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North IrelandOkay, so this title is a bit odd to say the least. But it probably has you wondering what I’m referring to. I’m referring to some legends I stumbled upon when learning basic geography of some areas pertaining to my mother’s side of the family. Actually, they pertain to everything non-Slavic in my family.  

See, my father’s paternal line is the Slavic side. Everything else is Scotch-Irish. So far, I’ve discovered two main counties my other family is from – County Antrim and County Armagh. So, I’ll be the first to admit – I used to be well-versed in Irish mythology, but was always wretched at their geography.  When I started seeing a bunch of towns in some documents, I had to hit up Google Maps.

These two counties are across this body of water from each other in Northern Ireland. This body of water fascinated me the first time I saw it on the map. It was just there. Like a hole in the middle of what is known as Northern Ireland. (I’m a supporter of a unified Ireland so I don’t really like referring to it as such, but…) This body of water is called Lough Neagh. If Northern Ireland was a stand alone country, it would be a doughnut almost. But anyway, this formation caught my attention as you can tell.

As with everything in Ireland, there is a myth or legend to it. And that’s what I love about Ireland. So I had a look around and found a bit of info on Lough Neagh. Now, from my brief search, there are 3 main myths that surround Lough Neagh.

Two of them deal with a well overflowing which floods the lands. The third myth is my favorite. It revolves around the famous warrior Finn MacCool (Fionn Mac Cumhaill).  I could have post after post about Finn MacCool, but I’ll save that for another day. The formation of Lough Neagh, according to myth, is all because of Finn.

…story recounts how the famous warrior Finn MacCool (Fionn Mac Cumhaill) caused the creation of Lough Neagh. Legend has it that Finn was chasing a Scottish giant across Ulster when he picked up a large piece of ground and hurled it at the giant. It overshot and fell into the Irish Sea forming the Isle of Man while the massive crater left behind became infilled with water and formed Lough Neagh.

So you see, it was really Finn MacCool that helped formed this water mass I’m fascinated with.. ironically, I always liked reading about Finn MacCool, too. Go figure. Nothing is ever a coincidence in my life. And I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I wonder if the giant he was chasing is part of the myth around the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. I’ll have to look into that and share my findings.

For now, I’m going to go back to reading lovely Irish Mythology.

*Quote Source: Lough Neagh Heritage
*Photo Source: Geomythology

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