Monday, 11 July 2016

A Westmeath Lough

The other day we took off on our travels again, northwards this time instead of westerly or even southerly. Still though the hunger remained within us to learn more about the area we were visiting and we agreed that a return trips must be made to slake our thirst.

You have probably have heard about the Children of Lír or at least have read one of the many tales, for they are as numerous as the fleas on a dogs back.

Well here is another.
The story of the Children of Lír is one of the best known tales of Ireland. This story tells of Lir and his wife Aobh and their four children called Aodh, Fionnghuala, Fiachra and Conn. Lír's wife died and he married again. His new wife was called Aoife and she became the children's stepmother. At first she loved them dearly but after a time she grew jealous of their father's affection for them.

One day she bore them away and put them under a spell. They were turned into four white swans at Lough Derravarragh in County Westmeath. They remained there for four hundred years. Then they flew away and settled on the Sea of Moyle between Ireland and Scotland, where they stayed for three hundred years in cold and misery. From there they spent three years in Erris, County Mayo where they endured even further sorrow.

At the end of that time they returned to their old home at Sídh Fionnachaidh in County Armagh. Their father was long dead and the place was desolate and empty. They flew off again to Erris and there met the Christian Missionary, St. Mochaomhóg who treated them with great kindness.

At last their period of enchantment came to an end and they were turned into three withered old men and an old woman. The saint baptised them, they died peacefully and were buried together.
© CARLOW COUNTY LIBRARY


Lough Derravarragh in stormy light.



The notice half hidden by a precious/precocious land owner say's 'No Entry'
Forgetting that the fit can easily leap the wall!

Stuck amongst the reeds - how embarrassing !


Reed beds are a plenty on these lake shores
and I like their reflected images.

The Yellow Water Lilies could be the children of Lír reborn as flowers?


In nearby Castlepollard stands what to my mind is a grotesque impersonation of The Children of Lír. What are your thoughts ?



I have been caught fiddling again.



A special Welcome to the viewers
from Mauritius
thank you for visiting.




28 comments:

  1. Great pictures Grandpa Heron! Once you start fiddling with a decent camera & all the settings you never stop ;) x

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    1. I bow to your superior knowledge o wise one ! What surprises me is that you never commented on my colourful clothing :(((

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  2. I like the top photograph of Lough Derravarragh. Very atmospheric.

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    1. Thank you for your appreciation Sue.

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  3. Heron - such beautiful scenery - and i agree with you that the reflection of those water lilies is absolutely beautiful. Ireland has so much folklore doesn't it?

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    1. Thank you Pat. Yes, to learn all of Ireland's mythology and folk tales would take a lifetime of study.

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  4. Is it just me but are all tales or yore tinged with sorrow? The statue is indeed grotesque and not befitting the tale.
    Pictures of the countryside show a beautiful land there my good man.

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    1. Yes, John the majority of the tales are sorrowful and so are most of songs too !
      I actually think that bronze metal used in the statue is of higher value than what it depicts.


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  5. Very atmospheric, the waters, and hills, lends itself to the story, although a good ending even though the Christians win again...kind of amusing to see the powerboat stuck, looks an awful like Manitoba in the summer boating season...! Nice pics.

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    1. Hello Jack thank you for the comments.
      I stood back and watched them trolley launch the boat, thinking to myself 'not sure about these people' and immediately noticed that nobody had a life preserver. They were too impatient and did not allow the engine to warm up first, so it kept stalling - which is why they were in the reeds :-)

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  6. It indeed is grotesque. What signifies the bell, if that brown object is a bell.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Joanne. The brown object is indeed a bell with a cross on it, which I think supposedly represents 'Christian Missionary Saint Mochaomhóg'.

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  7. 700 years is a god innings for a swan

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    1. Well yes I suppose it is Simon however, they are Irish swans and in some accounts they live for 900 years :-)

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  8. Never heard of Children of Lír, and your photo are quite pretty.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Ah' well you have now Dora, so live and learn :-)

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  9. Lovely pictures, but I agree the statue is grotesque. The tale of the Children of Lir sounds familiar to me and very sad. The yellow water lilies are so cheerful :-) xx

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    1. Thank you for the comments Teresa. There are some stunning statues of the Children of Lír to be found in Ireland, unfortunately the Castlepollard representation is not one of them and sad to think that someone was paid for that trash.

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  10. Beautiful pictures, as always. And amazing sights.... also as always!

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  11. Ah folk law and folk tales. Though few of ours (in Gaeldom) can compare in their imagination with those of Maori. The statues are quite grotesque: there are few things more graceful than a swan.

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    1. Thank you Graham, I concur with your comments.

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  12. My great- grandfather almost bought a farm on the lake and my other cousins live there instead now. Beautiful place so full of mystic and perhaps sorrow too. Always had me spell bound as a child. I visited there on a trip home two years ago and love the road rolling down to the lake.
    X

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    1. Thank you for commenting by sharing your news of your family and personal experiences Grace.

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  13. The Lough is indeed misty and magical, the story reminds me of HC Andersens story about the twelve swanprinces. Amazing really how some issues actually are spread throughout the world, woven into the shape of fairytale but often with centuries between them. One issue or theme, is the evil stepmother, another f.i the flood. Such wonderful pictures, and names beyond comparison.Even the picture of the Heron fiddling, was rather sweet, don't you think??

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    1. Thank you very much indeed for your observations FT xx

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  14. It looks beautiful, I don't think I have seen yellow water lilies before xxx

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    1. Hiya Fran !
      The majority of water lilies on lakes and rivers are yellow over here.

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