy to have Balor look at enemies in battle, or mountains they wanted to tunnel through.


The following motifs are associated with this story:

  • A128.2.1 ‘God with evil eye’.
  • D2061.2.1 ‘Death-giving glance’.
  • D2071 ‘Evil Eye’.

See Tom Peete Cross, Motif-Index of Early Irish Literature, Bloomington, Indiana (1952); Kraus Reprint (1969).