Irish Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Ireland

CÚCHULAINN

Irish Hero legendary mortal

Also known as Cú Chulainn, Sétanta, Cuhullin

Picture of the Irish Hero legendary mortal Cúchulainn from our Irish mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

The Hound of Ulster

He was a champion tough-guy of many legends and adventures.

The son of Lugh and Dechtire, he performed all manner of manly heroic deeds, armed with his trusty Gae-Bholg — a rather nasty spear. Whenever it penetrated a body, thirty barbs opened up, causing irreparable damage and a horrid mess.

Cúchulainn’s original name was Setanta — but he changed it after having destroyed the guard dog of Cullan the Smith. Regretting this action, the hero offered to stand in until a replacement beast could be found.

We’re not sure if he actually crouched down on all fours and made barking noises, but he certainly kept the burglars away. From that day forth, he called himself Cúchulainn — ‘The Hound of Cullan’.

Our hero had many adventures, and in the end believed he was tough enough to beat death itself. Heroes like him didn’t need wimpish immortality bestowed, so he turned it down. The Mórrígan taught him a lesson about that...

Cúchulainn Facts and Figures

Name: Cúchulainn
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Cú Chulainn, Sétanta, Cuhullin

Gender: Male
Type: legendary mortal
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Heroics
Area of expertise: Hero

Good/Evil Rating: GOOD, quite approachable
Popularity index: 315

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Article last revised on May 22, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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