A Warrior Queen, Ruler of Connacht, powerful, revered, fearless, infamous and a legend
Queen Maeve, reigned over the West of Ireland for 60-years sometime between 50 BCE – 50 CE, and was the original Irish bad-ass Woman.
Here are four-things you should know about her extraordinary life:
1- She was a serious player
Throughout her time, Maeve had not one, not two…but five Husbands.
So famous were her exploits with the fellas, there’s an entire Irish text devoted to the topic, called ‘Maeve’s Man-Share.’
In order to be considered a King of Connacht, a Man had to be ‘Married to Maeve’ – Which meant ‘Married to the land.’
We just hope she used pre-nubs!
2- Six of her sons all had the same name – but for a good reason
It was foretold to Maeve by a Druid that her son ‘Maine’ would kill her greatest enemy – ‘Conchobar the King of Ulster.’
Concerned by the fact none of her Seven-sons were actually called Maine, she decided she better cover her bases and just re-name six of them… Just to be safe.
From then on, whether they liked it or not, her sons were known as:
- Maine Athramail (“like his father”)
- Maine Máthramail (“like his mother”)
- Maine Andoe (“the swift”)
- Maine Taí (“the silent”)
- Maine Mórgor (“of great duty”)
- Mílscothach (“honey-speech”)
- Maine Móepirt (“beyond description”)
3- The Cattle Raid of Cooley is centered around her
Despite the fact it’s known as the ‘Cycle of Ulster’ Queen Maeve is a hugely central figure in the Irish epic.
Along with her Husband Ailill, Maeve infamously lead an army of Warriors into Ulster.
Their ambition? To retrieve the Bull Stud Donn Cuailnge, during the battle Maeve immortalised herself as a fearless Warrior Queen.
4- She is buried facing her enemies
Although there are many rumours as to the actual burial spot of Queen Maeve, the most common theory is that she resides in Sligo.
According to legends, she is buried in the 40ft (12m) high stone cairn on the summit of Knocknarea (Hill of the King/Queen).
Where she stands upright, forever facing her enemies in Ulster.