We wondered about the gender of "fecht" the other day, which is basically feminine, but sometimes seems to be treated as a neuter. Here's an example from the Annals of
Ulster where "fecht" is used in a nominativus pendens-construction together with the neuter article "a". The entry belongs to those that are contemporary, which means that
we have here an example of a neuter in late OIr. It is most unlikely that "a" is a spelling for "i" here - the spelling in these contemporary OIr. entries in AU is usually in quite
a "good" orthography:
863.4 Uamh Achaidh Alddai + Cnodhbai + uam Feirt Boadan os Dubadh + uam Mna Angobann ro scruidiset Gaill, quod antea non perfectum est, .i. a fecht ro slatsat .iii.
righ Gall feronn Flaind m. Conaing, .i. Amhlaim + Ímhar + Auisle; + Lorcan m. Cathail leo occa, rí Mide.
"The foreigners (= wikings) searched the Cave of Achad Aldai and of Cnodbae and the Cave of Fert Boadan above Dubad and the Cave of the Wife of Óengobae (?),
something that had not been done before, .i. the time when the three kings of the foreigners plundered the area of Flann mac Conaing, namely Ámlaim (= Óláf) and Ímar (=
Ífar) and Auisle (= ?); and Lorcan mac Cathail, king of Mide, was with them at it."
What is interesting in this short entry, apart from the gender of "fecht", is what the three wikings and the Irish collaborator are doing: Cnodbae = the passage-tomb of
Knowth, the Cave of Fert Boadan above Dubad = the passage-tomb of Dowth; I can't identify the Cave of Achad Aldai and of the wife of Óengobae/Angobae (?), but they are
probably prehistoric tombs as well. So are they early archeologists? :-)