A 'Fagan' Sword
I am a sword collector, and during my research into the Fagans I became interested in the swords that might have used in ancient times by our ancestors. I contacted Irish Arms and asked that their swordmaker, Boyd Rankin create a replica sword especially for me to represent what I knew of the Fagan ancestry. It is a one-of-a-kind sword, and a very handsome piece!
A Replica is Forged...
I received this handsome sword from Ireland, along with the following information from Boyd:
- The sword supplied is of the uniquely Irish ‘Ring Hilt’ type. It was inspired by a 16th Century sword, found in the river Suck, five miles north of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.;
- The handle is constructed from Irish White Ash, cut from a tree in Ardee, Co Louth, where CuCulhain slew his brother Ferdia, at the ford in the river;
- The leather is oak bark tanned; the handle bound in calfskin and set in a natural oil varnish. The scabbard is constructed in the classical Irish fringed style. It is normally carried cradled in the crook of the left arm... (The Irish scabbards are unique, often being square at the tip with a fringe of leather strips about 6 inches long. This I am told was to facilitate drawing the sword by stepping on the fringe to pull the sword out quickly. The scabbard was then left on the ground where it lay to be collected after the battle.... assuming the owner survived);
- The scabbard carries the emblazoned Celtic gryifin. (I had the griffin emblazoned due to the griffin featuring prominently in the crest of the existing Fagan of Feltrim Arms, as well as in the arms of the Association);
- The 'Cross' or quillion guard is in black forged iron 'S' shaped, with the ends folded over for strength. As with many Irish swords it has short triangular langets. The openwork crosses are a distinctive feature of this sword;
- ...it is 'Unique' and entirely hand made in Ireland, by an Irish swordsmith!
This is a very unique sword which represents the Fagan heritage in my genealogy and will become something that can be handed down for generations to come!
...and no, if one of my Fagan 'cousins' would like to take over as the Leader of this Association - the sword stays with me ::grinning::
As an aside: 2007 was the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls. To mark the occasion An Post had issued a remarkable , created by noted historical artist Seán Ó Brógáin, depicting Hugh O'Neill and Hugh O'Donnell. The models for these two great historical figures were Irish Arms' Boyd Rankin (my sword maker) and Tony Murphy, respectively.
Part of the O'Neill Entourage included four O'Hagans including John 'O'Punty' O'Hagan. If Fagans are, as shown in the story of the Fagans of Feltrim, derrived from O'Hagan, then these O'Hagans may have been our relatives!