There are many heroic legends surrounding Finn MacCool, comparisons have been drawn between him and the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  Finn was reputed as being the leader of the Fianna, the guardians of the King of Ireland.  Formed the Fianna from a rough bunch of warriors into an elite group of men who transformed under his command into the manifestation of justice and honour, they were the people's heroes. Finn's famous son whose mother was the goddess Sadb, is said to be  buried in Glenaan. It is worth noting that many of the great legends of Ireland are based or linked to the north coast of Ulster, There must be some  correlation between this and the fact that Whitepark Bay was where man first settled in Ireland.  However in this section we will concentrate on his role in building the Giants Causeway. The story goes thus:-

Finn a renown warrior was going about his daily duties on the north coast when one of his adversary, a Scottish giant called Benandonner started shouting and ridiculing Finn's fighting prowess. This angered Finn who lifted a lump of earth and pelted it to Scotland  as a challenge to this giant.  The Scottish giant retaliated with a rock back  to Finn shouting that if he could get his hand on him, he would make sure that Finn would never fight again adding that unfortunately he could not swim the short distance across the Channel, so Finn would be spared that fate. Finn got enraged by this and tore large pieces from the cliffs,  he worked for over a week pushing these into the ocean bed and made a sturdy causeway to Scotland, when he had finished he shouted 'Now you'll had no excuse' to come over and do your best.  Fearing to lose his own reputation and pride the Scottish giant had no alternative but come over the causeway.  Finn was tired, having not slept for the week he worked on the causeway and did not feel ready for fighting. He thought about how he could buy some time and recuperate to face the Scottish giant and came up with an ingenious plan. Quickly he made a large cot and disguised himself as a baby ...... and waited.  The Scottish giant arrived at Finn's house shouting, 'Where is that coward MacCool', Finn's wife said the he was away but sure sit down and have a cup of tea, he'll not be long. the tea arrived with a cake in which Finn's wife had placed some stones. Benandonner took a bite and broke one of his teeth, and thought to himself,  this Finn must be a tough boyo to eat cakes like this, not to be outdone,  he finished off the cake and tea, breaking two more teeth in the process.  He noticed the baby cot and the baby inside it and his eyes widened in fear, he thought to himself, my goodness if this is the size of the baby? What size is the Father?  He reached his hand in to touch the sleeping baby, half out of curiosity and half  as a sign of affection, Finn bit the tip of his finger off.  Benandonner was shocked by this and thought to himself, if this is what the baby is capable of, what must the father be capable of and what could he not do! This thought terrified him, the fear got the better of him and took to his  heels and ran like he had never ran before, back across the causeway to Scotland destroying it as he went.  Well.....that is one version of the story, there are many more to choose from, including one of love and romance.

       Back