Irish Civic Heraldry
The story on the 'Red Hand' of Ulster tells that some invaders were approaching the coast in a boat. Their leader promised the land that they could see to the first man to touch it. Thereupon a chap in the boat cut off his hand and threw it ashore and thus became the owner of the area. In another mail I received a slightly different version :
The Red hand of Ulster comes from a legend that two Viking lords were racing to Ulster, and the lord who could first put his hand on Ulster soil, would claim the land. As they came close to shore, one of the lords realised he would loose to the other. He then cut of his hand and threw it ashore to claim the land for him and his people.
Literature : backgrounds send to me by mail.