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Ballyconnell HistoryBallyconnell (Irish: Béal Átha Conaill, meaning "Entrance to the Ford of Conall") is a livly town in County Cavan, Republic of Ireland. It's situated at the junction of four townlands Annagh, Cullyleenan, Doon and Derryginny in the parish of Tomregan, Barony of Tullyhaw. It lies on both sides of the Shannon-Erne Waterway which was opened in 1993. Shannon-Erne Waterway was formerly known as the Woodford Canal which was built in 1860. Before it was canalised it was known as the River Grainne. The town lays at the foot of Slieve Rushen mountain and is a 1,5 km from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
To find out why Ballyconnell is called the town of Connall's ford we must go back to the 1st century B.C. to the legend of the Táin Bó Cuailgne. There was a powerful Queen in Connacht named Maeve who held court at Croghan in Co. Roscommon. her army invaded Ulster and carried off the prize bull of Ulster - the Táin Bó Cuailgne - ( Brown Bull fo Cooley ). In Ulster, The Red Branch Knights, led by Cúchulainn defended their territory against the armies of Caonnacht for many years. among their gratest heroes was Connall Cearnach - a cousin of Cúchulainn.
Queen Maeve at last conceded that she could not subdue Ulster and she pretended that she wanted to make peace whith her former enemies. She invited Conall Cearnach to visit her at Croghan. He set out on journey wairly as he feared some trachery bt Maeve and her army. He spent some weeks there enjoying the hospitality showered on him by Maeve.
For some time Maeve was planning to get rid of her husband, Ailill and Conail was part of her plan. She succeeded in raising anger between the two men and Canall challenged Ailill to fight a duel. Ailill was killed in the duel and Maeve was secretly pleased and then she planned to get rid of Conall.
Ordered to leave the palace, Conall set off towards Ulster but she sent her redhaired warriors after him. He had arrived near the ford crossing on the River Gráinne at Ath na Mianna ( The Ford of Miners ). There he got directions from the miners washing their ore near the river crossing.
However, as he tried to cross the ford which would take him back safely into Ulster, the red-haired warriors were lying in wait and they cruelly put him to death.
The miners heard the blood-thirsty yells of the murderers and they discovered tha slain body of Conall. He was buried with all the honour due to a hero and as the news of his death spread throughout Ulster and his fellow-knights came from all over Ulster to visit his grave.
The place where he was slain became known as the town on Conall's ford - Báile Atha Conaill - Ballyconnell. he may have been burried in the Cairn grave at Ballyheady but there is no information to verify he actual burial place of Conall Cearnach.