Mongan

Irish - King of Ulster. Son of Fiachna Lurgan or Manannan. By Cantigern. Husband of Dubh Lacha. Father of Sideng. When Fiachna was fighting the Saxons, Manannan seduced his wife who, in some accounts was Cantigern, threatening that Fiachna would die in battle if she refused him. The result of this union was Mongan. Manannan took him to the Otherworld and taught him the magic arts. Another version of his birth has it that Fiachna was in Scandinavia and obtained, from an old woman, a cow needed to cure Eolgarg, the king, who was sick. Later, the king refused to compensate the owner of the cow and Fiachna invaded his country. When his army was repelled by Eolgarg, Manannan intervened and gave Fiachna victory and was allowed to sleep with Fiachna's wife as reward. Mongan was born of this union and was raised in the Otherworld where he learnt the art of changing himself into many different forms of animal. He made peace with Fiachna mac Deamhain who had killed Mongan's nominal father and was given part of Ulster as his own but, after marrying Fiachna's daughter, Dubh Lacha, he exacted revenge by killing her father, taking the throne of Ulster. When Mongan promised to give Brandubh, the king of Leinster, anything he asked for, the king asked for Mongan's wife, Dubh Lacha. Mongan then used magic powers to change an old woman, Cuimhne, into a beautiful young girl and substituted her for his wife. At the same time, he rescued the wife of his servant, Mac an Daimh, who accompanied Dubh Lacha. Another version of this story says that it was the poet Forgall who demanded the right to sleep with Mongan's wife who, in this case is given as Breothighearn, when he fell into an argument with Mongan about where Fothach had been killed. The warrior Cailte arrived just in time to save Breothighearn's honour by proving that Mongan's side of the argument was right. As a young man, Mongan had forecast that a particular pebble on the beach would cause his death. Years later, one of the Britons defeated by Mongan picked up the stone as they fled back to their ships and, using it in his sling, killed Mongan. Some say that Mongan was a reincarnation of Finn mac Cool. Also called Mongan.

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