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Annacoona

The Sanctuary of Diarmait and Grania1This couple are considered the greatest romantic pairing in ancient Gaelic mythology.


Annacoona is embodied in the story of these mythic lovers as the intertwined expression of Oloroso and PX Sherry and Irish Single Malt Whiskey that elucidates a menage a trois. Diarmait & Grania were two lovers who were chased by Finn McColl throughout Ireland, settling eventually in Annacoona Cave, High on Benbulben mountain where they met their ultimate fate. With Diarmuid dying Finn agonises over whether he should save him with a drink of precious water cupped by his magical hands, but the question remains, 'What would you do with one last drop?'

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Beneath lofty Annacoona’s2A cliff at the majestic Ben Bulben mountain in County Sligo. cliffs, visions that Finn McCool’s irresistible pursuit would even dare approach the Surly Sharvan’s Hostel of Quickening Trees,3The indestructible giant Sharvan (also termed a Baclach) was the guardian of the Quickening Tree on behalf of the Celtic Gods. This tree contained the sacred and precious fruited rowan berry which provided health and great powers. consumed the lovers Diarmait and Grania.

Here no hero, bent on plundering its Moon Trees’ life-prolonging bounty, could kill by fire, water or magic war weapons, that Surly Host.

But, with three deathly strikes, Diarmait, in smiting Sharvan with his own mighty iron-girdled and lightning chained club, laid the bachlach low. ‘Twas now to little avail if embattled with the Earless Green Boar of Ben Bulben,4The sleek earless boar was prophesised as the creature destined to kill the doomed Diarmait. his long prophesied, ivory-tusked and dreaded foe.

‘Twas truly an accursed share to bring Ireland’s two finest men to feast at Keshcorran’s bright Rath Grania.5Grania and Diarmait ran from Tara to live here at the Rock of Corran. Suckling the Black Boar beast, a spurned thought that once betrothed Finn McCool6Finn McCool, also known as Finn of the Woods, was the leader of Ireland’s legendary Fianna and a warrior elite. and her father, Cormac McAirt,7Cormac McAirt – the Wolf King of Ireland – was the father of Grania. sought and forgave those great lovers’ dreams, both smashed from a high abyss upon Annacoona Cave.

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Gripped upon the Earless Boar from copper river run, with three leaped bounds through Ess Ruadh8Ballyshannon in County Donegal. and the Bay of Cuillin,9A bay at Drumcliffe in County Sligo. their ascending run to the Peak of Bundled Clouds to hear the strange Cú10The Cú was a spectral hound and is now heard on the sister mountain of Ben Bulben, namely Ben Weeskin. thrice cry out, in bleak and blinding sun. For though Finn demanded his ransom of the Forest of Dubh Ros’11A premonition and warning of Diarmait’s impending death. lunar rowan berries upon Diarmait’s severed head, both his intent and fatal offer were delivered dead.

This Geasa,12Despite it being arranged Grania should wed Fin McCool, during a banquet meal at Tara, she mistakenly espied, though fleetingly, the ‘love spot’ upon Diarmait’s forehead. No woman in the world could resist this potent adornment. Diarmait, also bound by a Geasa (a sacred promise or vow of honour) was compelled to fulfil this romance, despite its consequences, which therefore resulted in the couple’s elopement. this pursuit, was bound to him by Grania but if so such guilt was not his own. Finn knew all this claim to tell, when peering deep eyed into Seefin’s precious spring and rippling mountain well.13The mythic Wood of Dubh Ros ranged from the Atlantic ocean to Lough Gill. Though nine footsteps from this, the world’s freshest water, Diarmait would never taste the noble and precious prize from Boinn,14The location of the fateful mountain well. but rather bathe in the Aós Sí15The sacred water rites associated with the goddess Buain. golden breath, when Finn released its aromatic pail from within his cupped five-pronged prison.16Imprisoning Diarmait when carrying water in his ‘five-pronged prison’ i.e. his hands.

Upon the Rath of Sword Hilts17The locus of Diarmait’s demise. broken eyes and brains entrails, the Fianna’s Seven Battalions released three great loud and heavy cries that cleared far beyond the waste places of ancient Irish skies.

Past the devouring boar’s deep internal rage, the Golden Bier18Diarmait was brought to Tara on this adorned funereal frame. Diarmait sailed across to the Otherworld’s silver branches, beyond Kerwillick19Situated near the Griannan Calraighe, close by Hazelwood, which is a beautiful green location surrounded by rocky mountain. bridge to the Plain of Moy Mell.20This is Gaelic mythology’s Otherworld.

So, if your love’s misshaped embrace contains the hazel wood’s mellowness of ages deep, to keep our fragrant gold, would you believe thee still deserved that drop she had then foretold?

 
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