Like King Arthur and the Arthurian legends in England which may or may not be true Ireland has her fair share of legendary kings and queens who may have been based on real people...but probably weren't.
Sometimes even the weapons they used had legendary powers...the spear carried by Keltar of the Battles would twist and writhe about so anxious it was to get on with the business of slaying enemies...and it is said some spears would become enraged with battle lust and the bronze head become red-hot so it had to be kept near a cauldron of cold water to cool it down...
Warriors sometimes carried a sling-shot and a supply of rounded stones...said to have been lethal in the hands of someone who was an expert. They were simply made from two thongs attached to a piece of leather at the bottom to hold the stone...much the same as the sling-shot David used to kill Goliath.
Another stone used as a weapon, which I'd not come across before, was the handstone. They were kept in the bottom of the shield and were specially made for individual warriors...they had a malign quality which virtually ensured whoever was hit by one would have died...it sounds as though the handstone may have been used as a last resort...maybe if you'd lost or broken your sword.
Those weapons would certainly have been used by Finn mac Coole and his men...Finn lived around 254-277...not that you'd ever think it was so long ago when you listen to some elderly people who speak of him as though he was still around a few years back. Probably Finn's most well-known warrior was Oisin who was known as the hero-poet...Dermot O'Dyna, he of untarnished honour who some declare to be the finest character in Irish literature and there was also Conan the Bald...he was altogether different...large-bodied, foul-tongued, boastful, cowardly and gluttonous...probably handy to have on your side in a fight though.
And Finn had many more men who fought alongside him when the need arose.
It's awfully difficult to visualise a countryside of thick forests rather than the open spaces of the bogs...and hard enough to imagine the wild pigs and wolves which roamed around freely during Finn's time...travel must have been fraught with danger...if it wasn't wild animals prone to attack you then rival clans would have done.
Chariots were the favoured form of travel...usually pulled by oxen rather than horses, because horses were expensive and tended to be saved for the pastime of chariot racing. I've no idea how fast a team of oxen will travel over rough pathways...simple journeys may well have taken a long time. The chariots weren't the fancy sort with sharp blades poking out from the wheels...just very basic two wheeled affairs with enough room for two people to sit on a wooden board at the front.
St Patrick managed to travel the length and breadth of Ireland in his chariot...driven by a charioteer...he didn't drive it himself.
We have plenty of evidence of the weapons used...many swords have been found during 'digs' as have the slingshot stones and small remnants' of the leather slings...there is ample evidence remaining of what people ate...bones mostly, identified as sheep and deer and pig. But what of Oisin and Finn...of Queen Maeve? Were they real people or the stuff of stories and legends...just as there are staunch believers in England's King Arthur or Robin Hood we have those who believe completely in the romantic idea of Finn.
I'm unsure still. Though I tend to lean towards the storytellers need for embellishment to add some hint of danger and excitement to their audiences...swords which become enraged at the thought of going into battle must have produced a few oohs and ahhs from those listening, so why stop at swords, why not embroider the tales about the old kings into the bargain.
Finn is pronounced exactly as it's written...Oisin is roughly said as O...shin... though you need to avoid making it sound like ocean!