• Ali Isaac

Eithne and Fedelma: ‘Unfinished Business’

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

You may remember these two young ladies:

Incredible Irish Women. The Mysterious Deaths of Eithne and Fidelma

And you may remember also the block I had when it came to writing the next post in my Incredible Irish Women series, and how I was given to believe that I had ‘unfinished business’ to complete before I could move onto my next subject.

I decided to go to the site where Eithne and Fedelma had been baptised by Patrick, and where they were said to have to have immediately ascended to heaven afterwards. Let’s just say it was not at all what I expected.

St. Patrick was represented there, as was Mary, but where were Eithne and Fedelma? Not a whiff of them, anywhere. The site was filthy, neglected, scattered with empty beer bottles and litter. The door to the glass oratory was broken, the glass speckled with damp, the room stank of mold. Inside, a courting couple waited impatiently for me to leave.

A man had driven his car right up to the stream and was actually sitting in the water up to his waist, fully clothed, with his car door open so he could blast his music, while staring at his phone.

I laid out my roses, a white one for ‘Eithne the Fair’, and a red one for ‘Fedelma the Red-Rosed’, said my piece, and left. I felt very sad. The whole thing felt wrong. And as you know, I do believe in intuition.

There is another well, which some say is the real holy well of the two young ladies. I drove around, but it’s certainly more elusive… I didn’t find it. More research is required.

But I did find this…

Cruachan, home of Queen Medb and the site of the Tain bo Cuilnge, according to legend.

I haven’t been back to Cruachan since last Samhain, so I was delighted to have the chance to spend some more time there. I also went to Rath Beag, Rath na Dtarbh, and Rath Mór, but that’s a whole other story…

Meanwhile, the search for Eithne and Fedelma goes on…

thank you for visiting


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About Ali

I am an author and blogger specialising in Irish mythology. Through word and image, I try to draw the human story from Ireland's landscape and tumbled stones, with a particular focus on the women history has abandoned, and legend only half remembers. 


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