Giant’s Causeway of County Antrim

Google Earth image showing Northeaster Ireland, the Irish Sea and the coast of Western Scotland. Oblique red lines mark the sites of Giant's Causeway, Isle of Wight, Isle of Staffa and Lough Neagh.

The tale of the two giants…

According to Irish mythology, there once lived a pair of giants, Finn McCool (or Fionn Mac Cumhaill) in Northern Ireland and Benandonnar across the channel in Scotland. The two giants were aware of each other, and loathed each other, especially since their countrymen held them up as their respective champions, boasting incessantly of their own man’s superiority.

One day, Benandonnar, the Scottish giant, began to hurl insults at his rival. In rage, Finn McCool scooped a mound of dirt and threw it at Benandonnar, symbolic of throwing down a gauntlet and challenging him to a fight. (By some accounts, the dirt he scooped up created the crater for Northern Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Neagh, and in falling into the sea, the Isle of Wight.) Benandonnar, in turn retaliated by throwing an immense rock at Finn, and bellowing, “You don’t know how lucky you are, if I were a strong swimmer, I would come over and give you a thorough thrashing!” As the argument escalated, Finn decided to take up Benandonnar on his threat. He hauled dirt into the channel, and created a causeway for the Scotsman to come and face him “…if, that is, you have the gall.” But in building the causeway, Finn found himself on the Scottish shore, where he could spy his foe. To his shock and horror, the Scottish giant was considerably bigger than he was! Accordingly, he made a hasty retreat, but only to look back and see that Benandonnar was trailing behind him, crossing the channel to Ireland also.

Google Earth image showing Northeaster Ireland, the Irish Sea and the coast of Western Scotland. Oblique red lines mark the sites of Giant’s Causeway, Isle of Wight, Isle of Staffa and Lough Neagh.

Here, Finn’s wife came to the rescue. —> Read More

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail