Baineann ‘Clann Lir’ le scéal ó Shraith na Miotaseolaíochta darbh ainm ‘Oidhe Chlann Lir’.  Mar aon leis na scéalta ‘Oidhe Chlann Uisnigh’ agus ‘Oidhe Chlann Tuireann’, seo ceann amháin de na scéalta a thugtar ‘Trí Thrua na Scéalaíochta’ orthu.  Scríobh Séamas Ó Searcaigh ‘Clann Lir’ le linn na naoi déag daichidí, ach tá an scéal féin bunaithe ar leagan ón cheathrú haois déag.

‘Clann Lir’ relates to a story from the Mythological Series called ‘Oidhe Chlann Lir’.  Along with the stories ‘Oidhe Chlann Uisnigh’ and ‘Oidhe Chlann Tuireann’, this is one of the stories which is called ‘Trí Thrua na Scéalaíochta’.  Séamas Ó Searcaigh wrote ‘Clann Lir’ during the nineteen forties, but the story itself is based on a version from the fourteenth century.

Insíonn ‘Clann Lir’ scéal faoi thriúr dheartháir agus deirfiúr amháin, mar atá Aodh, Conn, Fiachra agus Fionnuala.  Cuirtear faoi dhraíocht iad ag a leasmháthair, Aoife, mar tá sí in éad leo.  Síleann Aoife go bhfuil níos mó grá ag a fear céile, Lear, do na páistí ná mar atá aige di.  Imríonn sí feall ar chlann Lir agus mar gheall air sin tá orthu naoi gcéad bliain a chaitheamh mar ealaí.  Fágann Aoife a gcaint dhaonna féin acu go fóill áfach.

‘Clann Lir’ tells the story of three brothers and one sister, namely Aodh, Conn, Fiachra and Fionnuala.  They are put under a spell by their stepmother, Aoife, because she is jealous of them.  Aoife thinks that her husband, Lear, loves the children more than he loves her.  She betrays the children of Lear and consequently they have to spend nine hundred years as swans.  Aoife leaves them their own human speech however.


Caitheann siad an chéad trí chéad bliain ar Loch Dairbhreach, loch atá suite i gContae na hIarmhí anois.  Tá an dara tréimhse, ar fharraige gharbh Shruth na Maoile, i bhfad níos deacra le fulaingt ag clann Lir.  Caitheann na healaí oícheanta léanmhara san fhuacht, in áit nach mbíonn ach pian, piolóid agus anró acu.  Críochnaíonn siad a ndeoraíocht le tréimhse in Iorras Domhnann.  Cé go bhfuil an áit seo iontach garbh fosta, taispeánann clann Lir a ndínit, a n-uaisleacht agus a rúndaigne i gcónaí.  Tugann Fionnuala uchtach agus misneach dá deartháireacha.

They spend the first three hundred years on Loch Dairbhreach, a lake which is situated in County Westmeath today.  The second period, on the rough sea of Sruth na Maoile, is much more difficult to endure for the children of Lear.  The swans spend sorrowful nights in the cold, in a place where they experience only pain, torture and hardship.  They finish their exile with a period in Iorras Domhnann.  Although this place is very rough as well, the children of Lear consistently show their dignity, their nobility and their determination.  Fionnuala gives her brothers strength and encouragement.


Ag deireadh an scéil tá clann Lir ina gcónaí i mainistreach le Naomh Mochaomhóg.  Tá gach duine a raibh aithne acu orthu imithe faoin am seo agus tá siad fágtha mar Oisín i ndiaidh na Féinne.  Mar gheall ar shantacht dhuine amháin, rí darbh ainm Lairgneán mac Colmáin le bheith beacht, déantar seandaoine caite den cheathrar.  Tá an Chríostaíocht i réim in Éirinn anois agus déantar Críostaithe de chlann Lir.  Ar an dóigh sin cuirtear deireadh dóchasach le scéal tragóideach agus cruthaítear don léitheoir gur féidir leis an mhaith, sa chás seo mic agus iníon Lir, an olc a chloí i gcónaí.

At the end of the story the children of Lear are dwelling in an abbey with St Mochaomhóg.  Everyone they ever knew has gone by this time and they are left like ‘Oisín i ndiaidh na Féinne’.  Because of the greed of one person, a king called Lairgneán mac Colmáin to be precise, the four are turned into withered old people.  Christianity is flourishing in Ireland now and the children of Lear become Christians.  In that way a tragic story is given a hopeful ending and it is proven to the reader that good, in this case the sons and daughter of Lear, can always defeat evil.

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