The faith of the children of LirWritten by Paul Gibney
This haunting story has inspired Celtic jewelry makers for many years now as swan theme embodies traditional Celtic designs and Celtic symbols.
A long time ago in ancient Ireland lived an Irish Chieftain named Lir. He was married to Aobh daughter of King Bodhbh (also called Bov Red) of Lough Dergh. They had four beautiful children; Fionnula, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn. Unfortunately Aobh died giving birth and Lir was devastated with grief. When King Bodhbh heard of Lirís loss he offered another one of his daughters to Lir in marriage. Lir choose Aoife as his new wife and stepmother to his children. At first, all when well with marriage, Lir doted on his four children. Soon Aoife became intensely jealous of her stepchildren. She even pretended to be sick for a whole year in order to look for special attention. One day Aoife told children that they we going with her to visit there Grandfather King Bodhbh, as they had done many times before. Along way they stopped at Lough Dairbhreach (lake of oaks) and Aoife ordered children to wash themselves in lough. Once they were in water, Aoife cast a magic spell turning four children of Lir into beautiful white swans. Fionnuala cursed her but implored her to put some limits on spell. Aoife regretting what she had done agreed to allow them keep their beautiful singing voices. But spell still imposed a harsh sentence on swan children. They were to spend 300 years on Lough Dairbhreach, 300 years in Straits of Moyle and final 300 years at Erris. They spell would only be broken when they heard first bells of Christianity and when a King from north marries a Princess from south.
History of the Claddagh ringsWritten by Paul Gibney
The Claddagh ring is Irelands most romantic and enduring Celtic jewelry tradition. It is customary for ring to be worn as a wedding or engagement ring and then to be handed down from generation to generation. Claddagh itself is one of Irelandís oldest fishing villages just outside Galway City in west of Ireland. Legend has it that one of its residents a Richard Joyce was abducted while out fishing, by Moorish pirates and taken back to Tunisia. There he was to become a slave and learned craft of a Goldsmith. In 1670 he was released when King William III came to throne and concluded an agreement whereby all his subjects who where held captive were allowed to return to their homes. Richard`s former master pleaded with him to stay, marry one of his daughters and inherit half of all his wealth. But all to no avail Richard was returning to his one true Irish love back in Claddagh. When he arrived home he found that his true love was unmarried and still waiting for him. They set up a Goldsmiths store together. Where Richard made first Claddagh rings and used at their own wedding.