Loughra the King

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An Irish Legend
This is a story I first told at the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival.

This is a story of an early Leinster king. It's a story of treachery, murder, poison, eating of body parts and live animals, mute children, fair maidens, martyred women, arson, and the annual killing of a barber.

These are the elements of hilarious story. But only if you have the same warped sense of humor as I do.

This is a true story which takes place over 2,000 years ago. When you write or tell historical fiction, like in my book ClanDonnell, you are limited in sources of information. My sources, for almost all of my stories, are dead people. Most of them don't want to speak to me. We are simply not on speaking terms.

Nevertheless, I spent a great deal of time and energy verifying my stories. They are thoroughly researched and fact checked. I assure you that they are true.

The Dumnonii (Dah-MOAN-yi) were one of the first Celtic ethnic groups to move to Ireland - the Gaels and the Erainn followed. Called themselves the "people of the land", which the Romans translated to Dumnonii.

They interacted with the Romans, but generally stayed a few steps ahead of the expansion of the Roman Empire. They lived in Northern France, and then moved across English Channel to Wales and Cornwall and England. Many moved from Wales into Ireland - around 1st Century B.C. - and lived in the eastern third of the island. This region is called Leinster.

Leary Lorc (LEER-rey LORK) became a king of Leinster, but his reign only lasted two years. Leary had a younger brother named Cova (KAH-va). He also had a son, name Alill (AHL-yill) and a grandson named Loughra LOUW-ra). Loughra is the hero of our story. Loughra, by the way, was mute from birth.

Cova hatched a plot to overthrow his brother and become king. Cova pretended to be dying. While he was in his deathbed, Leary came to see him.

Leary said to his dying brother - "Unlucky is your illness".

Leary leaned over his brother, as if to kiss him goodbye. And then Cova pulled a knife, which he had hidden under his pillow, and he stabbed his elder brother to death.

Go to Loughra the King page 2