A Celtic Tale: The Legend of Deirdre

By David Riley

 

Long ago, in the kingdom of Emain Macha, the king’s  druid foretold of a maiden so beautiful that she would bring the kingdom to its ruin by marrying the king’s enemy.

King Conor Mac Nessa’s power-hungry mother could not allow the prophecy to be fulfilled, and schemed to have the baby killed. The king, on the other hand,  felt that a woman of such beauty should be by his side;  and if she married him, then she would not belong to his enemy nor would she bring his downfall.

King Conor had the child taken to a secret village to be raised by a loyal nurse until she turned sixteen and was ready to become his wife. The beautiful young Deirdre was, at three-and-a-half years, taken away from her parents and brought to the lush Green Dun, where she  was treated by everyone like a princess and there remained oblivious to the dark fate that awaited her.

Unknowingly, the man of her dreams  was just beyond her prison home—a handsome, dark-haired young son of Usna from the nearby clan. Just before Deirdre’s scheduled marriage to the king, fateful events unfolded to unlock a destiny that would fulfill the prophecy.

A two-thousand-year-old epic, handed down word of mouth through generations of Celtic storytellers and finally written down by Irish monks for posterity, the story of Deirdre of the Sorrows is an ancient struggle for true love…

 

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