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Oisín i ndiaidh na bhFiann

Wednesday, 7 September, 2016

The Irish phrase Oisín i ndiaidh na bhFiann (Oisín after the Fianna) means to be alone in the world after all your people are gone.

Oisín i ndiaidh na bhFiann

In the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology, Oisín, the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill, is visited one day by a beautiful woman named Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden Hair), who declares she loves him and takes him away to Tir na nÓg (“the land of the young”). After what seems to be three years (actually 300), Oisín wishes to return to Ireland and Niamh gives him a magical horse, but warns him not to dismount, because if his feet touch the ground he will become old and die. Upon arriving in Ireland, Oisín notes to his astonishment that all of Fionn’s palaces are in ruins and nobody can recall any of his companions. When he comes across a group of men building a road and attempts to help them lift a stone out of the way, his stirrup breaks and he falls to the ground, becoming an old man as Niamh had forewarned. Hence, Oisín i ndiaidh na bhFiann.

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