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[cf. OIr. os, deer].

Woodland goddess of venery and wild things, mistress to stags, reputed to drive a chariot drawn by deer; often compared to the Roman Diana and Greek Artemis. She often bears the epithet foltchaín [fine or beautiful-haired]. Her magical cow resembles the seven kine of Mannanán, whose milk could sustain hundreds. Although she is cited as the mother of the witch-like Bé Chuille and the wanton Bé Téite, and sometimes of Fand, her husband is uncertain; he may be the shadowy Ádammair, who also takes her name as Ádammair Flidais, or Ailill Finn, a local king in what is today Co. Mayo. In any event, she is better known for her lusty affair with Fergus mac Róich, whose sexual appetite only she could satisfy; otherwise he required seven women. Her affair with Fergus is the subject of extensive oral tradition in Co. Mayo, where she may bear the name Muinchinn. In one story Fergus realizes he cannot trust her as she betrayed her husband, and he drowns her in a river flowing out of Carrowmore Lough.

The Táin Bó Flidais [Cattle Raid of Flidais] is sometimes seen as a preliminary to the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge [Cattle Raid of Cooley].

See Margaret E. Dobbs, ‘On Táin Bó Flidais’, Ériu, 8 (1916/17), 133–49.

Subjects: Religion.

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