Áine Clí

Goddess of Knockaine in Munster, and likely a sovereignty goddess for that province. Her father Éogabul was of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and when he was killed and herself raped by Ferchess and Ailill Aolum, she swore revenge and so worked her magic against him, causing the Battle of Mag Mucrama. She also struck Ailill so hard that his ear came off, thus his nickname aolum--"one ear."

There is also a late legend that connects her to the Earl of Desmond. It is said that Lord Desmond captured Áine, and she bore him a son, Gerald. However, she and Desmond disappeared in 1398 into Loch Gur, under whose waters he now lives. This story is somewhat reminiscent of the earlier tale from the Cath Magh Mucrama; moreover, both tales seem to make her a local goddess of sovereignty--for when she is possessed by force, sovereignty is lost.

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Mary Jones © 2009