Táin Bó Cúailnge

8A. The Slaying of the Three MacArach

About this Edition

  • Translated By
    Publishing Date
    • Joseph Dunn

Then came the three macArach on to the ford at Ard Ciannacht to encounter Cuchulain: Lon (‘Ousel’), Uala (‘Pride’), and Diliu (‘Deluge’);— Meslir (‘Lir's Fosterling’), and Meslaoc (‘Hero’s Fosterling’), and Meslethain (‘Lethan's Fosterling’) were the names of their charioteers. This is why they came to engage with Cuchulain, for the deed he had done the day before they deemed past bearing, when the two sons of Nera son of Nuatar, son of Tacan, were slain at Ath Gabla (‘Fork-ford’), and Orlam, Ailill’s son and Medb’s, was slain withal and his head displayed to the men of Erin, so that their desire was to kill Cuchulain in the same manner in revenge for him, and that they should be the ones to rid the host of that pest and bring his head with them to set it aloft.

They went into the wood and cut off three great white-hazelwood-strips (and put them) into the hands of their charioteers, so that the six of them might engage in battle at one and the same time with Cuchulain. Cuchulain turned on them and smote their six heads from them. Thus fell the macArach at the hands of Cuchulain because they observed not fair fight with him. At that same time Orlam’s charioteer was between Ailill and Medb. Cuchulain slung a stone at him, so that it broke his head and his brains came out over his ears. Fertedil was his name. Hence it is not true that Cuchulain slew no charioteers. Albeit he slew them not without fault.