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Legendary Irish Gods and Goddesses

From the beautiful shores on the north coast to the rebel county of Cork in the south, and everything in between, Ireland is a land littered with stories, myths and legends. 

As a result, the Emerald Isle is a rich tapestry of Gods and Goddesses.

This isn’t a definitive list but we wanted to highlight some of Ireland’s most famous sons and daughters from another world. 

Clíodhna

Clíodhna, also known as Clionadh or Kleena, is Queen of the Banshees and rules over the sidheog, the fairy women of the hills, of South Munster, one of Ireland’s four provinces. 

According to legend, Clíodhna’s palace can be found in the heart of a pile of rocks found five miles from Mallow, a small town in County Cork. 

Fionn mac Cumhaill

Fionn mac Cumhaill, also known as Finn MacCool, is a fierce Irish hunter-warrior who lead his followers, the Fianna, to many great battles. 

Fionn is popularly known as the creator of The Giant’s Causeway. It’s said he built the Causeway so that he could walk across to an enemy in Scotland. It is also said that Fionna once grabbed a chunk of Ireland to throw at a rival. He missed and the chunk landed in the Irish Sea and became the Isle of Man whilst the space left behind became Lough Neagh! 

Aed

Aed or Aodh is the God of the Underworld in Irish myth and legend. He is the eldest son of Lir (see below) and, unfortunately for him, became one of the famous Children of Lir. 

The Children of Lir, hated by their evil stepmother Aoife, were cursed to live as swans and sentenced to 900 years of this fate!

Lir

Lir, or King Lir, is Ireland’s Sea God and is considered the personification of the sea as his name literally means sea in Old Irish.

As explained above, Lir is probably most famous as the father of the cursed Children of Lir however he is also well-known in Irish mythology as the father of Manannan mac Lir who just so happens to be next on our list

Manannán mac Lir

Lir

Manannán mac Lir, also known as Manann, is known as the “son of the sea”. 

As a son of Lir he is closely linked to the Irish seas and, in his boat Scuabtuinne (meaning Wave Sweeper), he is seen as a guardian of the Otherworld and the one who ferries souls to the afterlife. 

Áine

Áine, the first God or Goddess on our list without a variation in her name, is the Goddess of summer, wealth, fertility and sovereignty. 

She is closely linked to crops, animals and agriculture and, according to mythology, has close ties to County Limerick.

Lugh

Lugh, or Lug, is an Irish warrior, king and saviour. His stories are littered with battles and conquests and he’s famous, in part, for owning several magical possessions including an unstoppable fiery spear, a sling stone, a sword, a horse named Enbarr and a vicious hound named Failinis. 

Neit

Neit, also known as Net or Neith, is an Irish God of war. His name derives from old Irish or Gaelic meaning “fighting” or “passion” and, rather fittingly, he was killed in the legendary second Battle of Moytura which took place in County Sligo. 

Niamh

Niamh, a daughter of Manannan mac Lir and descendant of Lir, is most famous as the Queen of Tir na nOg, the Otherworld or spiritual realm of Irish mythology. 

She is also famous for marrying Oisin, son of Fionn mac Cumhaill and member of the famous warrior gang Fianna. 

Cú Chulainn

Irish Legend Of Cu Chulainn

Cú Chulainn, known in English as Cuhullin, is an Irish warrior hero and son of Lugh (see above). 

Cú Chulainn wasn’t also known by that name. He was born Setanta and later gained the name we now know after he had to kill Culann’s hound in self-defense. Amongst countless battles, Cú Chulainn is famous for single-handedly defending Ulster at one point.

Dagda

Dagda, the God of manliness and wisdom amongst many other things, is portrayed to be a father-figure, chieftain and druid. He is considered the “Good God” and has super-human strength and appetite. 

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