Celtic God

Manannan Mac Lír


Name:  Manannán / Orbsen


Title:  The Lord of the Sea


Race:  Tuatha Dé Danann


PropertiesGod of the Sea and the Tides


Father:  Lír Master of the Waves


Wife:  Fann


Consort:  Caintigern mother of Fiachna


Sons: Ilbhreac Fiachna Gaidiar


Daughters:  Áine Aoife   Grian


Country:  The Isle of Man


Sea:  The Irish Sea


Waves:  The Tonns, off Donegall Coast


Symbol:  The Triskele


Weapons:  Sword 'The  Answerer'

Spear - Crann Buidhe 'Yellow-Tree'


Armour:  Breastplate (which magically protected one from wounds)


Foster Son:  Lugh Lámhfada 


Horse:  Enbarr of the flowing mane (which he gave to Lugh)


Treasure Bag:  Made of the skin of Aoife a lover of his son Ilbhreac's who had been turned into a crane.


Associated Herbs, Trees & Fungi:  Alder Hawthorn Ragwort  Burdock 

In the early texts Manannán is not associated with the Tuatha Dé Danann and does not appear in accounts of the Battle at Magh Tuiredh (Moytura). 

His association with the Tuatha Dé Danann appears in later texts  from about the ninth century onwards. 

He is believed to have three legs and his form of locution was to roll in a circular motion on his three legs like a wheel in order to get from place to place.  His symbol the Triskele represents his three legs in a circle, and can be seen in illustrations on certain Manx coins.

The Irish hero Fionn had an association with him when he called on his help against the son of a King from the Britons and Manannán caused a magical ship to appear which carried Fionn and his men over the sea in order to be able to catch him.  This story is related in 'How the Fianna Got their horses.'  King Cormac Mac Art also has an association with him.

Manannán is said to be buried in the Tonn Banks off the coast of Donegall.  Many shipwrecks occur here; and the spirit of Manannan is supposed to ride on the storm.  The Tonns form one part of a triad known as "The Three Waves of Erin".  The Wave of Rury in Dundrum Bay; and the Wave of Cliona off Cape Clear, are the other parts.  The Tonns are known as the Northern Wave.  Whenever the hero Cúchulainn lifted his shield and smote it the three waves of Erin echoed this signal and roared over the ocean. 

Manannán is said to have sailed around the headlands of Inishowen often with his daughters Áine and Aoife.

Stories, Myths and Legends associated with Manannan Mac Lír

How the Fianna got their horses

The Fate of the Children of Turenn

The Wasting Sickness of Cúchulainn

Bodb Dearg


The Coming of Finn

Manannan and Bran Mac Febal


Manannan at Play

The Lad of the Skins

The Voyage of Bran Mac Febal (poem)

The Story of the Tuatha De Danann

Death Tales of the Tuatha De Danann

Aine and Ailill Olum

Bran Mac Febail (as Gaeilge)

The Adventures of Art son of Conn

Cat-Heads and Dog-Heads

Cormac Mac Art in Faery

The Green Champions

The Hard Servant

The Help of the Men of Dea


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