I am starting to wonder if some of the arguments in this thread aren't
pertinent to the background of that great satire "Aislinge Meic Con Glinne".
The story is full of magical elements, and the first section tells the story
of a rather ridiculus dispute between a poet and St. Manchín.
As an example, lines 44-52 set up the main story by telling of a plot by
Fergal mac Moíle Dúin to destroy Cathal Mac Fhinguine, king of
ro gairmed scolaige i n-a dochumm, & do-ruachell lógu
móra don scolaigi ar thuathi do chur isna h-il-blassaib út
do admilled Chathail meic Fhinguine. Ocus ro lá in
scolaigi tuathi & gentlecht isna h-il-blassaib-sin, & ro
tidnacit chuca ina h-il-blassa, & cartaid timthirid dia
tidnocul do Chathal. Ocus ro gáidetar for nach ochta
coitchend, .i. grian & ésca, drúcht & muir, nem & talam, lá
& adaig, im ithe na n-uball út, uair is ar a grád & inmaine
tuccad ó Lígaig ingin Moíli Dúin.
Interesting things in this passage are, a scholar is summoned to place
the curse. The curses are both sinister and heathen. The messengers
call on the eight universal things, using the preterite active form of the
verb guidid (which means to request but also to pray) to beseech Cathal
to eat the apple.