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Findabair

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Findabair is a character from Irish mythology. Daughter of Queen Medb and King Ailill Mac Mata, her story is told in many writings such as “The Raid on Cooley Cows” (Táin Bó Cúailnge).

History of Findabair

A Princess with a dramatic destiny

is described as a young woman of great beauty, as gentle as she is desirable. Her name would mean “The White Fairy”, and would derive from the first name Guinevere.

According to the writings, Findabair fell in love with Fráech Mac Idath, a great warrior of the Connaught. He learns the news and wants to meet her at court. There he meets King Ailill Mac Mata and his wife, Queen Medb. He spends 3 days playing chess with his sovereigns, spends happy hours in their company, and finally meets Findabair one evening.

Fráech Mac Idath immediately falls under Findabair’s spell, and offers to go with him that very night. She refuses, asking that the wedding be done in the respect of traditions. Findabair and Fráech Mac Idath then ask Findabair’s parents for permission to marry. The parents agreed, but asked in return for his participation in the raid on Cooley’s cows and the payment of such a large dowry that Fráech Mac Idath eventually refused to pay.

Outraged by this refusal, the rulers of Connaught try to take revenge by inviting him to bathe in a lake then inhabited by a bloodthirsty monster. Findabair flies to his rescue, saves him, and finally manages to get his parents to accept the idea of marriage. After their marriage, Fráech Mac Idath fulfills his obligation to participate in the Cooley Cow Raid. However, he died after a very violent fight with Cúchulainn.

Findabair is then in the grip of a terrible grief. His Machiavellian mother begins to use her daughter to seduce the discouraged warriors participating in the Cooley Cow Raid. In exchange for a few nights with her, these warriors must then carry out missions serving the interests of Queen Medb. She is thus promised to Rochad Mac Fathemain, then to Ferdiad.

Findabair can’t stand it any longer, tries to protest, but ends up dying of shame when she learns that she is finally promised to more than 10 kings of Munster.







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