Dinnshenchas of Druim Criaich
verse beg. Druim Criaich, céte cét cuan

  • Middle Irish
  • verse, prose
  • Early Irish poetry, Dinnshenchas Érenn, Ulster Cycle, dinnshenchas

Poem and prose text on the dinnshenchas of Druim Criaich (Drumcree, Co. Westmeath), which is here said to have been known as Druim Cró and Druim n-úar nAirthir. In the Book of Leinster, the poem is attributed to Cuán ua Lothcháin (d. 1024). The poem falls into two sections. The story of the first is that of the quarrel between Eochu Feidlech, high-king of Ireland, and his three sons known as the three Findemna. On the night before the battle of Druim Criaich, in which the brothers are killed, their sister Clothru sleeps with each one of them in order to produce royal offspring. She later gives birth to Lugaid Riab nDerg, high-king of Ireland.

Initial words (verse)
  • Druim Criaich, céte cét cuan
Context(s)The (textual) context(s) to which the present text belongs or in which it is cited in part or in whole.
Ascribed to: Cúán úa LothcháinCuán ua Lothcháin / Cúán úa Lothcháin (d. 1024) – early Irish poet
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The poem is ascribed to Cuán ua Lothcháin in the Book of Leinster.
  • Middle Irish
verse, prose (primary)
Number of stanzas


Early Irish poetry Dinnshenchas Érenn Ulster Cycle


Eochaid FeidlechEochu Feidlech – in Irish legendary history, high-king of Ireland, descendant of Labraid Lorc and father of multiple daughters and sons, including Medb ruler of Connacht, Clothru and the triplets known as the three Findemna.
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Clothru [daughter of Eochaid Feidlech]Clothru ... daughter of Eochaid Feidlech (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – No short description available
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The three FindemnaFindemna (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – In Irish legendary history, three triplet sons of Eochu Feidlech, who  slept with their sister Clothru on the night before the battle of Druim Criaich.
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Lugaid Ríab nDergLugaid Ríab nDerg (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – legendary high-king of Ireland; said to have been born out of an incestuous relationship between the three Findemna (sons of Eochaid Feidlech) and their sister Clothru
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Máel Sechnaill mac DomnaillMáel Sechnaill mac Domnaill / Máel Sechnaill II (d. 1022) – high-king of Ireland
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Druim Criaich
Druim Criaich ... Drumcree
County Westmeath


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Gwynn, E. J. [ed. and tr.], The metrical dindsenchas, 5 vols, vol. 4, Todd Lecture Series11, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1924.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive – vol. 4: <link>
42–59 [id. 13. ‘Druim Criaich’] Poem. direct link direct link direct link
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The prose tales in the Rennes dindshenchas”, Revue Celtique 16 (1895): 31–83, 135–167, 269–312, 468.
TLH – edition (III, 31-83): <link> TLH – translation (III): <link> TLH – edition (IV, pp. 135-167): <link> TLH – translation (IV): <link> Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
148–150 [id. 140. ‘Druim Criaich’] Prose. direct link

Secondary sources (select)

Gwynn, E. J. [ed. and tr.], The metrical dindsenchas, 5 vols, vol. 4, Todd Lecture Series11, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1924.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive – vol. 4: <link>
384–388 [id. 13. ‘Druim Criaich’] Notes. direct link
C. A.,Dennis Groenewegen,Patrick Brown
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