Beneath lofty Annacoona’s cliffs, visions that Finn McCool’s irresistible pursuit would even dare approach the Surly Sharvan’s Hostel of Quickening Trees, 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, 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. Suckling the Black Boar beast, a spurned thought that once betrothed Finn McCool and her father, Cormac McAirt, sought and forgave those great lovers’ dreams, both smashed from a high abyss upon Annacoona Cave.
Gripped upon the Earless Boar from copper river run, with three leaped bounds through Ess Ruadh and the Bay of Cuillin, their ascending run to the Peak of Bundled Clouds to hear the strange Cú thrice cry out, in bleak and blinding sun. For though Finn demanded his ransom of the Forest of Dubh Ros’ lunar rowan berries upon Diarmait’s severed head, both his intent and fatal offer were delivered dead.
This Geasa, 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. Though nine footsteps from this, the world’s freshest water, Diarmait would never taste the noble and precious prize from Boinn, but rather bathe in the Aós Sí golden breath, when Finn released its aromatic pail from within his cupped fivepronged prison.
Upon the Rath of Sword Hilts 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 Bier Diarmait sailed across to the Otherworld’s silver branches, beyond Kerwillick bridge to the Plain of Moy Mell. 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?
The love-battle associated with the elopement of Diarmait and Grania is widely considered the greatest romance in the pantheon of Irish legends.
Annacoona is embodied in the story of these mythic lovers as the intertwined expressions of Oloroso and PX Sherry and Irish single malt whiskey that elucidates a ménage à trois comprising of Finn McCool, his betrothed Grania and the libertine Diarmait.
During a fateful hunt, set between the lush deep groves of Keshcorann and the majestic slopes of Ben Bulben, the other-worldly Earless Green Boar appears. During their almighty tussle the beast is killed but he is fatally gorged. Diarmait calls upon his erstwhile friend Finn to fetch a handful of Seefin Well’s curative waters.
Holding hostage this aqueous elixir in his life-giving hands, Finn agonises over whether he should save his former love rival’s life. Walking back to the prostrate Diarmait, with the precious waters cupped in his enpalmed pail, the question remains, ‘what would you do with one last drop?’