Ireland // Antrim and Derry //

Fionn Mac Cumhaill: the Giant of the Causeway


According to mythology, the Giant of the Causeway was Ulster warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill (also known as Finn McCool), and two legends of Fionn’s exploits provide an entertaining alternative to geologists’ explanations of the Causeway’s origins. In one, Fionn became besotted with a woman giant who resided on the Scottish island of Staffa (where the Causeway’s fault-line resurfaces) and constructed a highway across the sea by which he could travel to woo her. An alternative version of the story suggests that Fionn built the Causeway in order to head over to Scotland to give another giant a good kicking, but, when confronted by his enemy’s superior size, fled back to Ireland and hid in an extra-large cot which he’d persuaded his wife to construct. When the pursuing Scots giant arrived, he took just a glance at the sheer size of Fionn’s supposed “baby” and fled back to Scotland.

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