Tír Nan Óg – Tale

Transcript – Informant speaking
Mother: “In Ireland, there are a lot of folklore stories and there are always stories about Tír Nan Óg, the land, which basically in Irish means the land of the young, em, and the idea was that this guy, who was the son of Finn MaCool, em, fell in love with this lady from Tír Na nÓg, and was brought away to this land of eternal youth. And lived there happily for hundreds of years, em, and then kind of wanted to go back to Ireland, eh, and was sent back on a horse back to Ireland, but was told if he ever dismounted that he wouldn’t be able to come back to Tír Nan Óg again. Em, and he went back and everybody he knew had died, and he had an accident and fell off the horse and basically that was him back in Ireland. So… that was kind of one of the stories from Irish folklore.”

This story came up in a call between me and my parents about irish folklore. Both of them are originally from Northern Ireland, hence their relation to the stories. I’m not entirely sure where specifically my mom learned about this one from.

Again, as stated in previous pieces, it should be noted that the person speaking has a very thick Northern Irish Accent. Also, the pronunciation for Tír Nan Óg phonetically reads something like ‘Tier nan Oak.’

I thought this was interesting as it was very tragic. There’s a big element of loss within the story. The protagonist has everything in the beginning, but not only does he get separated from his lover, but he gets placed back in a world he doesn’t understand with all his friends gone. Irish history (especially modern history) is very violent in spite of the islands beauty, so I think the tragic relationships in their folklore is interesting.