Sadhbh, pronounced Sive and sometimes spelt this way, was famed for being the daughter of the High King of the Sid of Munster. The Sid, pronounced Shee, were a race of indigenous people that disappeared from Irish history and myth and are now popularly referred to as the Faerie People.
Our town of Cahersiveen (Cahirciveen) is named after Sadhbh. In Irish / As Gaeilge it is Cathair Saidhbhín which translates to Little Sadhbh's Stone Ringfort.
SADHBH - Her Story
Sadhbh was known throughout the land for her beauty and charm and soon came to the attention of the mighty and powerful druid named Fer Doirich, otherwise known as the Dark Druid of the Tuatha De Danann. This group of mystical people represented the Celtic Gods and Goddesses of pre–Christian Ireland and their powers and magic knew no boundaries. Fer Doirich was determined to make Sadhbh his bride but she repeatedly refused his wishes which enraged him to a point of extreme anger and frustration.
In an act of revenge, The Dark Sorcerer cursed the helpless Sadhbh and turned her into a female deer and banished her to the wilds to be mercilessly hunted by wolves and wild animals. Sadhbh survived as a deer in the forest for the three years, using all her strength and skill to run and hide from her pursuers until she came to the lands of the mythical king of the Fianna, Fionn Mac Cumhaill. One day he was out hunting with his dogs, Bran and Sceolan. When the hounds came across Sadhbh, they recognised that she was a human that had been trapped in an animal form. These great dogs surrounded Sadhbh and protected her from the other hunters and Fionn immediately knew that there was something special about this fawn. He gently encouraged her to follow him back to his fort, Almhuin, and once she entered this sacred ground, she once again assumed her human form as a beautiful young woman.
Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Sadhbh fell madly in love and she soon became pregnant but their joy and happiness were short lived with the Vikings’ arrival on Irish shores. Fionn Mac Cumhaill and his mighty army of Fianna set off, leaving Sadhbh in the fort, to defend their land. Sadhbh had never left the fort but on the fourth night of Fionn’s absence she thought she saw him and ran to greet him. Sadly, it wasn’t Fionn but the Dark Druid seeking further revenge.
Once again, he cast an evil spell and Sadhbh was once again turned into a helpless fawn and banished to the forests. Fionn searched for his beloved Sadhbh for seven years, heartbroken and distraught until one day he came across a young boy who couldn’t speak and had been living on his own in the wild. To Fionn’s amazement, he realised that this child had the same features as Sadhbh and that he must be their son. He brought him back to his fort, Almhuin, where he learnt to speak and began to share stories about how he was brought up by a gentle and loving doe. Fionn called his son Oisin meaning young deer in honour of his mother.