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Melati Hewison - Fionn, High King of Ireland
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Fionn, High King of Ireland
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505 x 760 mm


Arcylic on canvas






Here stands the High King Fionn Mac Cumhaill at the Giant's Causeway in northern Ireland. It is said that he made the Giant's Causeway as stepping-stones to Scotland. There are many geographical features in Ireland attributed to Fionn.

When Fionn was a boy he met the druid and poet Finnegas and studied under him. Finnegas had spent seven years trying to catch the 'salmon of knowledge', which lived in a pool on the Boyne: whoever ate the salmon would gain all the knowledge in the world. Eventually he caught it, and told the boy to cook it for him. While cooking it Fionn burned his thumb, and instinctively put his thumb in his mouth, swallowing a piece of the salmon's skin. This gave him with the salmon's wisdom which he was able to call on the knowledge of the salmon by sucking his thumb.

This wisdom he now had helped him regain his heritage at the Hill of Tara where he killed the fire-breathing fairy Aillen. This is shown on his belt with the dragons.

Fionn's son is Oisin who was also a great warrior and king of Ireland.


Private collection, Australia