1Gregory, Lady Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Cuchulain of Muirthemne: the Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster. London: J. Murray, 1902. xvii.

2Waddell, John, Joe Fenwick, and K. J. Barton. Rathcroghan: Archaeological and Geophysical Survey in a Ritual Landscape. Dublin: Wordwell, 2009. 198.

3Waddell, John. Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2014. 56-7.
According to the author, the name Crúachan may actually mean "place of burial mounds."

4Waddell 2009, 34.
The author is quoting from Charles O'Connor's first edition (1753) of Dissertations on the ancient history of Ireland.

5Waddell 2009, 18.
The techniques employed include: magnetic susceptibility, magnetic gradiometry, electrical resistivity tomographty, and ground penetrating radar.

6Killanin, Michael Morris, and Michael V. Duignan. The Shell Guide to Ireland. London: Ebury P. in Association with George Rainbird, 1967. 408-09.
The ancient ruling family of the O'Conors of Connacht (in 1967) still had a descendent with an estate at Clonalis, Castereagh, 12 m. S. of Rathcroghan. The current holder of the title "O'Conor Don" (since 2000) is Desmond O'Conor Don (Deasmumhain Ó Conchubhair Donn) of Horsegrove House in Sussex, England. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ó_Conchubhair_Donn)

7Waddell, John. "Rathcroghan - A Royal Site in Connacht." The Journal of Irish Archaeology 1 (1983): 21.
The quotation is from the Tain Bo Fraich: "This was the arrangement of the house: seven partitions in it, seven beds from the fire to the wall in the house all around. There was a fronting of bronze on each bed, carved red yew all covered with fair varied ornament. Three rods of bronze at the step of each bed. Seven rods of copper from the centre of the floor to the ridge-pole of the house. The house was built of pine. A roof of slates was on it outside. There were sixteen windows in it, and a shutter of copper for each of them ..." (Byrne and Dillon 1937, 3)
Waddell's journal article may be read in its entirety here.

8Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. The Oldest Irish Tradition; a Window on the Iron Age. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1964. 5.
"We know that the latest archaeological expression of the pre-Roman European Iron Age, the so-called La Tène culture, lasted in a vestigial form in Ireland, where there was no Roman occupation to swamp it, until at least the time when the introduction of Christianity in the fifth century brought its considerable changes in intellectual and to some degree social organization and particularly in art styles and motifs. I shall attempt to show that the background of the Irish epic tales appears to be older than these changes, and hence that when all due allowance is made for later accretions the stories provide us with a picture -- very dim and fragmentary, no doubt, but still a picture -- of Ireland in the Early Iron Age."
Waddell, however, offers a much more nuanced view: "It is questionable whether early Irish epic literature is a window on a prehistoric Iron Age, as Jackson once claimed...for...some descriptive detail of motifs such as the sword [and chariots-ed.] and the use of silver and other precious metals in the tales of the Ulster Cycle reflects the contemporary world of the later redactor." (Waddell, John, Joe Fenwick, and K. J. Barton. Rathcroghan: Archaeological and Geophysical Survey in a Ritual Landscape. Dublin: Wordwell, 2009. 28.)
In his 2008 translation of the Tain, Ciaran Carson argues "Whether or not it is an Irish Iron Age is another question. For instance, it is undeniable that the social and warfaring practices embedded in the narrative bear remarkable similarities to those of the Gauls or 'Celts' of continental Europe, as described by Diodorus Siculus in around 60 BC..." (Carson, Ciaran. The Táin: a New Translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge. New York: Viking, 2008. xx.)

9Waddell 2009, 39-40.
According to Rathcroghan guide Mike Croghan, the ogham stone is only partially translatable, as much of the markings are obscured. It may be more accurately translated as "Fráech...son of Medb."

10Waddell 2014, 25.

11Duke, Sean. "The Balance of Power in Ancient Ireland." Science (New Series) 278.5337 (1997): 386.
John Waddell and his team from NUI Galway used techniques such as ground-probing radar and magnetic gradiometry, which measures the magnetic properties beneath the ground, as well as electrical tomography. For this, metal electrodes are placed into the ground and a current passed between them measuring its resistivity, which varies depending on what the substrata is composed of. A large number of such measurements taken in different directions and at various depths allowed them to use computer modeling to construct a three-dimensional image of the interior of the mound.

12Waddell 2009, 174.
In another statement, Waddell refers to "A bewildering complexity of overlapping linear, arcuate and annular anomalies occur in the surface layers beneath the summit..." (168).
The magnetic gradiometry image on the page (color added) has revealed pits, ditches and palisade trenches. The great mound is in the center, ans seems to have various structures entombed within. "On the east it is approached by a trapezoidal avenue in which two burial mounds are visible. Immediately to the north a northern enclosure has its own eastern avenue. All these features are encircled by a very large ditched enclosure 360m in diameter." (Waddell, John. Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2014. 17.)
As would be expected with an emerging technology, the ability of archaeologists to accurately interpret the meaning of geophysical measurements continues to evolve. In the humorous feature "Spoil Heap: A 'Dictionary' of Irish Archaeology," the word "Geophysics" is defined as a "method of survey based on spiritualism where archaeologists gather around a table placed over a suspected underground structure and contact the spirit world in an effort to determine the shape of the monument below..." (Archaeology Ireland, 10:1 (Spring, 1996) 36.)

13Waddell 2014, 16.

14Waddell 2009, 191-95.

15"Rath Cruachan." Cruachan Aí Heritage Center pamphlet.

16Waddell 1983, 21.

17Knox, H.T. "Ruins of Cruachan Aí." Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 44 (1913): 1-50.
The author also speculated, about Misgaun Meva, that "it is probable also that the block was kept in the King's Fort as long as he lived in Rathcroghan, as the Lia Fail was kept in Tara."
Waddell noted from Brash (Brash, Richard Rolt, and George M. Atkinson. The Ogam Inscribed Monuments of the Gaedhil in the British Isles. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1879. 300) "a local tradition that the stone was brought from Elphin by Oisin." (Waddell, John, Joe Fenwick, and K. J. Barton. Rathcroghan: Archaeological and Geophysical Survey in a Ritual Landscape. Dublin: Wordwell, 2009. 242.)

18Waddell 1983, 21.

19Ferguson, Samuel. "Account of Ogham Inscriptions in the Cave at Rathcroghan, County of Roscommon." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 9 (1864): 161.

20Waddell 2014, 58-65.

21Stokes, Whitley, ed. "The Prose Tales in the Rennes Dindshenchas." Revue Celtique 15 (1894): 470. (electronic edition: http://www.ucd.ie/tlh/trans/ws.rc.15.002.t.text.html)

22Waddell 2009, 37.
The painter Gabriel Beranger (1779) described his visit thus: "We found there some men waiting for us; and having lighted some candles we descended first on all fours through a narrow gallery, which for the length of 12 or 14 feet is the work of man, being masonry said to be done by the Druids, who performed here some of their secret rites."
Author Elyn Aviva has a blog entry about her modern descent into the cave.

23Waddell 2014, 58-65.
In an alternate conclusion to this story, "'Thereafter the men of Connacht and the black host of exile went into the fairy-mound, and destroyed it, and took out what there was in it." (Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1936. 248-53.)

24Ní Chatháin, Próinséas. "Sir Samuel Ferguson and the Ogham Inscriptions." Irish University Review 16.2 (1986): 160.
Ferguson was fortunate that his wife lit a candle as she waited for him to emerge from the interior of the cave; otherwise he might never have seen the ogham inscriptions. "When Ferguson returned to Dublin, having made a record of the Rathcroghan inscriptions, he found 'that one letter in the inscription was uncertain, indistinct, and blurred.' He rushed and caught the night train back to Roscommon and "'y twelve o'clock next morning he was again at work in the cave.'"

25Waddell 2009, 221.
The author speculates: "It is an interesting possibility that some of these legends may provide a clue to some of the uses to which the cave was once put. The legend of Nera, who had a vision of the destruction of Cruachain, might suggest that oracular and prophetic practices took place here, and, as befits a point where two worlds meet, the cave had ambivalent functions. It evidently had negative and monstrous aspects as well as being a place of refuge and protection." Waddell suggests (p. 68) that heroic warriors connected to the cave suggests "the interesting possibility that such activities were once part of the cults performed here. A part of the ritual could have involved the introduction of the initiate to the spirits of the warrior dead and the Fraoch inscription may have had a role in this."

26Farrell, Tom. "The Long Stone." Personal interview. 27 June 1979.

27Waddell 1983, 25.

28Waddell 2009, 39.
The author's 1981 excavations resulted in radiocarbon findings suggesting a late prehistoric (Iron Age) date for the erection of the stone.
A brief journal article in 1933 quotes a local farmer, "My father said he heard wailings regularly around the red stone to the north side of Croghan's Hill, and saw lights on several occasions. Queen Maeve-I know the spot she was killed in at the lochán, and she was waked at the red stone at Rathcroghan. (Mac Coluim, Fionán. "A Tradition about Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon." Béaloideas 4.2 (1933): 130.)

29Waddell 1983, 22.

30O'Curry, Eugene. On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish. London: Williams and Norgate, 1873. II, 70-71.

31De Vismes Kane, William F. M. "The Black Pig's Dyke: The Ancient Boundary Fortification of Uladh." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 27 (1908-1909): 323.

32Waddell 2009, 247.

33Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 100.

34Wilde, W.R. "Memoir of Gabriel Beranger, and His Labours in the Cause of Irish Art, Literature, and Antiquities, from 1760 to 1780, with Illustrations." The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland 1.1 (1870): 249-50.

35"Carnfee." Cruachan Aí Heritage Center Guide. Cruachan Aí Heritage Center. Tulsk.

36Waddell 2009, 77.
The author reports, "The earthwork was subjected to detailed topographical survey and a suite of geophysical techniques, including magnetic susceptibility, fluxgate gradiometry, twin-probe electrical resistance and electrical resistivity tomography surveys. The geophysical survey has identified a number of interesting anomalies that are undoubtedly of archaeological significance. These anomalies, for the most part, have no visible surface expression and were unknown prior to the present study." (66)

37Carson, Ciaran. The Táin: a New Translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge. New York: Viking, 2008. 206.

38Connellan, J.J. "Where on Cruachain Was Seandomnach Maighe Ai?" Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 25.3/4 (1953-1954): 78.
The author submits his rationale for another location for the "Spring of Clébach" rather than Ogulla. "There is only one such place known to the writer that meets all the requirements, namely Kilnanooan. It is but half a mile from the royal rath, and is directly east of it. Further, it is on the slope of the hill. In the immediate vicinity of Kilnanooan, there is a number of copious fountains, that go to feed the river Cammoge."

39Wakeman, W.F. Graves and Monuments of Illustrious Irishmen. London: Evening Telegraph Reprints #1, 1886. 10.

40Waddell 2009, 244.

41Waddell 2014, 57-8.

42Waddell 2014, 25.

43Waddell 2009, 1.

44Meyer, Kuno. The Triads of Ireland. Vol. XIII. Dublin: Figgis, &, 1906. Todd Lecture Ser. 5.
"The ancient name Cruachain may mean 'place of burial mounds'. In several tales it is also depicted as a kingly settlement." (Waddell, John. "Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon: Where the "Táin Bó Cúailnge" Began." Archaeology Ireland: Heritage Guide No. 44 (2009): 1.)

45Herity, Michael. "A Survey of the Royal Site of Cruachain in Connacht: 1. Introduction, the Monuments and Topography." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 113 (1983): 124.
The quotation is from The Middle Irish tract Senchas na Relec (Burial Ground Lore). Translation by George Petrie, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland, 1845. 102.

46Waddell 2009, 210.
The author is confident that although the ceremonial use of Rathcroghan was principally in the late prehistoric Iron Age, that its significance would have extended into the start of the Christian era in Ireland in the fifth century CE. He suggests that the "various mounds span one or even two millennia." (p. 222)

47Waddell 2009, 222-23.

48Waddell 2009, 208.
The author quotes from Giraldus Cambrensis' observation of a pagan rite in Donegal: "When the whole people of that land has been gathered together in one place, a white mare is brought forward into the middle of the assembly. He who is to be inaugurated, not as a chief, but as a beast, not as a king, but as an outlaw, embraces the animal before all, professing himself to be a beast also. The mare is then killed immediately, cut up in pieces, and boiled in water. A bath is prepared for the man afterwards in the same water. He sits in the bath surrounded by all his people, and all, he and they, eat of the meat of the mare which is brought to them. He quaffs and drinks of the broth in which he is bathed, not in any cup, or using his hand, but just dipping his mouth into it about him. When this unrighteous rite has been carried out, his kingship and dominion has been conferred." (O'Meara, J.J. 1951 The first version of the Topography of Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis. Dundalk. 94.)

49Jackson 8.
Ronald Hutton provides more detail: "During the sixth century, Irish paganism seems to have collapsed. The last king to celebrate a feis, the symbolic marriage to a tutelary goddess, was Diarmait Mac Cerbaill at Tara in 560...His death in 565 removed the last figure in Irish history (or semi-history) who might have professed the pagan Celtic religions." (Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 262-63.)

50O'Curry, Eugene. On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish. London: Williams and Norgate, 1873. lxxiv.

51Sullivan, Mark. "Divine Appetite:." The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal 20.2 (2001): 57-58.
The author quotes Sylvia Perera: "...the word Maeve (written Medb in Irish) . . . means 'the inebriating one,' 'she who is the nature of mead.' Maeve personifies the honey-based power that inebriates, inflames, expands, dissolves, and radically transforms consciousness." (Perera. Sylvia Brinton. Queen Maeve and Her Lovers: A Celtic Archetype of Ecstasy, Addiction, and Healing. New York, Carrowmore Books, 1999. 62.)

52Waddell 1983, 23.
In his 2014 book, Waddel further explores the symbolic significance of Medb: "This Medb of medieval times was not, in all probability, a historical person for while there were powerful and influential women, they did not inherit political power and the annals record no example of a female political or military leader. Her promiscuity is an echo of an older and much more significant mythic figure. As Maire Herbert has said, 'in early Ireland women were not sovereigns, but sovereignty was conceived of as female.'" (Waddell, John. Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2014. 111.)

53Kinsella, Thomas, and le Brocquy, Louis. The Tain. Oxford UP, 1969. 53.
Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin observes that "Medb's apparent promiscuity must not be judged in the context of today's morality. Rather, she must be seen as the personification of the goddess of sovereignty with whom the king must be united in order to justify his kingship." (Ní Bhrolcháin, Muireann. "Women in Early Irish Myths and Sagas." The Crane Bag: "Images of the Irish Woman" 4.1 (1980): 13.)

54Carson 3.

55A tale that usually precedes the Táin Bó Cúailnge, "The Debility of the Ulstermen" (Ces Noinden Ulad) explains the curse as a weakness that came upon the Ulstermen whenever they were in peril. This was because the wealthy Ulsterman Crunnchnu forced his wife Macha, a goddess-like creature of great speed, to race against the king's horses even as she was about to give birth. Because of her subsequent weakness at birth she made a curse on the Ulstermen for nine generations. The twins she bore gave their name to what would become the palace of the Kings of Ulster, Emain Macha (the Twins of Macha.) This legend is considered in more detail in our entry on Emain Macha, also known as Navan Fort. "The Debility of the Ulstermen" may be read in its entirety here.

56Kinsella, Thomas, and le Brocquy, Louis. The Tain. Oxford UP, 1969. 251.
Waddell elaborates on this: "As the instigator of th e[cattle] raid, however, [Medb] has arrogated power, status and a male role to herself. In usurping a man's function, she effectively doomed the expedition from its inception." (Waddell, John. Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2014. 110-11.)

57Kinsella 251.

58Kinsella 251-52.

59Kinsella ix.
Kinsella explains, "The Tain and certain descriptions of Gaulish society by Classical authors have many details in common: in warfare alone, the individual weapons, the boastfulness and courage of the warriors, the practices of cattle-raiding, chariot-fighting and beheading. Ireland, however, by its isolated position, could retain traits and customs that had disappeared elsewhere centuries before, and it is possible that the kind of culture the Tain describes may have lasted in Ireland up to the introduction of Christianity in the fifth century.
Waddell cites the literary antecedants of The Tain, from Virgln to the themes of the Bible: "...aspects of Cu Chulainn's story should also appear to echo features of the life of Christ is not surprising either, since this literature was very much the product of a literate and consciously Christian environment." (Waddell, John. Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2014. 10.)

60Waddell 1983, 23, 26.
The author observes, "Indeed a measure of the change in general opinion is the difference between Ferguson's Medb, whom he compared to Helen of Troy, and the intoxicating fertility goddess of more recent scholarship."

61Carson xvii-xviii.
Just prior to appending his Latin inscription, the monk admonishes in Irish: "A blessing on everyone who shall faithfully memorize the Táin as it is written here and shall not add any other form to it."

62Waddell 2009, 215.

63Waddell 1983, 44.

Text transcription from the 1779 Gabriel Beranger watercolor of Rathcroghan: "Rath Craughan or Croghan, County of Roscommon, on which the ancient Kings of Connaught were inaugurated and on which they kept their Provincial assemblies, it is an artificial mount made of Earth and of a circular form all covered with grass and in very good order, it stands in a large field and has a gentle slope of an easy ascent all round it. The diameter at the Top is 400 feet, and at bottom 450 being 1350 in Circumference. The Slope is 33 feet, it has in the Center of the Top, a small mount whose Top has only 6 feet diameter, on which it is supposed The King had his station. There is no sign of remains of any stone buildings on the whole spot of ground."
Harbison, Peter, and Josephine Shields. Our Treasure of Antiquities': Beranger and Bigari's Antiquarian Tour of Connacht in 1779. Bray: Wordwell in Association with the National Library of Ireland, 2002. Pl. 21.