Marcel Roux- “Halte de démons”

In Irish mythology, the Fomoire (or Fomorians) are a semi-divine race of darked haired, dark-skinned giants said to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. Known as being gallant seafarers, the legends say their name means ‘dark of the sea’. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. They may represent the gods of a proposed pre-Goidelic population of Ireland. Theories abound for these beings from ancient Irish lore, one commonality that stands firm is , they came from the south by sea. Being that they were a pre-Goidelic peoples could be a reference to the Phoenicians or Egyptians. North Africa and the Iberian peninsula have always played a role in Irish myth. The Fomorians were eventually conquered by the divine Tuatha De Danaan, who in turn were overthrown by the Milesians of Spain.

The Fomorians are said to have had the body of a man and the head of a goat, according to an 11th century text in Lebor na Huidre (the Book of the Dun Cow), or to have had one eye, one arm and one leg, but some, for example Elatha, the father of Bres, were very beautiful. Bres himself carries the epithet “the Beautiful.” The medieval myth of Partholon says that his followers were the first to invade Ireland after the flood, but the Fomorians were already there: Seathrún Céitinn reports a tradition that the Fomorians, led by Cíocal, had arrived two hundred years earlier and lived on fish and fowl until Partholon came, bringing the plough and oxen. Partholon defeated Cíocal in the Battle of Magh Ithe, but all his people later died of plague.
Professor Grafton Elliot Smith in 1913, proposed that the dolmen originated in Libya or Egypt and was taken to Europe by those of the Iberian racial type. That the Fomors are described as dark skinned “giants” is explained in the sense that they were primitive and crude stone builders, not giants in size, but in their enormous impiety.


A view at the etymology of the names that are often Anglicised as Fomorians, Fomors or Fomori. Later in Middle Irish they are also known as the Fomóraig. In 1888, John Rhys was the first to suggest that it is an Old Irish word composed of “under/below” and muire “sea”, concluding that it may refer to beings whose (original) habitat is under the sea. Consider the Middle Irish spelling ‘Fomoraig’ meaning ‘dark of the sea’ or ‘from under the sea’. Once again more sea references. I have my own hypothesis for the word origin which is often open to debate. Look at the modern Irish ‘Fomoire’, what does it mean?
It is a combination of three Gaelic words:

  • Fuil- Blood
  • Mor- Great
  • Ri- King


It was quite possible that this word Fomoire is “Blood of the Great King.”

Recent y-dna studies of the Emerald Isle show an astounding 90-100% of the west Irish being haplogroup R1b and declining as one moves east. There are instances of other haplogroups representing the invading Vikings, Normans and English. The Normans introduced the most diversity in haplotypes due to them being an admixture of Celtic Gaulish, Germanic Franks and Norse Vikings served in their armies. There are even rare cases of haplogroup E showing up in the Irish gene pool. Miles Hispaniae states that “Recent and current y-dna studies on the O’Neill’s of Tyrone and the Irish have been done without the complete and true facts about the Irish population. How can a study be made? Without the y-dna samples of the Irish slaves sold into slavery by the English to the Caribbean. How can a Y-DNA study be even taken into account after the ethnic cleansing of Cromwell?” Direct male descendants of the dark lords of old would carry these less common haplotypes.

What do early writers have to say about the Fomorians?

Seathrún Céitinn (Geoffrey Keating) :

“The Book of Invasions states that it was, three hundred years after the Deluge that Parthalon came, and that his descendants remained in possession of Ireland three hundred years, and that Ireland remained a waste for thirty years, till the descendants of Neimhidh arrived there, and that these descendants ruled Ireland two hundred and seventeen years, and that the Firbolg held the sovereignty thirty-six years, and the Tuatha Dé Danann two hundred years less by three; and, adding all these together, they make a total of one thousand and eighty years from the Deluge to the coming of the sons of Milidh (Milesians) to Ireland.”
“Some of our authors reckon another occupation of Ireland before Partholón namely, the invasion of Ciocal, son of Nel, son of Garbh, son of Ughmhór from Sliabh Ughmhóir, and Lot Luaimhneach (was) his mother: they (were) two hundred years (living) on fish and fowl till the coming of Partholón into Ireland, till the battle of Magh Iotha took place between them, in which Ciocal fell, and in which the Fomorians were destroyed by Partholón. In Innbhear Domhnann Ciocal, with his people, took harbour in Ireland: six ships their number; fifty men and fifty women the complement of each ship . It is about them it is recited:–

The seventh invasion which took
Spoil of Ireland of the high plains
(Was) by Ciocal the stunted, of withered feet,
Over the fields of Innbhear Domhnann;
Three hundred men, the number of his host,
Who came from the regions of Ughmhór
Till they were scattered after that,
Being cut off in a week.”

From A Compleat History of Ireland, from the Earliest Accounts to the Present, John Huddlestone Wynne, 1784.

“Firlbolgs are most likely to have been Belgians, or fouthern Britons, who settled in Ireland at a very early period, where they remained till another colony (known by the name of Tuatha de Danans) dispossessed them.These also, the Irish report to have been the posterity of Nemedius who being driven away by the Africans, had since wandered over Greece where they learned magic, and amongst other extraordinary arts, had acquired that of restoring to life the bodies of persons. slain in battle, by the exercise of which, and other such supernatural powers, they became masters of the island; on which the defeated Belgians retired to the Hebrides; notwithstanding they returned again when another colony began to disturb their former enemies in the possession of their newly acquired conquest.”

When relating the Biblical flood story in relation to Ireland.

“And thus, say they, was Ireland first inhabited. — But unhappily a certain band, of the stock of Nimrod, whom they termed Fomorians, or giants, arriving amongst them, attempted to subdue the country; after many desperate engagements they were at last routed by the Partholanians, and far the greater part of them destroyed on one decisive day. But the dead carcasses of these Fofmorians being denied burial, it is said the stench occasioned a plague which presently swept off the victors and left the land uninhabited.

“About thirty years afterwards, Nemedius, another descendant of Magog, with above a thousand men arrived in Ireland, and settling in the country began to improve it as Partholanus had done before him; but some Fomorians being amongst his followers, they took occasion to revolt, as some say, after many bloody batdes they were at last quite subdued: whilst others assert that these Fomorians being inhabitants of Africa, at length withdrew to Africa from whence they brought such numerous forces as totally overthrew the Nemedians, and effected the conquest of the island.

“That Ireland was first peopled by a colony from Britain is highly probable, as the conjecture is warranted by its situation, and then what becomes of the voyages of Partholonus and Nemedius, and the tales of the Fomorians, not to say any thing of Noah’s neice, and of those who arrived there before the general deluge.”

From the Lives of illustrious and distinguished Irishmen, James Wills, 1839.

“It appears probable that the first inhabitants of Ireland were from Britain and Gaul. To this source may be referred the Wernethae, Firbolgs, Danaans, and Fomorians. Of these the settlements were probably various, and at various periods. The Belgians, who were a Gaulish stock, and having numerous settlements in England, were the principal among these. Their possession continued eighty years, in the form of a pentarchy, under the paramount government of one. At the end of the period here mentioned, the island was invaded by the Tuath de Danaans and Fomorians, who overthrew the Belgians in a pitched battle, and made themselves masters of the whole country. The occupation of this race lasted one hundred and ninety-eight years. Their power was put an end to by the arrival of the Scythian, or Scottish race, a thousand years before the Christian era.”

From The History, Topography, and Antiquities of the County and City of Limerick, Rev P. Fitzgerald, 1826.

“Others, not quite so romantic,content themselves with peopling the country immediately on the dispersion of mankind at babel,that is,three hundred years after the flood;when they tell us, Partholan, a descendant from Japhet, led a colony into Ireland,after being driven out of Greece. To these succeeded the Fomorians,a wicked race,descended from Ham, and fierce contentions ensued between the two parties, which terminated in the total depopulation of the island.”

Ogygia, or A chronological account of Irish Events, Collected from very ancient documents, faithfully compared with each other,and supported by the Sacred and Prophane Writings of the First Nations of the Globe, written originally in Latin by Roderic O’Flaherty and translated by Rev James Hely.

“The first adventureres that arrived in Ireland, after the flood were Partholan and his colony. Some write, that he found it planted with inhabitants, but, they came here soon after him. Our historians call them Fomhoraigh, or ( as we cal them in English)Fomorians, which name the antiquarians give to all those foreign invaders,who had made descents into Ireland,in opposition to the first inhabitants; and they tell us,they were all the offspring of Cham(Ham) from Africa,except the Fomorians,or first colonists,to who they assign no other settlement or origin than Ireland.

“The Latins have termed such people,Aborigines or natives,because their cannot be traced any higher; and the Greeks call them Gigantes or Giants,that is, born of the easrth, because they came form no other country;but like trees and herbs,were first produced from the earth by vegetation.

“Temporarius, speaking in a moral sense, says, that Giants were so called,from being sprung from the earth.”

In The Training of Cú Chulainn, preserved as a copied by Richard Tipper 1715, the following is mentioned:

“Then they parted from each other, and Cúchulainn went and looked forth on the great sea. As he was there he beheld a great assembly on the strand nearest to him, to wit, a hundred men and a hundred women seated in the bosom of the haven and the shore, and among them a maiden shapely, dear and beautiful, the most distinguished damsel of the world’s women, and they a-weeping and lamenting around the damsel. Cúchulainn came to the place and saluted them. ‘What is this sorrow or the misery upon you?’ says Cúchulainn.

“The damsel answered and this she said: ‘A royal tribute which the tribe of Fomorians carry out of this country every seventh year, namely, the first-born of the king’s children. And at this time it has come to me to go as that tribute, for to the king I am the dearest of his children.’‘What number comes to lift that tribute?’ asks Cúchulainn. ‘Three sons of Alatrom of the Fomorians,’ she answers, ‘and Dub, Mell and Dubros are their names.’ Not long had they been at those talks when they saw the well-manned, full-great vessel approaching them over the furious waves of the sea. And when the damsel’s people saw the ship coming, they all fled from her, and not a single person remained in her company save only Cúchulainn.

“And thus was that vessel: a single warrior, dark, gloomy, devilish, on the stern of that good ship, and he was laughing roughly, ill-fatedly, so that every one saw his entrails and his bowels through the body of his gullet. ‘What is that mirthfulness on the big man?’ asks Cúchulainn.‘Because,’ says the damsel, ‘he deems it excellent that thou shouldst be an addition to his tribute in this year rather than in any other year.’ ‘By my conscience,’ says Cúchulainn, ‘it would not be right for him to brag thus regarding me if he knew what would come of it.’ Then the big man came ashore to them into the strand, and stretched forth his long, sinewy, hideous arm to seize Cúchulainn in the very front of his royal tribute. Straightway Cúchulainn raised his right hand, and bared his sword, and gave a blow to the big man and struck off his head, so that he was the first that fell by Cúchulainn after having completed his training. And thereafter the other two fell by him, and he left them thus, neck to neck.”

From On The Fomorians and the Norsemen, by Duald Mac Firbis, 1905.

“On the Fomorians and the Lochlannachs:

“Fomorians is the name given to those Foreigners (especially) who were disturbing Erin at the time of the children of Nemhedh. The name of Fomorians and Lochlannachs is further given to those foreigners whom the Firbolg brought over to the battle of Magh Tuiredh in the north against the Tuatha De Danann; though it is not of these we shall speak here now, but of the later Lochlannachs (i. e. Norsemen), who were in Erinn, thus: There reigned at the time of the oppression of Lochlann on Erinn, namely at the time, 12 kings of the Irish kings of Tara, viz.: i. Aodh Oirdnidhe, son of Niall Frasac, 2. Conchubhar, son of Donnchadh, 3. Mall Caillne, 4. Maoilsechlainn, son of Maoilruanadh, 5. Aodh Finnliath, 6. Flann Sionna, son of Maoilsechlainn, 7. Niall {jlundubh, 8. Donnchadh, son of Flann Sionna, 9. Conghalach, son of Maoilmitigh, 10. Domhnall, son of Muirchertach, n. Maoilsechlainn the great, son of Domhnall, and 12. Brian Borumha, son of Cinnedigh.

At the time of Aodh Oirdnidhe the foreigners of Lochlann first began to conquer Erinn (viz., these foreigners).Here came a fleet into Camus 6 Fathaidh, 16o ships in number, and they burned and plundered Inis Labhrainne and Dairinis. There fell in battle with the Eoghanachts of Loch Len 476 men of the Lochlannachs. Five ships came with Tuirges to Erin, and they slew a multitude of them,and they on their side slew all. A great fleet came with Tuirges, and he assumed the kingdom over the foreigners of Erin, and the north of Erin was plundered by them for the first time, and they afterwards spread themselves over Erin, and they sent a fleet upon the lakes of Erin.”