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Eochair Mac Rí in Éirinn Eochair, a king's son in Ireland

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Éamon a Búrc

As told by Éamon a Búrc; recorded by Liam Costello; edited & translated by Kevin O'Nolan.

In Irish folklore the heroic world survives chiefly in the long heroic tale. The storyteller needed to be a master of his craft and to have the heroic view of life. He would well appreciate the exchange between St Patrick an Caoilte in the Colloquy: ‘What kept you people’, said Patrick, ‘thus alive?’ And Caoilte replied: ‘Truth in our hearts and strength in our hands and fulfilment in our tongues.’

Eochair, a King’s son in Ireland is the longest heroic tale written down in Irish from oral narration. The reader will find interest not merely in the tale itself but in the storytelling technique, especially in the parts which migrate from one tale to another, which are at home not only in this tale but in every heroic tale of the storyteller’s repertoire. Éamon a Búrc (Éamon Bourke) was the teller. He lived at Aill na Brón in the district of Kilkieran and died in the year 1942.