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Children of Lir Mythological Site
 

County

Cork

Coordinates

N 51° 38' 28.4"   W 010° 03' 07.1"

Nearest town

Allihies

Grid Ref.

V 58002 45124

Map No.

84

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

48

Date of visit

Thursday 4 June 2009

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The main boulder that marks the burial place of the Children of Lir. Somebody still brings offerings to the Children.


The last time we were here was on May 16th, 2002, I took some photos of this place, I was still using the 35mm film camera only, but once home the laboratory made a big mess and lost my photos, not all photos, only the photos of this site!
I've been waiting 7 years before being able to go back to this remote part of the country and take the photos again. This time I used the 35mm film camera and the digital camera.
According to the legend this is the site where the four children of Lir, Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn, were buried when they returned to the land after 900 years of journey on the sea.
The legend has it that the four children of the king Lir were turned to swans by their jealous stepmother and were forced to spend 900 years wandering in the loughs. They had to spend the first 300 years in Lough Derravaragh, the following 300 years in the Sea of Moyle and the last 300 years in the waters of Inish Glora.
At the end of this spell they were attracted by the bell rung by a monk in Allihies, so they came ashore and in that very moment they lost their feathers and turned back to men and woman. The monk blessed and baptised them, but they were 900 years old by then and they died right after.
They were buried under these white boulders the way they had always lived, together, with Conn on Fionnuala's right, Fiachra on her left, and Aodh between her arms.
Local people still bring offerings to the four children of the king Lir.


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