Aided Cheit maic Mágach‘The death of Cet mac Magach’

  • Middle Irish, Early Modern Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle, Aideda
A tale of the Ulster Cycle, set after the death of Conchobar.
Conall Cernach pursues Cet mac Mágach, after a raid by the latter on Ulster, to Bréifne in Connacht, and, after being chided for cowardice by his charioteer, fights him at Áth Ceit. The fight leaves Cet dead and Conall seriously wounded. Bélchú of Bréifne comes across the incapacitated Conall, who tries to goad him into finishing him off, but Bélchú decides to nurse him back to health, then fight him. He soon regrets this decision, and sends his three sons to kill Conall as he sleeps, but Conall forces Bélchú to take his place in the bed, and the sons kill their father instead. Conall kills the sons and takes all four heads back to Ulster.
  • Middle Irish Early Modern Irish
  • Version A: Middle Irish (?); Version B: Early Modern Irish.
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
It appears in tale-lists as Orgain Bélchon Bréifne and Togail Bruidne Bélchon Bréifne, and is alluded to in the poem Fianna bátar i nEmain, attributed to Cináed ua hArtacáin, which suggests there was once a version where Conall's death was plotted at a feast by Bélchú. Version B is more or less identical to the version in Geoffrey Keating's Foras feasa ar Éirinn (I 34).

For the story of the death of Conchobor, see Aided Chonchobair.


Ulster Cycle

Subject tags

Cet mac MágachCet mac Mátach / Cet mac Mágach (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle, Legendary figure) – warrior in the Ulster Cycle of tales; hero of Connacht; in some texts, brother of Findchóem and uncle of Conall Cernach.
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Conall CernachConall Cernach (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle; son of Amergin and Findchóem
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Bélchú BréifneBélchú Bréifne (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – hostel-keeper of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of tales
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 Bréifne  Áth Ceit


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], The death-tales of the Ulster heroes, Todd Lecture Series 14, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1906.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] Draak, Maartje, and Frida de Jong (trs.), Van helden, elfen en dichters: de oudste verhalen uit Ierland, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1979.
104–107 Dutch translation
Patrick Brown,Dennis Groenewegen
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