Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The History of Ireland (Author: Geoffrey Keating)

Section 22


As to the sons of Milidh, they returned to Innbhear Sceine, and went out on the high sea, the space of nine waves, as Aimhirgin directed them. When the druids of the Tuatha De Danann saw them on the sea, they raised a terrific magic wind which caused a great storm at sea; and Donn son of Milidh said that it was a druidical wind. ‘So it is,’ said Aimhirgin. Thereupon Arannan, the youngest of the sons of Milidh, climbed the mainmast, and, by reason of gust of wind, he fell to the ship's deck, and thus was killed. And forthwith the rocking of the tempest separated from the rest the ship in which Donn was, and soon after he was himself drowned, and the ships crew along with him, twenty-four warriors in all, and five leaders, to wit, Bile son of Brighe, Airioch Feabhruadh, Buan, Breas, and Buaidhne, with twelve women and four servants, eight oarsmen, and fifty youths in fosterage; and the place where they were drowned is Dumhacha, which is called Teach Duinn, in west Munster. And it is from Donn son of Milidh, who was drowned there, that it is called Teach Duinn. And it is the death of Donn and of those nobles who were drowned with him that Eochaidh O'Floinn narrates in the poem beginning, The leaders of those over-sea ships. Thus does he speak:

    1. Donn and Bile and Buan, his wife,
      Dil and Airioch son of Milidh,
      Buas, Breas, and Buaidhne, the renowned,
      Were drowned at Dumhacha.
The ship in which was Ir son of Milidh was also separated from the fleet by the storm; and it was driven ashore in


the west of Desmond; and there Ir was drowned, and he was buried at Sceilig Mhichil, as the same author says:
    1. Aimhirgin, poet of the men,
      Was killed in the Battle of Bile Theineadh;
      Ir died in Sceilig of the warriors,
      And Arannan died in the ship.
Eireamhon, accompanied by a division of the fleet, proceeded, having Ireland on the left, to the mouth of Innbhear Colpa, which is called Droichead Atha. Now, the river is called Innbhear Colpa, from Colpa of the Sword, son of Milidh, having been drowned there as he was coming ashore with Eireamhon son of Milidh. It is plain from this that five of the sons of Milidh were drowned before they took possession of Ireland from the Tuatha De Danann; hence some poet composed this stanza:
    1. Five of these were drowned,
      Of the swift sons of Milidh,
      In the harbours of Ireland of the divisions,
      Through the magic of the Tuatha De Danann:
these are Donn and Ir, Airioch Feabhruadh, Arannan, and Colpa of the Sword; so that when these sons wrested Ireland from the Tuatha De Danann, there were only three of them surviving, to wit, Eibhear, Eireamhon, and Aimhirgin. As to the remainder of the descendants of Milidh, to wit, Eibhear with his own division of the fleet, they landed at Innbhear Sceine. They met Eire, wife of Mac Greine, on Sliab Mis three days after they had landed, and there the Battle of Sliabh Mis took place between them and the Tuatha De Danann, in which fell Fas wife of Un son of Uige, and from her the name Gleann Fais is given to the glen which is in Sliabh Mis, and is called at present Gleann Fais; and it is to bear testimony to this that the poet composed this stanza:
    1. Gleann Fais, true is the derivation,
      Without error or difficulty;
      Fas the name of the woman I refer to
      Who was killed in the great glen.


In the same battle fell Scota wife of Milidh; and it is in the north side of that glen, beside the sea, she is buried; and as a proof of her death and of her burial-place, we have the two following stanzas from the same poem:
    1. In this battle also, I will not deny,
      Scota found death and extinction;
      As she is not alive in fair form,
      She met her death in this glen.
    2. Whence there is in the north side
      The tomb of Scota in the clear, cold glen,
      Between the mountain and the sea;
      Not far did she go from the conflict.
This was the first battle that took place between the sons of Milidh and the Tuatha De Danann, as the same poem says:
    1. The first battle of the famed sons of Milidh,
      On their coming from Spain of renown,
      At Sliabh Mis there was cause of woe;
      It is certain history and true knowledge.
The two women we have mentioned, to wit, Scota and Fas and their two most accomplished druids, that is, Uar and Eithiar, were the most celebrated of the race of Gaedheal who fell in that battle. But though three hundred of them were slain, still they slew ten hundred of the Tuatha De Danann, and thus routed them; and Eire wife of Mac Greine followed in their wake, and proceeded to Taillte, and related her story to the sons of Cearmad. Now, the sons of Milidh remained on the field of battle, burying those of their people who were slain, and in particular burying the two druids. It is with reference to this that the poet composed the following historical stanzas:
    1. In the morning we left Sliabh Mis;
      We met with aggression and defiance
      From the sons of the noble Daghadh,
      With strong battle-spears.

    2. p.93

    3. We stoutly won a battle
      Over the sprites of the isle of Banbha,
      Of which ten hundred fell together,
      By us, of the Tuatha De Danann.
    4. Six fifties of our company
      Of the great army of Spain,
      That number of our host fell,
      With the loss of the two worthy druids:
    5. Uar and Eithiar of the steeds,
      Beloved were the two genuine poets;
      A stone in bareness above their graves,
      In their Fenian tombs we leave them.

Eight also of the leaders of the host fell at sea through the magic of the Tuatha De Danann, as we have said above, namely, Ir at Sceilig Mhichil; Arannan, from the mainmast; Donn with his five leaders, who were drowned at Teach Duinn. Eight royal ladies also fell there, two of them with Donn, namely, Buan wife of Bile, and Dil daughter of Milidh of Spain, wife and kinswoman of Donn. There were also drowned Sceine wife of Aimhirgin, in Innbhear Sceine and from her the nameInnbhear Sceine is given to the river which is in Kerry. Fial wife of Lughaidh son of Ioth died of shame on her husband seeing her naked as she returned from swimming; and from her that river has ever since been called Innbhear Feile; Scota and Fas were also slain in the Battle of Sliab Mis, as we have said above. Two others of them also died, namely, the wife of Ir and the wife of Muirtheimhne son of Breoghan. These then are the eight princesses and the eight leaders that perished out of the host of the descendants of Milidh from their coming into Ireland up to the Battle of Taillte. Here are the names of the seven principal women who came to Ireland with the sons of Milidh, according to the Book of Invasions: Scota, Tea, Fial, Fas, Liobhra, Odhbha, and Sceine. It is in the following manner the seancha sets forth this, and states who was


married to each of the women whose husband was alive on their coming to Ireland:
    1. The seven chief women who came thither
      With all the sons of Milidh,
      Tea, Fial, Fas, to our delight,
      Liobhra, Odhbha, Scot, Sceine;
    2. Tea wife of Eireamhon of the steeds,
      And Fial too, the wife of Lughaidh,
      Fas wife of Un the son of Oige next,
      And Sceine wife of Aimhirgin,
    3. Liobhra wife of Fuad, noble her renown,
      Scota the marriageable, and Odhbha
      These were the women who were not giddy,
      Who came with the sons of Milidh.
As to the descendants of Milidh, the company of them who landed with Eibhear and fought the Battle of Sliab Mis went to meet Eireamhon to the mouth of Innbhear Colpa; and when they came together there, they gave warning of battle to the sons of Cearmad and to the Tuatha De Danann in general. It was then that the Battle of Taillte took place between them; and the sons of Cearmad were defeated by the sons of Milidh, and there fell Mac Greine by Aimhirgin, Mac Cuill by Eibhear, and Mac Ceacht by Eireamhon, as the seancha says:
    1. The bright Mac Greine fell
      In Taillte by Aimhirgin,
      Mac Cuill by Eibhear of the gold,
      Mac Ceacht by the hand of Eireamhon.
Their three queens also fell; namely, Eire, Fodla, and Banbha. Hence, and to state by whom they fell, the seancha composed this stanza:
    1. Fodla slain by Eatan the proud;
      Banbha by Caicher the victorious
      Eire then slain by Suighre:
      These are the fates of this trio.
Now the greater part of the host of the Tuatha De Danann also fell; and while the host of the sons of Milidh were


in pursuit of them towards the north, two leaders of the Milesian host were slain, namely, Cuailgne son of Breoghan on Sliabh Cuailgne, and Fuad son of Breoghan on Sliabh Fuaid.