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[Ir., red branch].

One of three royal residences of Conchobar mac Nessa, and the one most often used for large assemblies. The hall appears to have taken its name from the large roofbeam or ‘branch’ which may have been painted. Weapons were not allowed in the hall, to reduce the incidence of contests between those assembled; instead, weapons were kept in the residence known as Téte Brec [Twinkling Hoard]. The usual English translation is Red Branch (cf. the third residence, Cráebderg [ruddy branch]). In 19th-century texts, the phrase ‘Red Branch’ might indicate both the royal residence and the warriors or ‘knights’ most often seen there. ‘Red Branch Cycle’ was sometimes used as a substitute for Ulster Cycle.

See Tomás Ó Broin, Éigse, 15 (1973), 103–13. The townland of Creeveroe or Creevroe, Northern Ireland, may echo the name of Cráebruad.

Subjects: Religion.

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