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Irish Mythology

The Tuatha de Danaan: The Children of Lir

pre-12th century—present. Old Irish | Modern Irish, folklore.

The four children of Lir, now swans, agree to meet at Seal Island when the sea grows calm again.

The time has come for the four swans to leave Loch Dairbhrreach in Ireland and to travel to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland where they will have to spend another three hundred years. And so they regretfully make the journey, these four children of Lir who were changed into swans by their stepmother, three hundred years before – after she had resolved to kill them.

In the sea between Ireland and Britain a great storm gathers and Fionnuala, daughter of Lir, says to her three brothers: 'We will be separated and scattered by this tempest, and so we must arrange to meet somewhere now,' she implores, 'before the storm hits. I propose that we all meet at the Rock of the Seals when the sea grows calm again – some place where we can meet afterwards, if we are driven from one another in the night.

Story fragment recounted from: Gregory, Lady A., 1904. Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, Arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory. John Murray, London. Reprinted, 1998. Irish Myths and Legends. Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, USA. Part One: The Gods. Book V: The Fate of the Children of Lir, pp 145–160.

See for yourself

Tuatha de Danaan - Wikipedia

Fionn mac Cumhaill - Wikipedia

The Children of Lir - Wikipedia

Gods and Fighting Men – ancient tales of Ireland put into English by Lady Augusta Gregory. 1904. Project Gutenberg.

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