An Táin Bo Cualigne revisits Louth with Queen Maeve’s army

Queen Meave   arriving in Dundalk  on the Tain March  with her warriors

Queen Meave arriving in Dundalk on the Tain March with her warriors

The annual re-enactment of The Táin epic (An Tain Bo Cualigne) is taking place around Louth from this Thursday, 5 June to Sunday, 8 June.

The footsteps of Queen Maeve and her army will be physically retraced in their journey to capture the strongest bull in Ireland – the Brown Bull of Cooley.

The historic tale occured as a result of a domestic dispute with her husband King Alill whilst they compared possessions. However the prized Brown Bull of Cooley was guarded by the mighty warrior Cuchulainn and the story covers the tricks, fierce battles and ruthlessness of the Irish woman to get what she wants.

The Táin Bo Cualigne is the national epic of Ireland and stretches from Roscommon to The Cooley Peninsula providing the Irish equivalent to the Greek mythology tales which feature figures such as Athena and Achilles

The Táin March will begin with the gathering of Queen Maeves army of warriors in Ardee this Thursday, 5 June where a spectacular re-enactment will take place of the battle between Cuchulainn and Ferdia, the mighty warrior’s beloved foster brother

On Friday, June 6, the army will begin their march to Stephenstown Pond in Knockbridge close to Cuchulainn’s Stone, on which the warrior died. A re-enactment will be presented alongside a campside talk by historian, lecturer and author professor Paul Gosling.

A remarkable art exhibition by sixth class students from six local primary schools protraying the full story of the Táin in different sections will be on display during the month of June in the Stephenstown Pond Centre.

The army will continue to follow Maeves route on Saturday, 7 June, marching through Dundalk town and onto Ravensdale before enjoying refreshments and joviality in the Lumpers Bar.

And finally on Sunday, June 8, the Cooley Mountains will once again witness the mighty approach of Maeves Army climbing over the Golyin Pass from the Lumpers Bar and into the village of Carlingford.

This spectacular end of the journey will be greeted by the villagers who will toast the army’s arrival and offer ‘Cuchulainns supper’ to the hungry warriors. As the celtic customs dictated, visitors to the town will be advised to eat the customary salted bread available on the day in order to avoid any quarrelling.

Queen Maeve is looking for her army of warriors now and anyone who would like to participate can do so for the full journey or just a day.

Families and children are particularly invited to participate in this unique event and groups are invited to raise money for your school, community group or charity.

For information contact the Cooley Peninsula Tourist Office 042-9373033 or email Visit


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