The Love of Conall Cernach

Here is the story of the love of Conall Cernach, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

Love by Conall Cernach

Love by Conall Cernach

There was a fierce man among the men of Ulster, Conall the Victorious, the son of Amorgen, the best warrior who was in Ireland. Great was his boldness. He was a man who from boyhood, as long as he had a spear in his hand, did not return without bearing the head of a Connaught man. He was waging a mortal war against the men of Connaught, for they had killed his brothers. However, there was not a man among the men of Connaught, whose son or brother or father he had not killed. And he had slain three sons of Ailill and Medb, and it was he also who had slain Belchu of Brefne and his three sons, and it was he who had slain the seven sons of Magu of Connaught, that is- namely Anlúan son of Magu, and Docha son of Magu, and Mac Corb son of Magu, and Find son of Magu, and Scandlán son of Magu, and Cet, and Ailill son of Magu. And it was he who slew Ailill son of Mata Muresc of Connaught, for Mata Muresc was his mother (to Ailill), and he was the son of Ross the Red of Leinster. And he (Ailill) went east to dispute the kingship of Leinster, and he seized the kingship of Connaught to the west, in the name of his mother, and out of his mother's land comes the name of the son (ie mac Mata ) given to him in the west.

In the end however, debility and sorrow came upon Conall the Victorious, after his foster brothers Conchobar and Cuchulinn were killed, so that much sorrow and misery and leprosy came upon him, so that he there was no strength in his feet to come and go. And he considered to himself what household he should go to to be cherished and fed.

“Ailill and Medb, in truth,” he said, “these are the two who are able to take care of me. But still, my hatred towards them is great. However, however tall she is, I have to go. "

So alone he went until he reached Rath Cruachan, and entered the Rath where Ailill and Medb were. And Ailill welcomed him.

"You are welcome," said Medb, "O Conall *** You will indeed be welcome," said Medb. A house will be made (for you) on the rampart of the rath. " 

A house was built for him, and a pig and a calf and the news of Medb and Ailill and twelve cakes and a sheep and a pot of broth were brought (to him), and he consumed it all at one time. He makes *** the rampart of the rath, and he's got his fill every evening by the men of Connaught, and before morning he comes home.

In this way, they gave him food for a whole year, giving him the same feast as that time (the first). Here is what amused the men of Connaught every day, as he tells them how he had killed their sons and their brothers and their fathers. Connaught's men would bring their spears to him for him to prepare, and sharpen, and he would prepare them before the cows awoke.

Now, great was the power and honor and dignity of Medb, and great was her desire in everything, namely, she went with about thirty men every day, or with Fergus only. Her husband, however, was the same age as her, that is, Ailill, a man without blemish, namely, without jealousy, without fear, without meanness. Beautiful was the form and strength of this man and good judgment, namely, when a man played against Ailill, if a servant of Medb would come and summon him to a meeting with her. Here's what Ailill used to say: "Wait a bit until the game is over." He also used to have dates with other women, in defiance of his wife, and she was jealous about that, so she took Conall Cernach into her house (to watch over) Ailill, so that he did not do such a thing against his permission.

One day early in the morning of Beltaine, Ailill had a date with a woman near the fortress. However, Conall was preparing spears on the (rampart of) rath. Medb also left, for she knew they were meeting. There was a moving hazel bush beside the couple, and Medb saw it. “Well, Conall,” said Medb, “Conall the Victorious has been your name to this day. From now on your name will be Conall the Wicked-Unhappy. When you were Conall the Victorious, no one would dare violate your warranty. Today, this scandal over there is very close to you ”. So Conall says, "The truth is, here's revenge for Fergus!" He said, and cocked his spear against them so that it went right through Ailill, or maybe he wounded him in an empty house through the thatch above. Everyone came to him (Aillil), and they carried him into the house with them.

They all ask, "Who did that?" "Conall did it," Ailill said. " Misfortune! This is not true! Said Conall. " That is true, ”says Medb. “If that's true, then,” he said, “there's a vengeance for Fergus in that. "It's bad of you what you did," said Ailill, "for harming me." Get away from my face before I die. Because, after my death, the men of Connaught will kill you. "It's enough for me," said Conall, "if I reach my chariot in front of the fortress." "I won't die before this," Ailill said.

He got into his chariot. Immediately Ailill died there (in the house). Then, however, Connaught's men hurled their spears at him vehemently. He killed a large number of them. There was a geis on him to go into a ford without the water being agitated behind him. There were miners washing ore in the river above him, and the troubled water reached him, so it hit him before anyone else. Then he fell under their blows after having carried the massacre in the men of Connaught. The three Red Wolves of Martine des Fir Maige (Fermoy), it is they who cut off his head; they were Ernas, and they were in Ailill's house. And to avenge Curoi they cut off his head. And as they were killing him, Medb came after them. It was then that Medb said:

"O pale head, that after the arbitration (of the battle)
Martine's three Red Wolves win.
It's the face of a hero ***,
The head of Conall, son of Amorgen.

They took Conall's head with them in revenge for Curoi, whose head the Ulates had taken with them north. And (Conall's) head is still west. Four one-year-old calves would stand in it, or four men playing fidchell, or a couple on a litter box. There is a prophecy for the Ulates that it is to be brought back south again, and the same strength will come to them again, if they drink milk through it. And so the saying goes: "The destruction of Ulster by the destruction of Ulster." "

The Deaths of Ailill and Conall the Victorious so far.