Lúgh of The Long Hand. Co. Louth

The Irish name of County Louth – Lú – comes from the god Lugh Lámhfhada (Lugh of the Long Hand), or Lugh Samildánach (Lugh of Many Talents), he was also the father of Cúchulainn. The God Lugh was the god of light or the harvest, and a festival was held in his honour called Lughnasa.

Lugh was said to be the divine father of Cúchulainn the great Irish warrior, whom he conceived with Dechtire when he carried her away to his palace beneath Brugh na Boinne. Dechtire was the sister of King Conor MacNessa, and she was set to marry Sualtim son of Roig.

But the God Lugh had other plans, he put a spell on Dechtire and her fifty maidens that put them into a deep sleep.

The Mural of Lú – Painted by Smug – On Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk. Produced by SEEK Arts Festival

He then made them appear as a flock of birds and flew them southward to Brugh na Boinne, the dwelling place of the Sidhe.

(The Sidhe (shee) are considered to be a distinct race, quite separate from human beings yet who have had much contact with mortals over the centuries, and there are many documented testimonies to this. Belief in this race of beings who have powers beyond those of men to move quickly through the air and change their shape at will once played a huge part in the lives of people living
in rural Ireland and Scotland)

A year later Dechtire gave birth to a child, who was called Setanta, later to be called Cúchulainn.

There is a story that tells of how an eagle informs the boy Setanta that he is special and that the God Lugh has a special role for him as a warrior.

The eagle tells him that he must go to Emain Macha to train and learn the skills of war.

When Cúchulainn is wounded during the Cattle raid of Cooley, Lugh appears and tends his wounds for three days.