Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

One of the most prominent characters of Irish mythology and literature, Lugh Lama-fada, served as the High King of Ireland for 20 years before his unfortunate death at the hands of the sons of Cermait. Born of the union between the daughter of Balor of the Fomorians and Cian of the Tuatha de Danann, he quickly rose to a position of power in his father’s lineage.

Furthermore, his most prominent offspring would be the infamous warrior Cú Chulainn, who would similarly rise to power at a young age and follow in his father’s footsteps by fighting the supernatural enemies of Ireland. However, unlike Manannán mac Lir, Lugh himself plays as prominent a role in Irish mythology as his ancestors and predecessors.

Young Lugh

The Tuatha de Danann (the last supernatural invaders of Ireland) and the Fomorians (believed to have been the magical natives of Ireland after the Great Flood) had long been enemies, as they both vied for the land of Ireland.

Lugh’s birth was either a marriage alliance or a move for revenge against the Fomorian Balor, who stole Cian’s magical cow. Yet regardless of the circumstances of his conception, Lugh quickly rose to a powerful position in the court of King Nuada of the Tuatha de Danann.

The Tuatha Dé Danann as depicted in John Duncan's "Riders of the Sidhe." (1911)

The Tuatha Dé Danann as depicted in John Duncan’s “Riders of the Sidhe.” (1911) (Public Domain)