The Partholans were among the first to truly occupy Ireland. They were led by a man named Partholan, who brought them to Iver Scene, which is now known as the Kenmare River. He brought with him his sons, their wives, and approximately a thousand followers. It is difficult to determine when, exactly, this might have occured.
Where Did the Partholans Come From?
It is unclear as to where the Partholans might have come from. Legend has it that they came into Ireland from the west. Some myths suggest that Partholan himself once dwelled in the Irish Fairyland, the Land of the Living. Some claim that he murdered his father, Sera, and his father’s wife. He was then expelled from the Land of the Living, and had to seek out another home.
He brought with him his wife Dealgnaid, who later became Queen to his King. In fact, he brought with him a virtually equal number of men and women, supposedly at the urging of Dealgnaid. The plan was, presumably, to found their own civilization on the shores of Ireland.
The Partholans and the Fomorians
The Fomorians make an appearance at several points during the five waves of invasion in the Mythological Cycle. They could be said to be the nightmares of most of the Irish settlers from most of the waves of invasion. They seemed to be violent, cruel, and misshapen people who represent the powers of evil to the early Irish people.
The Partholans had to fight these ‘demons’ for control of Ireland. Finally, after much hardship and many battles, the Partholans drove the Fomorians out to the northern seas. The Fomorians would return to harass and later even challenge later rulers of Ireland. Whether these people ever existed is a matter of much debate.
What Happened to the Partholans?
After their many battles with the Fomorians, the Partholans gathered together on Senmag (roughly translated as the Old Plain) for the purpose of burying their dead. However, this meant that every last one of them had contact with each other, and this spread a pestilence or plague through all of them. All the followers of Partholan died, leaving Ireland open for reoccupation, this time by the Neimheahdians.
The Partholans were the first true settlers of Ireland, followed by the Neimheahdians. Though little is known about them, their culture, and even their origins, they still form an important part of Irish mythology.
Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.