Fer Caille

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[Ir., man of the wood].

A forbidding churl or herdsman [Ir. bachlach] of Togail Bruidne Da Derga [The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel] who greets and entices Conaire on his way to the hostel. Fer Caille is a dark figure with one eye, one hand, and one foot, and he carries a black pig on his back; cf. the FOMORIANS and the ScG D`REACH and FACHAN. He is followed by a hideous woman. Several commentators have suggested he is a double for Da Derga. T. F. O'Rahilly (1946) sees a parallel between this episode and those of Fionn in Feis Tighe Chonáin [The Feast at Conán's House] and Donn mac Míled in Acallam na Senórach [Colloquy of the Elders]. R. S. Loomis (1927) once suggested Fer Caille was the model for several threatening dark herdsmen in Arthuriana, a line of influence given less credence today.

Subjects: Religion.

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