BEGINNERS' BLAS 6
INIS CEITHLEANN or ENNISKILLEN.
This week on Blas na bhfoghlaimeoirí
our journey through Ulster placenames takes us to Enniskillen, nó
Inis Ceithleann's island, Condae Fhear Meanach. The name of the county
Fear Meanach is derived from the tribe called Fir-Meanach, the men of
Meanach. Meanach who was the fifth in descent from Cahirmore, King of
Ireland from A.D. 120 to 123, settled on the coast of Lough Erne towards
the end of the third century, and his desdants eventually spread themselves
over the entire county.
The ancient name of
Enniskillen was 'Inis Cethleann' called after the Cethleann, who was the
warrior wife of the infamous fomorian leader Balor nó Balor na
Súile nimhe, Balor of the evil eye.
The fomorians were
a rivalling tribe of the Tuatha de Dannan. According to legend Ceithleann
swam the River Erne where its course between the two great expanses of
lake was almost blocked by 2 islands, one large, the other tiny to escape
from the cluthes of the king of the Tuatha De Dannan after the battle
at Moytirra Condae Shilgligh. Some say that she rested and took refuge
there: others say that she died and was buried: but both islands were
named after this formidablwe warrior, Ceithleann, Inis Ceithleann or,
as it has become, Enniskillen.
Over next week's programme
I'll give you a brief insight into where Coleraine nó Cúil
Raithin, Condae Dhoire gets her name...
Listen to Céara Ní Choinn
to Logainmneacha index