The Children of Lir

The Children of Lir

The Children of Lir

Lir and his wife, Aobh (pronounced (“eve”), had four children: a girl Fionnuala and
her twin brother, Aed (“ay”), and twin boys Fiachra and Conn. Aobh died, and Lir
married Aoife. Everyone loved the Children of Lir for their good character and
attractive personalities and their fine singing voices, and Aoife was envious of
their popularity. She was going to kill them, but she took pity on them and changed
them into swans.

They stayed for 300 years on Lake Derravarragh, 300 years on a rock between Ireland
and Scotland, and another 300 years off the west coast of Ireland in the Atlantic
Ocean. Finally after 900 years the spell was broken and they turned back into
humans. They heard a church bell, and they went and told their story to a priest.
He baptised them, and they fell down dead of old age.

Above is a sculpture by Oisín Kelly of the Children of Lir in the Garden of
Rembrance in Dublin.

About Richard Marsh

Bardic storyteller and author
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