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Atlas Obscura Táin Bó Cúailnge Mosaic

On a rather unassuming wall along Dublin’s Nassau Street there is a striking mosaic mural. Created in the 1970s by Belfast artist Desmond Kinney, this fiery and spirited mosaic mural depicts a story of the ancient but enduring Irish myth of the tragic hero Cuchulain, and a story known as the “Táin Bó Cúailnge,” or “The Cattle-Raid of Cooley.” 

Cuchulain is a heroic figure that occupies a central place in pagan Irish mythology, akin to Achilles and Heracles in ancient Greece, Beowulf in Anglo Saxon England, or Gilgamesh in the cosmology of ancient Assyria. The story of this archetypal Celtic hero still survives within the veins of contemporary Irish culture, largely thanks to the Celtic literary and poetic revival of the 19th and 20th centuries. The revival was initiated by prominent Irish authors such as W.B Yeats, James Joyce, and Patrick Pearse, who sought to reexamine and celebrate indigenous Irish folklore.  

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