The Children of Lir

The Children of Lir is a poignant and sorrowful tale from Irish mythology. It revolves around the transformation and suffering of four siblings. In this story, King Lir’s children—Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra, and Conn—are transformed into swans by their wicked stepmother Aoife, who grew jealous of their beauty and happiness.

The curse banishes them to spend 900 years on the waters of various lakes and seas. 300 years each on Lough Davra, the Sea of Moyle and Inis Glora. During these many years, they experience the joys and hardships of life as swans. They endure the harshness of winter and the serenity of summer.

Children of Lir card from Exploring Ireland game

Eventually, they are freed from their curse by the tolling of a Christian bell. By this time however, they discover that centuries have passed, and their loved ones are long gone.

The Moral of the Story

The moral of the story of Children of Lir could be about the power of love and family bonds in the face of adversity and suffering. Despite their tragic fate, the children’s unwavering love for one another and their longing to return to their homeland serve as a testament to their resilience.