The Arrival of the Dana PeopleAccording to tradition, it was the Dana People, (Tuatha Dé Danann) who named Lusmagh.
They did not call themselves "People of the God Dana," but simply "Tuatha Dé," meaning "People of God." It was the scribes, in Christian Times, who, using the term "People of God," to describe the Jews of the Old Testament, added the "Dana" descriptor to this people's name.
In an era of global warming, they left their parched land in North Africa or Spain in search of someplace greener. At first they settled in a north land, but then headed out west into the Atlantic Ocean to find the fabulous western land.
An Atlantic Storm threw their boats onto the rocky shore of Sligo.
Even though they came originally from Spain or North Africa, they were red-haired and blond.
Burning the BoatsThe boats, made of reeds, probably papyrus, were wrecked.
With heroic effort, they dragged their animals (oxen, sheep, goats and dogs) ashore.
Some said that the Dana People burnt their boats so that there would be no question of abandoning their new-found land. However, our version is that they burnt their boats to ward off their attackers.
They were attacked by the wild, naked, natives, the Parthalonians. It is recorded in the Book of the Invasions that the Parthalonians had all died before the invaders arrived, but this was a white-wash for the fact that the invaders came uninvited to oust them from their property. Genetic studies have found that the older, mesolithic people, survived and passed their genes down to our time, and that these genes are more prevalent in the traveller community than the settled community.
The Dana People set fire to the already-wrecked boats to make smoke that the western winds blew into the eyes of their attackers. At the same time they released hunting birds that flew at and terrified the attackers and raised great wailing terrifying shouts and flung burning darts, so that the attackers pulled back.
The Stone Walls of ConnachtThen they built defensive walls from the rocks they found strewn around, the first of the stone walls of the West of Ireland.
When the wild people returned next day they found the Dana People entrenched behind the walls.
The Vaginal WitchA vaginal witch (or Gast Gaoithe, a term later commuted to "Sheila na Gig") stood brazenly on the wall, (probably a wooden effigy), and sight of her genitals so cursed the attackers that they fell down dead. (In actual fact, what killed the wild people was probably germs like Measles, Whooping Cough, Cholera, Typhoid, Typhus, Dysentry and others associated with farming that the existing mezo-lithic population had no immunity against).
Searching for Papyus, they found LusmaghWhen they had established a foothold in the part of the country now known as Sligo and Mayo, the Dana People set out to find Papyrus reeds with which to re-build their boats.
They found the River Shannon, and travelled down the river hoping to find suitable Reeds. All they found was our native reeds and rushes, which were not considered strong enough for their purpose.
On their journey they came to a plain that had fields of garlic and dandelions as well as umpteen other herbs and fruit trees. They called the place Lus Magh: Herb-Plain.
They came with a great knowledge of medicine and herbs, and Lus Magh was a marvellous find. Soon they were harvesting the herbs an putting them to good use.
Dana People put the herbs of Lusmagh to good useThe Book of the Invasions, (rewritten in the 12th century from texts dating from the 8th or 9th century which recorded the oral tradition), recounts how the Tuatha Dé Danaan (People of the God Dana) used Lusmagh herbs to help them secure victory over the Fir Bolg (Bag People) and the Fomorians.
Each day after the fighting, during the battles of Moytura, the wounded warriors of the Tuatha Dé Danaan bathed in herbal baths prepared with herbs collected in Lusmagh. The healing powers of these herbs restored the health and strength of the warriors, and contributed to the eventual victory.
In the first battle of Moytura the Tuatha Dé Danaan defeated the Fir Bolg. In the second battle of Moytura, they defeated the giant Fomorians, led by Balor of the Evil Eye, in the same battle field.
John O'Donovan, in his Ordnance Survey letters, reports a poem on the subject, as follows: