The Legend of Knockmany

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Finn McCool and Benadonner

What Irish man, woman or child has not heard of the great and glorious Finn McCool? Not one, I am certain.

Well, Finn McCool and his men were working on the Giant’s Causeway. Modern scientists claim that the causeway in County Antrim was created by an ancient volcanic eruption. What these scientists say as that the eruption formed a huge lava plateau. As the lava cooled, the plateau cracked and left large pillar-like columns.

But we all know that scientists don’t know anything. The causeway was not caused by a volcano. It was built by Finn McCool and his men. It is all that is left today of a bridge Finn was building across the North Channel to connect Ireland and Scotland.

This was obviously a big project, and Finn was forced to spend a great deal of time away from his lovely wife Oonagh. He decided to take a break from his work and go home to see how his woman got along in his absence.

Finn cut down a tree, lopped off its roots and branches, and used the remainder of the tree as a walking stick. You see, Finn was a giant of a man and needed a tree for his walking stick. And off he went to see Oonagh.

There was another giant in the region, by the name of Benadonner. Some say he was from Scotland, and other say he was from Ireland. But it is of no matter, since he was by all accounts the strongest man alive. No other man stood any change at’all in a fight with Benadonner.

Neither could nature stand up to him. One time the gods sent a thunderbolt down to the earth in the direction of Benadonner. Benadonner saw it coming and clenched his fist. He smacked that thunderbolt as hard as he could, and flattened it into a pancake. He kept that pancake in his pocket. He pulled it out of his pocket from time to time, especially to scare his enemies.

Benadonner gave all the great fighters in Ireland and Scotland a thorough beating, I should say, all the great fighters with the exception of Finn McCool. Benadonner swore that he would not rest, either day or night, summer or winter, until he found Finn McCool and gave Finn such a beating. After he had bested Finn McCool in a fight, no one could ever doubt that Benadonner was the best fighter in the entire Celtic world.

Finn McCool heard rumors that Benadonner was coming to the causeway looking for a fight. And that is why Finn had the sudden affection for his wife, and why he made the walking stick, and why he set out for his home on Knockmany.

Go to The Legend of Knockmany page 2

Knockmany is pronounced NAHK MAH-knee.
Finn McCool in Irish is Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Oonagh is pronounced OOH-nah.
The photographs of the Giant’s Causeway are by Linda McDonnell.