A new book retells an ancient myth about how the great god Lugh of the Tuatha Dé Danann defeated the Fomorian king, Balor of the Evil Eye. The story is beautifully retold from versions of the tale told in County Donegal.
Lugh na Bua – Lugh the Deliverer is written in English by Seán Ó Gaoithín, but there's also a full version of the text in Irish in the book too, written by Cathal Ó Searcaigh. The book is beautifully illustrated by Sean Fitzgerald.
The heroic sagas of Ireland are great treasures of our cultural inheritance. They recall for us our ancestors and remind us of the ancient bond that was first forged between the people and the land. The story we tell here is part of one of our oldest myths. A story that was pivotal in the shaping of the ancient history of Ireland. It was the bards of old who preserved these tales by commiting them to memory as epic poems. The scribes of early Christian Ireland recorded these tales in manuscripts, the most famous was known as Lebor Gabála Éireann – the Book of the Taking of Ireland.
– from the introduction.
The book is printed in large text on lovely high-quality cream paper, with beautiful illustrations by Seán Fitzgerald. I love the fact that the text is presented both in English and as Gaeilge. It's very important that our ancient myths are preserved, and Lugh na Bua helps fantastically in this regard.
The tale of Lugh's conflict with Balor as presented here is familiar to us through the second battle of Moytura, and is a variant of that myth. Tory Island off the coast of Donegal was Balor's stronghold, where he kept his daughter Eithne in prison to prevent a prophecy that said his grandson would kill him from coming true.
Anyway, I'd better not spoil the story for you. This is a high-quality production and would make a lovely gift book for anyone interested in ancient Irish myth, folklore or culture, especially for this winter solstice and Christmas season.
Watch this short video about the new book and to hear a little bit about it in the words of the authors themselves:
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.