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Metrical Dindshenchas

Volume Three

Sláine - Slane

Slaine, whence the name? Not hard to say. Slaine, king of the Fir Bolg, and their judge, by him was its wood cleared from the Brugh. Afterwards, he died at Druim Fuar, which is called Dumha Slaine, and was buried there: and from him the hill is named Slaine. Hence it was said: Here died Slaine, lord of troops: over him the mighty mound is reared: so the name of Slaine was given to the hill, where he met his death in that chief abode.

(Note: This is Slane village, on the river Boyne, only a few miles from Brugh na Bóinne. This probably refers to a mound, or motte, on the top of the hill of Slane, behind the abbey ruins where St. Patrick is supposed to have lit the first Paschal fire in Ireland in defiance of the pagan king of Tara. A tenth-century poem ascribed to one Caoílte Mac Ronáin states: 'Sláine of the Fir-Bolgs of fame t'was he by whom Tara was first raised.' The Hill of Slane lies about 16 km northeast of Tara.)

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