Ronan Coghlan (1948- ) was born in Dublin and now lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland. He has been a teacher at a number of schools and has published books on a variety of subjects ranging from Fairies to King Arthur to Atlantis. His best-selling Illustrated Encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends is reported to have sold 120,000 copies!
Coghlan has also produced a Companion to Atlantis and Other Mystery Lands, which is an A-Z guide to Plato’s island as well as the more contentious Mu and Lemuria. My principal objection to this work is the inclusion of too many references to the ramblings of so many self-proclaimed psychics, obvious psychotics and downright fraudsters. It would be nitpicking to go any further but on the positive side I found this book more informative than the A-Z Guide published by Simon Cox and free of the ancient America bias of Frank Joseph’s offering. .
The Formorians are reputed to have been the earliest occupiers of Ireland after the last Ice Age, according to the Book of Invasions(e). Although the etymology of their name is uncertain a commonly accepted theory is that the term Formorian is supposed to be derived from ‘Firmorrichi’ meaning ‘men of Morocco’ conforming to a tradition that they came from North Africa. Thomas Dietrich is happy to accept the Moroccan connection as he considers early Morocco to have been a colony of Atlantis and so by extension to have brought Atlantean culture to Ireland.
Ignatius Donnelly in Part V, chapter 7(f) of his now rather dated 1882 book, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World also designates Ireland as a former colony of Atlantis. He also disputes the generally accepted etymology for the name ‘Formorian’, preferring to adopt the views of Col. Francis Wilford to support his contention that it means ‘from the west’, which according to Donnelly could only be a reference to Atlantis in the Atlantic.
However, the Irish Annals of Clonmacnoise(g) claim that the Formorians were descended from Noah’s youngest son Cham who according to the Bible was born 100 years before the Flood (Genesis 7).
The Ancient Pages.com website had an article in July 2017 with the misleading headline of “Formorians: Supernatural Race Of Giants Who Came From Atlantis”, without a single mention of Atlantis in the body of the text(h). Readers can draw their own conclusions about the reliability of A. Sutherland, the author.
Ronan Coghlan has suggested that “the CHAM referred to in the Annals of Clonmacnoise is not SHEM but HAM, noting that in the Vulgate translation of the Bible, Ham is CHAM”!
Robert Stacy-Judd[0607.237] followed Donnelly and accepted that the ancient Irish annals(b) describe the Formorians coming to Ireland ‘before the Deluge’ and having a fleet of sixty ships and a strong army. He also quotes the Annals of Clonmacnois which records that the Formorians ‘were descended from Cham, the son of Noeh and lived by piracy and spoil of other nations and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world.’ Stacy-Judd also speculates that Noah and his sons were Atlanteans!
The reliability of the Irish annals as historical documents is highly questionable, particularly when dealing with very early events.
James I. Nienhuis seems to have adapted some of Dietrich’s ideas for his Dancing from Genesis blog (Nov. 2007)(a) , although he does not seem to be clear on the difference between Ireland and Britain, as he places Newgrange in the United Kingdom and has the Formorians settling in Britain rather than Ireland!
The excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c) has a paper by Stuart L. Harris who puts more flesh on the bones of the idea of the Formorian invasion of Ireland from Galicia in Spain, which he dates at 2186 BC. However, Harris’ claims that “the Formorians spoke and wrote in Finnish” and that “until about 1200 BC, Ireland spoke Finnish, not Gaelic”, reflecting his obsession with the ancient Finns. Such a claim would be guaranteed the raise the eyebrows, if not the hackles, of many Irish academics.
Dale Drinnon has an extensive article on the Formorians in his Frontiers of Anthropology website(d).
(d) See: Archive 3570
(e) See: Archive 3628