Monday, August 17, 2009

Mythic Ireland

I've blogged before about public artwork around Ireland which reflects its mythological heritage. This helmet piece is one I often pass when travelling north. It's beside a traffic roundabout just outside of the town of Ardee, the anglicised name for Baile Atha Fhirdhia or the Ford of Ferdia. Those of you who have read The Druid's Tune - my very first book, based on the Táin Bó Cuailnge, Ireland's greatest epic tale - will recognise the name. Ferdia was Cúchulain's foster-brother and best friend. The two were on opposite sides of the cattle-raid conflict between Ulster and Queen Maeve's Connaught and they wound up fighting in single combat for four days at the ford. Ferdia died by his friend's hand and Cúchulainn wept over him. This was one of two truly tragic scenes in the tale, the other being the slaughter of the Youth Troop of Ulster. (Apologies to the designer/artist but I've been unable to find a name. If anyone can let me know, please do.)

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