SCÚAP (Modern Irish SCUAB) is a brush or broom. It must have been the thought of a broom sweeping away everything in its path that led to the word being used to refer to a calamity which, it was feared, would befall Ireland at the end of the world. IN SCÚAP A FÁNAIT, the ‘broom’ from the Fanad Peninsula, in present-day Donegal, was predicted as a vengeance upon Ireland for the beheading of John the Baptist. This prediction seems to be linked to the tradition that it was an Irishman, Mug Ruith, who carried out the beheading.
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