An Impressive Looking Lady - Queen Maedhbh (Queen Maeve) - A Bronze Statue by Patrick O'Reilly, originally uploaded by infomatique.
Here is an impressive looking woman and she can be found on Burlington Road around the corner from Dublin’s famous Burlington Hotel.
I have seen three different spellings - Maeve, Mebh and Maedhbh but the modern pronunciation of this name is 'Mave' to rhyme with 'save'.
Queen Maedhbh is a mythological figure from the old tales of Ireland. She was Queen of Connaught, the westernmost of the five provinces of Ireland (note: there are currently only four).
She was a warrior queen, and led her people into battle. The most famous story about Maedhbh is how she was annoyed to find that her husband owned a better bull than she did, so she decided to lead a raid to steal the best bull in Ireland, and in doing so started a war between Ulster and the other four provinces. The hero Cúchulainn was given the task of single-handedly defending Ulster against the rest of Ireland because the other men of Ulster had been cursed.
This huge statue depicts Maedhbh as a giant woman with a spear in one hand, the head of a bull in the other and a crow on her shoulder. The statue is naked to represent her enormous sexual appetite.
The Bull’s head that she holds aloft is a reference to the story of her battle with the King of Ulster over possesion of the bull Donn Cúailnge.
Legend has it that she is buried under a large cairn at the summit of Knocknaree in Co Sligo. After her own wishes, she is buried standing up and facing her enemies to the north.