The Irish Folklore Centre

Providing a focus for the whole Irish folk tradition

The Death of the Sons of Tuireann

This is the first of the ‘Three Sorrows of Storytelling’.  The main elements of this story were contained in a number of versions from the eleventh to fourteenth centuries, but there are some substantial differences in the detail.  The themes in this version are shapeshifting, inter-clan strife, an honour-fine and retribution for a terrible deed […]

The Tragic Fate of the Children of Lir

The Tragic Fate of the Children of Lir This is a late 15th century creation and is the second of the ‘Three Sorrows of Storytelling’. It contains the themes of fosterage, a wicked stepmother, humans magicked into birds and centuries-long life ending in dust on return to human form.