Conwal Grave Slab




N 54° 24' 30.1"   W 008° 18' 47.5"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

G 79713 51132

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Monday 2 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The slab that marks the burial place of Grainne Ní Conalai

Sometimes, legend and reality meet and we're not able anymore to tell whether the legend is still a legend.

In this small graveyard along the R280, not far from Kinlough, among many other very old burials, there are three grave slabs that might give someone the shivers.
The place is linked to the legend of the Dobhar Chú, a water hound which, according to the legend, lived in the Glenade Lake. The Dobhar Chú is described as a creature that might resemble a big otter, or half a dog and half a otter or a fish.

On September 24th, 1722, a young woman, Grainne Ní Conalai, was at the lake to wash some clothes when this monster jumped out of the lake and killed her. Her husband Traolach Mac Lochlainn heard her screams and ran to her aid, but when he arrived he saw the monster lying asleep on the woman's torn and mauled body. At this terrible sight the man confronted and killed the beast with a dagger in its heart. While it was dying, the monster made a loud haunting and high-pitched sound that woke up the monster's companion which was in the lake. This second monster chased Traolach Mac Lochlainn who, along with his brother, lured the monster 30 kilometres away up to Cashelgarron where they slew it.

In this cemetery there's the grave of Grainne Ní Conalai with the effigy of a creature stabbed by a dagger. The slab is 1.27 metres long and 67 centimetres wide, slightly arched. The effigy is on the east (88°) end.
At 12 metres towards northeast (60°) there's another very interesting slab which depicts a horseman with a dagger in his right hand. This should be the tomb of Traolach Mac Lochlainn, the man who killed the two water monsters.
Another slab on the other side of the graveyard should mark the burial place of Traolach Mac Lochlainn's brother.

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