Grainne, daughter of the High King Cormac Mac Airt was believed to me the most beautiful, desirable and worthiest of women in all of Ireland. Her father gave her hand in marriage to Ireland's greatest warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill, however at their betrothal feast Grainne became distressed that Fionn was older than her father and fell in love with one of Fionn's men named Diarmuid (who had a love spot on his forehead that made him irresistible to all women). Grainne laced all the wine with a sleeping potion which was served to all the guests and encouraged Diarmuid to run away with her. Diarmuid, out of loyalty to his leader at first refused but Grainne wasn't taking no for an answer, she threatened Diarmuid with a geis (a curse), he relented and they fled. Fionn immediately went in pursuit of them, they managed to evade him several times with the help of the some members of the Fianna and Diarmuid's foster father Aengus Og. Diarmuid eaten up with remorse refused for a long t ime to sleep with Grainne, spurning her to tease him terribly, once exclaiming that the water splashing on her legs was more adventurous than him. Eventually, Aengus Og negotiated peace with Fionn and the pursued lovers settled in County Sligo and had five children. Fionn married Grainne's sister but was still very bitter over the betrayal of Diarmuid and Grainne. Fionn organised a boar hunt near Ben Bulben where Diarmuid was mortally wounded by a wild boar, Fionn had the power to save him by letting him drink water from his hands but he let the water slip through them and Diarmuid died.
Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source:
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