The Clann Lir Festival celebrates the connection between the Erris region and the world-famous ‘Children of Lir’ legend.
Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and the ruler of the sea called Lír. He had a beautiful wife and they had four children – the eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnuala and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When the children were young, their mother died. Lír and the children were very sad, and the King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married a lady called Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.
Aoife loved the children and Lír at first, but soon she became very jealous of the time that the King spent with Aodh, Fionnuala, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took the children to swim in a lake while the sun was hot in the sky. When they got there and the children took to the water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over the children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.
She knew that if she killed the children, their ghosts would haunt her forever, so instead she cast this spell, forcing them to live as swans for 900 years; three hundred on Lake Derravaragh, three hundred on the Straits of Moyle, and three hundred more on the island of Inis Gluaire. It was on Inis Gluaire that St Brendan the Navigator baptised them – they changed back into human form, but their bodies crumbled into dust.
You are invited to Belmullet and the surrounding area to live the local legend through song, walks, vision, storytelling, dance, crafts, water adventures and more. The festival includes: guided walks, storytelling, boat trips to Inis Gluaire island, coasteering, and golf competitions.
Erris is a place that is full of history, heritage, culture and story. So, come to Erris and celebrate one of its most famous stories – the Children of Lir!
This festival takes place on the last weekend of May every year.
2022 Line Up
Friday 27th May: 11.00 am
Tráth na gCeist Scoile/ School Quiz
Erris National School Quiz
Belmullet Library Afternoon of fun and shenanigans
Saturday 28th May: 3pm” Kyle Reilly Music show “ Live music for Toddlers to under 8’s
Boat trips to the Island (weather permitting)
Poets walk around Belmullet
Storytelling in the Art Centre
Guided Children of Lir Loop Walk – Spectacular guided walk
Cross Lake Binghamstown, Free Fun Timed 5k to walk jog or run at your own pace.
Finish line looks out at the final resting place of the Children of Lir.
Boat trip to Inis Gluaire
Boat trip to Inishkea
Ballycroy national park
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