Glas Ghaibhleann

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[Ir. glas, green, greenish blue; of Gaiblín (?), of Goibniu (?)].

Celebrated, magical cow, white with green spots, whose inexhaustible supply of milk signalled prosperity. The original owner is a matter of some dispute, possibly Goibniu the smith or Gaiblín, a farmer of Co. Cavan. After the cow was stolen by Balor and taken to Tory Island (off Co. Donegal), Cian retrieved him, and along the way fathered the hero Lug Lámfhota. Stories about Glas Ghaibhleann are widespread in later Irish and also Scottish Gaelic folklore, where the cow is known as Glas Gaibhnann. The phrase ‘The grey cow slept there’ colloquially describes a fine field. Additionally, the name of the village of Duncaneely, Co. Donegal, is thought to testify to the cow's owner there, Mac Cinnfhaolaidh [ang. MacKenealy].

Subjects: Religion.

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