Fionn Mac Cumhaill was the leader of the Fianna. The Fianna was the army of the High King of Ireland. Cormac Mac Airt was the High King of Ireland at that time. When Fionn was a young boy he was sent to live with a teacher called Finneigeas. Finneigeas lived beside the River Boyne. There was a fish in this river called the Salmon of Knowledge. It was said that whoever ate this fish would have the gift of knowledge. One day when Fionn was learning his poetry he heard Finneigeas shout out. I‘ve caught it. Finneigeas asked Fionn to cook the salmon but he warned him not to eat it. When Fionn was watching it cook he saw a blister on the fish’s skin. He burst it with his thumb. He burnt his thumb and stuck it in his mouth to ease his pain. From then on Fionn had the gift of knowledge. Every time he wanted to solve a problem all he had to do was suck his thumb.
Written by Finbarr O'Regan
Published here 05 Feb 2021 and originally published 2012
Page 007 of Athenry Mythology
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