Membership of the Fianna

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Membership of the FiannaThere were certain skills needed to become a member of the Fianna.

• While standing in a hole as deep as his waist, with only a shield and a hazel rod as weapons, the candidate had to be able to defend himself against nine warriors.
• The candidate had to escape from nine warriors by running through the forest without breaking a twig under his feet or tearing his clothes on brambles.
• The candidate had to be able to jump over a branch as high as himself and run under another as low as his knee.
• While running at top speed through the forest the candidate had to be able to pick a thorn from his foot without stopping.
• The candidate had to learn twelve books of poetry by heart and also know many of the old legends and stories.
• The candidate should not to take a dowry with a wife.

There is a townland called “Tobar na bhFiann” just beside Carnaun National School and this is one of the resting places of the Fianna when they visited the area. Goll Mac Mórna, a leader of the Fianna lived at “Cloghar Goill” on the “Hill of Carnaun”, near the school.

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Written by Finbarr O'Regan

Published here 05 Feb 2021 and originally published 2012

Page 005 of Athenry Mythology

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