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Children of Lir
25-AUG-2010 Dick Keely

Children of Lir

Allihies, Co. Cork

Just outside the seaside village of Allihies on the Beara Peninsula is a small sacred site marked with four stones dedicated to the Children of Lir. According to ancient legend, King Lir had four beautiful children and when his wife died he married his wife's sister, Aoife. She became jealous of the love that King Lir had for his four children and she cast a druidic spell that changed them into swans. Afterwards, she had great remorse when she saw how much grief that King Lir had but she was not able to recall the spell. The four swans were doomed to spend 300 years at the Lake of Sorrow (Lough Derravaragh), in Westmeath, then 300 years on the sea of Moyle (between Antrim and Scotland) and another 300 years on the lake isle of Glora in Mayo. After 900 years the four swans returned to Allihies and changed back into humans. But they were very old and died soon afterwards. They were buried under the four stones in Allihies. Reference:

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