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The Kin-slaying of Ronan

Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, Caren Esser, and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old Irish with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Irish Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old Irish language and its speakers' culture.

Fingal Rónain 'The Kin-slaying of Ronan'

Ní dam ass áil, or sí, acht do ingin Echdach rop áil Mael Fothartaig na cardess.

Ná hapair, a ben!, or Congal. Bia marb dianat chluine Mael Fothartaig! Dogénsa do lessu féin frisseom chena, mad áil duit.

Atbeir ind ócben friesi.

Is maith lem, or sisi, ar rolémasu a rád ind aithisc acht co comrís féin fris; ocus déna mo lessa iarum friss.


Foid ind ócben leis .i. la Mael Fothartaig.

Maith tra, or sí, ní dingnesu mo lessa a fechtsa? Is ferr let in fer ucut t' oenur? Bet marbso dano limsa!

Feccaid in ben laa nand ic coí fri Mael Fothartaig.

Cid daí, a ben? or sé.

Ingen Echdach oc báig mo marbtha frim, olsi, uair nach dénaim a lles fritso, co comairsed frit.

Dóich dano, or sé. Ní sechbaid duit, or sé, rogabais chommairchi. Dianom berthasa, a ben, or sé, i cualchlais tened fo thrí co ndernad min ocus luaith dím, ní chomraicfind fri mnaí Rónáin, cid ed nommainsed airi sin uile. Regatsa dano, or sé, for a himgabáil.


"[It is] not with me that [there] is desire," said she, "but with the daughter of Echaid that [there] would be desire for Mael Fothartaig, of the(ir) sexual encounters."
"Do not say [this], woman!" said Congal. "You will be dead if Mael Fothartaig should hear you! Indeed I shall do your own bidding in respect to him, though, if it should be a desire with you."
The maid communicates this to her (i.e. to her mistress).
"It is very well with me," said she, "since you will dare communicating the message to him, provided that you yourself should meet with him, and you shall do my own bidding to him afterwards."
[It] is done [then].
The maid sleeps with him, that is, with Mael Fothartaig.
"Well then," she said, "will you indeed not do my own bidding this time? Is it better with you [that] the man yonder [be] yours alone? You will be dead then through myself!"
One day then the woman starts to cry in front of Mael Fothartaig.
"Why are you vexed, woman?" said he.
"The daughter of Echaid at threatening my killing to me," said she, "since it is not that I do her bidding to you so that she could meet with you."
"Likely then," said he. "[It was] not wrong of you," said he, "you took protection." "Woman," said he, "even if I myself were thrown into a faggot-pit of fire three times, and dust and ashes were made of me, I would not meet with the wife of Ronan, though it be it that might save me from all that [burning]." "I shall go then," he said, "in order to avoid her."

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