Art & LiteratureTravel

The Mermaid of the Cliffs of Moher

By May 10, 2018 No Comments

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most famous sights located in County Clare.

They are believed to be over 320 million years old and formed from sandstone, siltstone and shale. At first glance, this 700-foot tall rock formation overlooking the Atlantic coastline looks like a stalwart group of solemn sentinels. But I know better. When I had the overwhelming good fortune to experience their majesty, I saw past the rock and into history.

As expected, anything this old in Ireland is the stuff of ancient myths and legends. While there are many stories to explain the rock formation – from the Hag and Cu Chulainn to the corpse-eating eel – none is more intriguing to me than the Mermaid of Moher.

In the legend, an Irishman spotted a mermaid and trapped her in conversation before stealing her magic cloak. He ran to his house and hid the cloak before the mermaid followed him. She needed the cloak to return to the ocean. So with no place to go, the mermaid agreed to marry him.

Over time they had a son and a daughter. One day when the man was out fishing, the mermaid discovered the cloak and promptly used it to return to the ocean. She disappeared from the Cliffs of Moher, never to return again.

I couldn’t help but wonder why this sad mermaid legend remains today. And, why would the nameless half woman/have fish ever leave her children? Is there something we’re meant to understand in the symbolic cloak taken by the fisherman? Of course, we’ll never know but one truth is certain: the mermaid knew who she was and returned to the place that made her happy.

Hoping you enjoy this simple Cliffs of Moher video as we send you this wish: may your life be filled with a thousand wondrous journeys and the happiness that comes from knowing and loving your self.

Panoramic view over Cliffs of Moher on a overcast, cloudy and gloomy day, Ireland

Rose McInerney

Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

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