Fionn and the Fianna


The Fianna was a mighty group of warriors that guarded Ireland for the high king Ireland who lived at Tara. A man named Cumhall was leader of the Fianna. He was killed in battle by Goll mac Morna, who then became the new leader. Cumhall had a son named Fionn. Fionn’s mother feared that Goll might kill him also, so she sent him to live with a wise woman who lived in the woods at the foot of the Sliabh Bloom Mountains. As Fionn grew older the woman taught him how to use a sword and spear and how to track wild animals in the forest. Goll found out where Fionn was living and he sent a group of warriors to kill him. Fionn left before the warriors arrived and went to live with the poet Finegas on the bank of the river Boyne. It was here that Fionn tasted the Salmon of Knowledge.

After Fionn had tasted the Salmon of Knowledge he was no longer afraid of Goll. He left Finegas and made his way to Tara, where the high king of Ireland Cormac mac Airt lived. Fionn arrived at Tara on Halloween night. The king and his nobles were holding the great feast of Samhain. When Fionn entered the great hall everyone stared at him. “I am Fionn, the son of Cumhall and I have come to join the Fianna”. King Cormac then stood up “As a son of Cumhall who was a true friend of mine you are welcome indeed.” Goll Mac Morna who was at the feast would of killed Fionn there and then but he did not dare. Fighting and quarrelling was forbidden in the King’s fort.

The Goblin

Now every Halloween night a Goblin came to Tara and set fire to buildings and did a lot of evil things. No one could stop him because he played music on a magic harp as he neared the palace and anyone who heard it fell into a deep sleep. “Who will save us from this evil goblin?” ask Cormac. All the heroes in the great hall stayed silent and hung their head. Fionn stood up, “I will kill the Goblin if you make me leader of the Fianna”. The King agreed.  A friend of Fionn’s father handed Fionn a magic spear. “Press this against your forehead as you hear the magic fairy music, it will help you to stay awake”.

Fionn took the spear and went outside to face the Goblin. As night fell Fionn started the hear fairy music coming from the distance. He held the spear to his forehead. As the Goblin got near, Fionn hurled the spear. The spear hit the Goblin in the heart and the Goblin vanished into a cloud of mist. The Goblin had been killed. Fionn when back into the King’s fort. The King called the Fianna together. Turning to Goll Mac Morna the king said “Will you shake hands with Fionn and accept him as your leader or will you leave Ireland?” Goll turned to Fionn and shook his hand.

Fionn was now the leader of the Fianna just like his father. From his fort on the Hill of Allen in County Kildare, Fionn had many adventures with the Fianna. He became its greatest leader and famous throughout Ireland.