Queen Maeve – a cheesy story

If you live in Ireland you have probably heard of Queen Maeve, in Celtic mythology she was known as the Warrior Queen of Connacht. She’s buried in Sligo – in a cairn on the top of Knocknarea Mountain near Strandhill.

What you may not know about Queen Maeve is how she died. I find this story just bizarre. She was this fearless warrior who had an army of men and launched an attack on Ulster.  She also killed her own sister Eithne (or Clothru) – which led to her own downfall.

Eithne was pregnant when she was murdered but miraculously her son, Furbaide, survived and when he grew older he planned his revenge on Maeve.

Queen Maeve used to bathe every day near Lough Ree. Furbaide was an expert with a sling and one day when he saw Maeve bathing he fired a piece of cheese at her and it killed her!

Can you ‘brie’lieve it! What a way for a warrior woman to die. Although I do think there should be a Cheese Festival held in Queen Maeve’s memory!

You can visit Queen Maeve’s Cairn by climbing Knocknarea Mountain which will give you stunning views over Sligo. It’s said to be good luck if you bring a stone up to add to her cairn – I think you’d be crackers to bring up a lump of cheese though.

Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon is the home of Queen Maeve and is a fascinating place to visit. It was at the visitor centre where I discovered about poor old Maeve.

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