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Emain Macha



In his excellent book, The Book of the Cailleach, Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer, Gearoid O Crualaoich tells the tale of how Emain Macha got its name.

There were three kings , Dithorba, Aed Ruad and Cimbaeth who took it in seven year stints to rule over Ireland. When Aed Ruad died his daughter, Macha Mongruad demanded her fathers turn of the kingship. The remaining two kings refused to surrender the kingship to a woman, so Matha defeated them in battle and took her seven year turn.

When Dithorba died his five sons claimed the kingship. Macha fought and defeated the sons and banished them to Connaught. Then she married Cimbeath.

Matha went to visit the five sons disguised as a hag. The sons try to trick Macha with lies but one by one she ties them up and brings them back to Ulster, where she orders them to dig a ring fort as a capital for Ulster and marked out the boundaries of the fort with a pin from her golden brooch.
The fort was founded four hunderd and five years before Christ and lasted until four hundred and fifty years after Christ.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
27th February 2006ce
Edited 27th February 2006ce

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