Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Táin Bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster (Author: [unknown])

section 27

Here now is the story Cinnit Ferchon.

Ferchú Loingsech was of the Connachtmen. He was engaged in fighting and harassing Ailill and Medb. From the day these assumed rule, he came not to their encampment on expedition or hosting, in straits or need or hardship, but spent his time plundering and pillaging their borders and lands behind their backs. At that time he happened to be in the eastern part of Mag n-Aí. Twelve men was the number of his band. He was told that one man had been holding back and checking the four great provinces of Ireland


{line 2517-2551} from the Monday at the beginning of Samain until the beginning of spring, slaying one man of their number at a ford every day and a hundred warriors every night. Ferchú took counsel with his men. ‘What better plan could we carry out’ said he, ‘than to go and attack yonder man who is checking and holding back the four great provinces of Ireland and to bring back with us his head in triumph to Ailill and Medb. Though we have done many wrongs and injuries to Ailill and to Medb, we shall obtain peace thereby if that man fall by us’. That is the plan they decided on. And they came forward to the place where Cú Chulainn was, and when they came, they did not grant him fair play or single combat but all twelve of them attacked him straightaway. However Cú Chulainn fell upon them and forthwith struck off their twelve heads. And he planted twelve stones for them in the ground and put a head of each one of them on its stone and also put Ferchú Loingsech's head on its stone. So that the spot where Ferchú Loingsech left his head is called Cinnit Ferchon that is, Cennáit Ferchon the Headplace of Ferchú.