The Hound of Culann

Upload to this page

Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.

  • Cúchulainn

Beware of the Savage Hound

When the king arrived at the feast, the host welcomed him and asked whether there was anyone to come after him. King Conchobhar forgot that he had invited Setanta and replied that there was no one else. So Culann released his savage hound to guard the premises from attackers while the guests feasted. This was no ordinary dog. Three chains were needed to hold it, with three men on each chain.

Soon Setanta arrived, playing with his hurley and sliotar as he travelled. On seeing him, the hound ran out with his ferocious teeth shining in the dark. At this stage, the men feasting could hear what was happening, but they could only watch from the door because the dog was too fast to stop. They were sure this was the end for Setanta.

However, in a flash, Setanta raised his hurley and thwacked his sliotar with great force at the dog. His aim was perfect, as the ball ripped into its mouth and through its body, killing it instantly.

Setanta no More

Culann was relieved that Setanta had survived the encounter, but sad to have lost such a great guard dog. To make up for killing him, young Setanta promised to guard Culann's land until a new puppy had been reared.

Impressed with this promise, those at the feast agreed that Setanta should be given a new name. They called him Cúchulainn, which means 'the Hound of Culan'. Still only a young boy, Setanta was known by this name from then onwards.

Cúchulainn had numerous adventures after that. He became the best Red Branch Knight and did King Conchobhar proud.