Forbais Dromma Damgaire

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Irish titles for the medieval narrative known in English as The Siege of Knocklong. Sometimes called the ‘Táin of the south’, Forbais Dromma Damgaire portrays a legendary invasion of Munster by a force from Tara led by Cormac ua Cuinn (i.e. Cormac mac Airt). To conquer the country, Cormac magically dries up all springs, rivers, and lakes. The Munster king Fiachu Muillethan, a longtime rival of Cormac, seeks the help of his blind magician Mug Ruith, who rallies the Munstermen and restores the waters. Fiachu defeats Cormac at Druim Damgaire in south eastern Co. Limerick, later called Cnoc Luinge [Knocklong]. In appreciation for his help Fiachu grants to Mug Ruith and his descendants an extensive tract of land in north Co. Cork known as Mag Féne. The historical undercurrent of the stories concerns the dynastic and territorial wars between the southern Eóganacht and the Érainn. The text has been translated into both French (1926–7) and English (1992); see M. L. Sjoestedt-Jonval, ‘Forbuis Droma Damgaire’, Revue Celtique, 43 (1926), 1–123, and 44 (1927), 157–86; Seán Ó Duinn, Forbhais Droma Dámhgháire (Cork, 1992).

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