Cause of the battle of Cnucha

This is the story of the Battle of Cnucha from the Fenian Cycle.

the battle of Cnucha

The battle of Cnucha

[1.] At that time, Cathair the Great, son of Fedelmid Fir-Urglas and grandson of Cormac Gelta-Gáith, was king of Tara. Cond Equal-to-a-hundred-warriors lived in Kells, the domain of the heirs presumptive to supreme kingship. There was a wonderful druid near Cathair: it was Nuadu, son of Aché, grandson of Dathé, great-grandson of Brocán, himself son of Fintán; he was from the people of Dathé, in the plain of Breg. This druid asked Cathair the Great for land in Leinster, for it was in Leinster, he knew, that his inheritance would be. Cathair the Great gave him the choice, and here is the land the druid chose: it was Almu.

Now, there was a woman that Nuadu had married: it was Almu, daughter of Beccán.

[2.] A castle was built in Almu, by the Druid Nuadu, and he had it coated with alum, so that this castle was entirely white. It would be, it has been said, from this alum (in Irish, alamu) that the castle received the name of Almu, and that is why we wrote the following quatrain:

The fortress all white, - fury of battles, -
As if the lime of the whole of Ireland had been put into it.
Alum with which he plastered his house,
His house takes the name of Almu.

[But, according to others], it was Nuadu's wife, it was Almu who asked for her name to be given to the hill, and she was given what she wanted. Her name was given to the hill [as she desired and] because it was on the hill that she was later buried. This is why we wrote the four lines:

Almu! - she was beautiful, the woman! -
Wife of Nuadu the Great, son of Ache.
She asked, - was just the request, -
His name for the entire hill.

[3.] A very distinguished son was born in Nuadu: this was Tadg, son of Nuadu. Ráiriu, daughter of Dond Dumé, became his wife. Tadg was a wonderful druid. Death struck Nuadu who left his son his castle as it was, and Tadg was, after his father, druid of King Cathair the Great. Ráiriu gave Tadg a daughter, Murni with a pretty neck was the name of this girl. Growing up, she acquired great beauty. The sons of the kings and princes of Ireland began to seek her in marriage. However, Cumall, son of Trénmór, then had the function of royal warrior of Ireland, under the orders of Cond [who had succeeded the supreme king, Cathair the Great]. He did like the others, and proposed to Morni in marriage. Tadg refused, because, [being a druid,] he knew that it would be because of Cumall that he would lose Almu Castle. Cumall and King Cond's father, that is, Fedelmid Rechtmar, had the same mother. Cumall [was therefore the king's uncle, proud of this kinship], he arrives [at Tadg's], takes Murni by force and kidnaps him, since he could not have him otherwise.

[4.] Tadg goes to find Cond, tells him what insult he received from Cumall, and he makes Cond red with anger at his reproaches. Cond sends message to Cumall; he tells her to leave Ireland or to return the kidnapped girl to Tadg. Cumall replied that he would not return it; that he would give anything, but not Murni, his wife. Cond sent his soldiers to attack Cumall under the command of three chiefs: Urgrend, son of Lugaid La Grue, king of Luagné; Dairé the Red [in other words Morna], son of Echaid, and Aed, son of Dairé the Red. It is this Aed who, later, was nicknamed the One-eyed, in Irish Goll.

[5.] Cumall musters his army against them; the Battle of Cnucha book between them and him. Cumall is killed; they massacre their people. The one who fatally struck Cumall was Aed, said Goll, son of Dairé otherwise known as Morna. [To avenge Cumall,] Luchet wounded Goll in the eye and caused him to lose it. Hence the name of Goll, that is to say Borgne, which Aed, son of Dairé the Red, bore henceforth. Hence the quatrain:

Aed was the name of Dairé's son;
But since the illustrious Luchet wounded him,
Since the heavy spear wounded Dairé's son,
He was given the name Goll for this.

Goll killed Luchet. From then on, there was hereditary hatred between the descendants of Find [son of Cumall], and the descendants of Morna [or Dairé]. Remember that Dairé, [father of Aed known as Goll], had two names; he was called both Morna and Dairé.

[6.] Murni [widow of Cumall], went to find Cond. Tadg, Murni's father, had denied his daughter and refused to receive her at his home, because she was pregnant; he had even told his people to burn it, then however, because of Cond, he had not dared to execute this cruel threat. Murni asked Cond what she had to do. “Go,” Cond told him, “go find Fiacail, son of Conchend, in Temair-Mairce, and you will make your diapers there. Indeed, Fiacail's wife was Bodball the Strong Woman, sister of Cumall. Condlé, Cond's servant, accompanied Murni to Fiacail's house in Temair-Mairci. Murni received a warm welcome there; she had arrived safely there. She then gave birth there and gave birth to a son who was given the name Demni [and who is better known as Find].

[7.] Then this son grew up and able to plunder the property of any enemy. He offered Tadg [his maternal grandfather] the choice; or battle of several, or single combat, or full payment of the composition legally due for the murder of Cumall. Tadg replied that he wanted judgment. A judgment was rendered, and here is the disposition: Almu will be ceded in full ownership to the son of Cumall; Tadg will abandon him. So was done. Tadg left Almu's house to Find. This house and the land which depended on it passed to the people of Dathé [of whom Find was]. Tadg went to stay on the hill of Ren, which today is called Mountain of Tadg; and if this hill took the name of Mountain of Tadg, it is because of him. On the occasion of these events, we wrote the following verses:

To Tadg of the armies, Find asked,
For killing Cumall the Great,
Merciless war on any encounter
Or single combat.

Tadg, unable to support the war
In front of this high lord,
Left him, - it was enough for him, -
The whole Almu house as it was.

[8.] Then Find went to Almu and he stayed in Almu's house, there was his main residence as long as he lived. Find and Goll [or Aed] made peace. The family of Morna [or Dairé], father of Goll, paid Find the composition that Goll owed, for having killed Cumall, father of Find. Find and Goll remained in peace until the quarrel that arose between them in Temair-Luachra [in Kerry], over the pig of Slanga and the murder of Banb Sinna, son of Mailenach, as a quatrain says:

So were at peace
Find and Goll with many feats,
Until Banb Sinna was killed by one of them
Because of the pig in Temair Luacra.