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Ciabhán


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[cf. Ir. ciabhar, head of hair, locks (collectively)].

The mortal lover of Clídna who brought her to Ireland. After being expelled from Fionn's Fianna for being too much of a ladies' man, Ciabhán sets sail for distant lands. During a terrible storm at sea, a rider on a grey horse brings him to safety in Tír Tairngire [The Land of Promise], which includes the city of Manannán. While he is in the city, Ciabhán is invited to a great feast where some tricksters ask him to perform a seemingly impossible task of throwing nine straight willow rods into the rafters, catching them as they fall. To the amazement of all, Ciabhán performs the trick with ease. More importantly, Clídna, who has been watching, becomes smitten with him. A short while later she leaves with Ciabhán in his curragh to return to Ireland, landing at Glandore on the south coast. While Ciabhán goes inland hunting for a deer, Clídna lies sleeping in the curragh, where a great wave rolls over her and drowns her. In folk-tales Ciabhán's name is often anglicized as Keevan, and he is given the epithet ‘of the curling locks’.

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