Statues - Hither & Thither

Ireland
Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath
Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath

Parnell Square North
(Garden of Remembrance)

Children of Lir

Oisín Kelly
1966

Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath /  Children of Lir   Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath /  Children of Lir

Description

Bronze sculpture showing the four figures of the children of Lir, and four swan. Summary of the legend:
Bodb Derg was elected king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, much to the annoyance of Lir. To appease Lir, Bodb gave one of his daughters, Aoibh, to him in marriage. Aoibh bore Lir four children: one girl, Fionnuala, and three sons, Aodh and twins, Fiachra and Conn.
Aoibh died, and her children missed her terribly. Wanting to keep Lir happy, Bodb sent another of his daughters, Aoife, to marry Lir.
Jealous of the children's love for each other and for their father, Aoife plotted to get rid of the children. On a journey with the children to Bodb's house, she ordered her servant to kill them, but the servant refused. In anger, she tried to kill them herself, but did not have the courage. Instead, she used her magic to turn the children into swans. When Bodb heard of this, he transformed Aoife into an air demon for eternity.
As swans, the children had to spend 300 years on Lough Derravaragh (a lake near their father's castle), 300 years in the Sea of Moyle, and 300 years on the waters of Irrus Domnann Erris near to Inishglora Island (Inis Gluaire). To end the spell, they would have to be blessed by a monk. While the children were swans, Saint Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity.

Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath / Children of Lir Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath / Children of Lir Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath / Children of Lir

Annotation

The Garden of Remembrance (Irish: An Gairdín Cuimhneacháin) is a memorial garden dedicated to the memory of "all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom". It is in the form of a sunken cruciform water-feature. Its focal point is a statue of the Children of Lir by Oisín Kelly, added in 1971 and symbolising the rebirth of the Irish nation following 900 years of struggle for independence from England and, later, the United Kingdom, much as the swans were 'reborn' following 900 years. In 1976, a contest was held to find a poem which could express the appreciation and inspiration of this struggle for freedom. The winner was Dublin born author Liam Mac Uistin, whose poem We Saw a Vision an aisling style poem written in Irish, French, and English on the stone wall of the monument.

Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath / Children of Lir

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

Location (N 53°21'13" - W 6°15'52")

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Item Code: ie032; Photograph: 9 June 2014
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