There 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.
Written by Finbarr O'Regan
Published here 05 Feb 2021 and originally published 2012
Page 005 of Athenry Mythology
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