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November 29, 2018 2 min read

Nuada was king of the Tuatha Dé Danann (Children of Danu) and husband to Boann for seven years before the Children of Danu eventually arrived at Inisfail. When they met the Fir Bolg at Mag Tuired, the Fir Bolg rejected their offer to share half of Inisfail and battled for four days.

Both groups fought with honour and chivalry, allowing their numbers and arms to be inspected by the opposing side to allow for a truly fair battle. During the battle, Nuada lost his right hand to the Fir Bolg champion Sreng, but the Fir Bolg king Eochaidh and the Fir Bolg were vanquised. The Children of Danu then offered Sreng one quarter of Innisfail and he chose Connacht.

Dian Cécht, the God of healing gave Nuada an artificial hand made of silver and he became known as Nuada Airgetlám (of the Silver Hand). Because Brigid decreed they could not have a maimed ruler, the Children of Danu had to choose another ruler. They made a disastrous choice. In a naive act of conciliation they chose Bres, son of Elatha, king of the Children of Domnu, but whose mother was Eri, of the Children of Danu, on the condition that if he displeased the Children of Danu he would abdicate. To secure this fated alliance Dian Cécht married Ethne, the daughter of their fiercest warrior, Balor of the One Eye.

Bres and the Fomorians (another name for the Children of Domnu), however, enslaved the Children of Danu. For a time, the children of darkness and evil dominated the children of light and goodness. Finally Miach, the son of Dian Cécht, aided by his sister Airmid created a new hand of flesh and bone for Nuada, who without blemish reclaimed his kingship and chased Bres back to the land of the Fomorians.

Nuada is known as Nodens, to England and as Lludd Llaw Eraint in Wales . The Romans equated him Mars. The Norse god Týr is another deity equated with Mars who lost a hand.

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