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Story entitled 'Sgialac Fhinn', 9 May 1866

Identifier: Coll-97/CW104/21

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'Sgialac Fhinn' [Sgeulachd Fhinn or The Story of Fionn] collected from Catrina Nic Cuidhein nighean Lachlain Ruari [Catrìona or Catherine MacQuien], [Clachan na Luib/Clachan a' Ghluip/Clachan an Lùib, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist]. The story begins with a battle between the Fenians and the Lochlannaich [Vikings] in which the Lochlannaich prevail and take as prisioner Cumhail, a skilled warrior. While in Ireland some Lochlannaich talk to Cumhail's sister and realise that she is related to Cumhail by her description of him. On their return home with Cumhail's sister's words in mind, they allow Cumhail to lie with a different woman every night. Eventually they send Nighean Rìgh Lochlann [the King of Norway's daughter] to lie with him and they become inseperable. The Lochlannaich trick Cumhail and he falls into a hole where he is eventually killed by the fisherman Arcan Dubh and they bury him there. Then they discover that the king's daughter is pregnant. She gives birth to a tiny girl, who is taken away by the king's doctor and then gives birth to Fionn who was taken away by a midwife. One day the midwife is taking maragan [black puddings] back from the king's house when she is followed by a pregnant dog call Buidheag. A marag falls on the floor and Buidheag and Fionn tussle for it, each eating it from their end. When they reach the middle Fionn squeezes Buidheag and out comes a puppy called Bran. This, along with Torr mac Eirig was Fionn favourite dog. Fionn grows big and strong and gets sent to Ireland and to train at a school from which he gets expelled. He has to travel through a forest with his nurse but she is scared so he carries her on his shoulder. Once they reach the end of the forest he looks over his shoulder and sees only the remains of her two shins which he throws into the loch and the loch became called 'Loch nan luirgainn'. Fionn and Bran then set sail but the weather turns bad and they land in the kingdom of 'Fear Mor'. They are so tired that they fall asleep in the grass and are discovered by the king's daughter and her twelve foster-brothers she takes Fionn and Bran away. Fionn will not sleep with anyone except the king's daughter and she is so [fond] of the child that people around them expect that it is a trick especially when the daughter falls pregnant. Suspicion falls on a Lochlannaich beast, which, in due course Bran kills. Next, Fionn arrives in Rìoghachd nam Fear Beaga [The Land of Small Man] where he helps them build a church which they name after him. He leaves there and sets sail for Norway, aged eighteen, whereupon he meets Arcan Dubh, the fisherman who killed his father. Three times he gets Arcan Dubh to cast out and each time he catches a large salmon each one bigger than the first. Fionn tells Arcan Dubh to go and boil the fish, which he does but he burns his thumb in the process and puts it in his mouth, at which point Fionn recognises him as the man who killed his father. The story is incomplete.


  • Creation: 9 May 1866

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 91 folios ; 20 x 16.5 cm