Study Guide

Conchobar mac Nessa Sightings

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Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

"The Birth of Conchobar" in The Book of Leinster

This tale narrates the story of Conchobar's birth. His mom's foster family got killed and she went on a rampage, looking for the evil-doers (the main baddie was Cathbad). When she bathed one day in a river, the druid Cathbad saw her and almost killed her; in exchange for her life, Nessa married him and they had Conchobar.

Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

"The Exile of the Sons of Usnach" in The Book of Leinster

Cathbad prophesied that the daughter of a local Irishman would be a heartbreaker; boy, would she ever. This turned out to be Deirdre, whom Conchobar wanted to marry—but, of course, she ran off with local heartthrob Naoise. Conchobar exiled them both along with Naoise's brothers, but he eventually caught them. When Naoise was killed and Conchobar was finally gonna marry Deirdre, she bumped her head and died.

Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

"The Cattle Raid of Cooley" in The Book of Leinster

Here's how it went down: Maeve of Connacht wanted a bull as handsome as her husband's, so she went after Conchobar's prized brown bull. Good ol' Cúchulainn beat up many of the Connachtmen that came their way—since most Ulstermen were incapacitated by a curse—but the bulls ended up battling each other. Even though Conchobar's brown bull won, he died of exhaustion.

Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

"How Conchobar mac Nessa got the kingship of the Ulaid when he was seven years old," in The Book of Lismore

This story's title is pretty self-explanatory. By the time Conchobar was seven, his mom was single; and King Fergus mac Roich of Ulster fell in love with her. In exchange for marriage, she forced Fergus to make Conchobar king for a year. But his mom had him give the Ulster councilmen so many gifts that they wanted him to stay king 4eva.

Dec 20, 2019

Bright Sword of Ireland by Juilene Osborne-McKnight

Maeve gets a pretty good write-up in this novel, and Conchobar's not looking too shabby himself.

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