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[cf. Ir. asal, ass].

A member of the Tuatha Dé Danann who owned a magical spear, the Gáe or Gaí Assail, and seven magical pigs. His spear was the first brought into Ireland. It never failed to kill when he who threw it uttered the word ‘ibar’, or to return to the thrower when he said ‘athibar’ [cf. Ir. ibar, yew tree, yew wood]. T. F. O'Rahilly observed that the Gáe Assail was a lightning spear, like the weapon of Thor, which also returned to the hand that hurled it. When Gáe Assail had been taken to Persia, Lug Lámfhota obliged the sons of Tuireann, Brian, Iuchair, and Iucharba, to retrieve it for him. Another task of those same children of Tuireann was to retrieve the seven magical pigs of Assal ‘of the Golden Pillars’, who could be killed and eaten and would be alive and ready to be slaughtered again the next morning. The bones of the pigs of Assal are in the crane bag of Manannán mac Lir. See OIDHEADH CHLAINNE TUIREANN [The Tragic Story of the Children of Tuireann].

Subjects: Religion.

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