Fionn Mac Cumhaill (3)

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  • Teideal (Title): Fionn Mac Cumhaill (3).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840125.
  • 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, Seattle.
  • 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): 28/02/1984.
  • 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.

After his encounter with the Salmon of Knowledge at the Yellow Ford, Fionn proceeds on his way to Tara. He strikes the ‘battle stick’ outside Tara – this means that he is willing to challenge anybody inside – and is admitted inside. Cormac Mac Airt, who was king of the Fianna at that time, doesn’t recognize Fionn; but an old man, who had known Fionn’s father, does recognize him. He tells Fionn that on this particular night every year, Tara is visited by an evil magician (sí gaoithe) who causes all the Fianna to fall asleep and then proceeds to ruin the place. Cormac Mac Airt then promises that if any man will undertake to stay awake and deal with the magician, he will make him king of the Fianna from then onwards. Fionn is the only volunteer.

The old man gives Fionn a sword and a magic cloak, explaining that the cloak will make him invisible, and that he should hold the spear in his left hand in order to resist falling asleep under the magician’s spell. Fionn follows these instructions, throws the spear at the sí gaoithe and kills him stone dead. Fionn is then proclaimed chief of Fianna Éireann; but only agrees to become king if the Morna Clann – the men who were responsible for killing his father – agree to work under him. They agree to do so.