A giant with a thirst for combat, he is actually a cool variation of FIONN-MAC-CUMHAILL. It seems there were so many stories about the famous warrior that a clone version appeared to take up the slack. Although they are often regarded as the same character, we have given FINN-MACCOOL his own entry for extra Blarney points.
He is best known for creating the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, an astounding rock formation of hexagonal columns along the coast of County Antrim.
The story goes that one day the Scottish giant BENANDONNER challenged him to a fight. Challenge accepted! After a bit of shouting back and forth, terms were arranged. But wait, Scotland was far away across the sea and there was precious little international transport in those days. Instead, FINN-MACCOOL got his hands dirty and constructed a vast stepping-stone road stretching all the way across the North Channel to Scotland.
That was the most heroic bit of the story — as soon as Finn saw the looming figure of BENANDONNER, he realized his rival had clearly been tucking into his fortified porridge. The Scottish giant was massive in all the wrong places and utterly formidable.
Unnerved, FINN-MACCOOL quickly disguised himself as a giant baby. When BENANDONNER arrived and saw this strapping infant, he assumed it was Finn’s baby son. Well, with a baby that size, he wasn’t going to hang around to meet the dad.
In a panic, BENANDONNER ran straight back to Scotland, demolishing the road as he went — just in case any gigantic daddies decided to follow him. That’s why the Giant’s Causeway stops where it does, just at the edge of the North Channel. You can go and visit if you like. The giant stepping stones are still there. That proves the story is true.