Finn MacCool (Fionn MacCumhail)

I mentioned in my post about my progenitor, Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland, son of Eochaid Mugmedon (Slave Lord), that I found Finn MacCool in the genealogy of Niall Glundub (Black Knee)

Just an aside.  Does anyone know why Niall Black Knee was called Black Knee?  I have no idea and I’ve been watching for it.  The bi-name thing is kinda cool.  Nine hostages, 100 battles, slave lord, even red sides makes some sense but Black Knee?  I’d like to know what the story is with that.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill is the focus of one of the three great cycles of Irish Mythology.  The Fenian Cycle follows Fionn and his struggles to survive, first of all, and to assume the champions role that his father had, and then as the leader of the Fiana (think Irish knights errant).  In his quest he is opposed by Gol Mac Morna among others.  Later legends turn him into a clever giant, but I like the Finn of the Fiana.

That Finn may have been an actual person is debatable, but what isn’t, is that this character, construct,  or perhaps my distant cousin, this Finn left a mark on the Irish.  And why not?  If there was ever a perfect Irishman then it most likely was Finn.

Finn was a true Renaissance man.  He was an outdoors man and hunter, a warrior or fearsome aspect,( and elf? Well, his mother was a woman of the Sidhewho turned into a deer so Finn ordered his men not to hunt deer… but that’s another tale.) but even more than these or rather despite undoubtedly being these he was also a poet.  A sensitive guy.

He was a smart guy, a politically astute man, who served several kings in an era when regicide was the most common route for prospective sovereigns to reach their thrones.  Finn seemed to know everything, perhaps it was tasting the Salmon of Knowledge, there are stories that he did, but where did all this stuff come from if not from a seed of truth?

Well, I left you plenty to think about, a bit of an intro to Finn, and perhaps you can see why I thought it was sorta cool that he might be a relative through his daughter Aine, if there was an Aine.

Happy clicking,

LSO