The Legend of Queen Meadbh

Meadbh, the queen of Connacht is said to have lived in the first century BC.  A warrior queen, she ruled Connacht and led great armies in the Táin wars. Legend has it that Meadbh and her army fought against Cuchulainn and the Ulstermen and that in the famous cattle raid of Cooley, Meadbh stole a brown bull, the property of Conchobhar Mac Neasa, a chieftain of Ulster. In her old age, Meadbh decided to retire to Inchclearun where her sister Clothera lived, to spend her last years in the tranquillity of the island.

However, Ulstermen have long memories and when Forbaid (son of Mac Neasa) learned that Meadbh was living on the island, he hatched a plan for revenge. Discovering that Meadbh bathed every day in a particular spot in the shallow waters surrounding the island, Forbaid practised with his crann tabhaill (slingshot) hurling stones at an apple for over a year until his aim was perfect!

Returning to the shores of Lough Ree, Forbaid laid in wait for Meadbh to bathe in her favourite spot. When he seen her there, he took aim with his crann tabhaill and hurled a single stone at her head, killing her instantly. Legend has it that Queen Meadbh is buried in Knocknarea in Co. Sligo.