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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Children of Lir

I went in search of the Hill of Uisneach today and I found it only to be disappointed.  It's on private property so I couldn't see much.  That was a shame.  Uisneach is located outside Mullingar, 3 km from the village of Loughanavally  There is a festival of fire there next weekend.  The Bealtaine fire was lit here it is said.  Tara lit their fires when they saw Uisneach's.  In Irish mythology it was the omphalos, the mystical navel of Ireland. 

So what then, well I went to Lough Ennell which is a stones throw away where I found a beautiful swan.  It made me think of researching The Children of Lir. 

Lir's wife Aoife turned the children; Aodh, Fionnuala, Conn and Fiachra into swans out of jealousy.  She was their stepmother.  The children were sentenced to 300 years on Lough Derravaragh, 300 years upon the Straits of Moyle and 300 years on the isle of Inish Glora.  Only when the children heard the bell of the new God (Christianity) would they be free of the spell.  When the children died they were the last of the Tuatha de Danann.  This fills me with immense sadness.  Lir, their father, was Lord of the sea.