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Éber Finn


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[Ir., Fair Éber].

Important leader of the Milesian invasion of Ireland in the Lebor Gabála [Book of Invasions] and often-cited ancestor of the southern Gaels of Ireland. One of eight sons of Míl Espáine and younger brother of Éber Donn; sometimes confused with Donn (1), the pre-Christian ancestor-deity. Éber participated bravely in the Milesian conquest of Ireland from the Tuatha Dé Danann, but he was unhappy with the division of the spoils. In a decision arbitrated by the poet Amairgin, Éber Finn would receive the south of Ireland and his brother Éremón the north. Éber's displeasure came from his perception that he received the lesser half; seven chiefs went with Éremón to the north, while only six went to the south. In some texts Éremón receives the kingship in addition. The border between the divisions is usually thought to be Eiscir Riada, an uneven ridge of low mounds between Galway Bay and the Dublin area. The names of other ancient mounds from Counties Galway, Limerick, and Wexford bear testimony to his rule. Éber was subsequently defeated and killed at Argetros, Co. Kilkenny, in an unsuccessful attempt to wrest power from Éremón. Éber's son-in-law was Mug Nuadat [Ir., servant of Nuadu], also known as Eógan Mór, an ancestor of the Eóganacht of Munster.

Subjects: Religion.


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