Am I Myth or Legend? Decide.
Many question whether I was real or not. Was I the product of the minds of the time or was I an actual person?
One thing is for certain my name is indelibly linked with both Sligo and Roscommon. There is an interprative centre in Tulsk, Roscommon where my memory is preserved and this is very close to what has long been regarded as the royal site of Connacht. Rathcroghan itself first attracted the attention of academics in 1753, but it was over 2000 years after the time of Christ before academics seriously tackled the site. A leading authority on this part of the world is John Waddell, former Professor of Archaeology at NUI Galway. Writing in his book ‘Archaeology and Celtic Myth’, the historian claims evidence of my existence is ‘more literary than archaeological’. Have I got news for him!
The academic also lead the first major survey of the location of the site of the Royal palace of Connacht, an incredible body of information assembled in their study with a large portion of it detailed here.
What’s regarded as proof of my link to the Cave of the Cats comes in the form of a slab with ogham writing on the stone that he translated as “Fráech, son of Medb.” Through the magic of digital media we can see subterranean images of the cave here.
I rest my case.
“Cúchulainn and his friends are historical characters, seen as it were through mists of love and wonder, whom men could not forget, but for centuries continued to celebrate in countless songs and stories. They were not literary phantoms, but actual existences; imaginary and fictitious characters, mere creatures of idle fancy, do not live and flourish so in the world’s memory.” Standish O’Grady, The Coming of Cuchulainn, 1894
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