The Fianna Rise Again
Historical Discovery in West Cork.
The Grave of Diarmuid Ui Duibhne.
As all Irish students know Diarmuid was the legendary lover of Grainne who was to marry Fionn Mac Cumhail, leader of the Fianna. And the students probably thought that it was just “another old myth”. What most people do not know is that Diarmuid was from West Cork. And it was to Cork that Diarmuid and Grainne flew for safety from the wrath of Fionn.
Thus, the recent discovery of Diarmuid's grave in a small graveyard in West Cork should come as no surprise. This remarkable piece of archaeological detective work is due to the efforts of the Ballineen Enniskeane Newcestown Murragh Herritage Group. But is was the unswerving conviction and research of one man , Micheal O'Connell that we owe the most. He was intrigued by a document by a local antiquarian John Wendale who had made a visit to a nearby graveyard in 1843 and recorded seeing a tumulus“ erected to the memory of Diarmod O'Duivne, one of the principal heroes of Fenian romance , the successful lover of Grainne, a princess and daughter of King Cormac”.
However, this graveyard , Murragh graveyard, had officially been declared destroyed in 1950. Undeterred , with the help of an expert on Celtic mythology, Mr. O'Connell hacked their way through hundreds of years of undergrowth and were rewarded with the find of a mound. The size compared with a sketch that Wendele had made. They estimated that the mound was built around 200 A.D. Part of it had been washed away in a flash flood but enough remained to make a comprehensive assessment that a burial chamber was within the tumulus. With the examination of local records, old references to the Fianna and the input of scholars,they were able to establish that the burial mound was prpbably that of Diarmuid.
The National Monuments Service was informed and they have agreed to include the grave in a list of monuments. In honour of Wedele it will be named “Diarmuid's Grave”