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[Ir. finn, fair; éices, seer, scholar, sage, poet].

Druid or seer who unwittingly helped Fionn mac Cumhaill gain the power of divination. Finnéces lives for seven years along the banks of the Boyne, waiting for the salmon of knowledge to appear at Linn Féic [Fiac's Pool], near Rosnaree, Co. Meath. At this pool hazel nuts fall into the water, giving knowledge to salmon. Some oral variants put Finnéces at the falls of Assaroe in north-western Ireland. When the 7-year-old Fionn comes to live as a pupil with him, Finnéces catches the salmon quite easily, as if it had been waiting for just such a moment. The druid gives the salmon to Fionn to cook, but instructs him not to eat any part of it. During the cooking Fionn scorches his thumb and thrusts it into his mouth, thus taking the salmon's power for himself. Several commentators have noted that ‘Finnéces’ means ‘Finn the seer’, which could also be a name for Fionn mac Cumhaill; additionally, the salmon of knowledge is sometimes known as Fintan.

Subjects: Religion.

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