Tour Locations | Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City
LOCATION 12 | Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City
Manannan MacLir - the river god
We will soon be approaching the gangway to the Foyle Marina on your right, and just before the entrance gate, there is a wooden sculpture head for Manannan MacLir. A picture of this is now on your screen.I will tell you more about this, ahead of us reaching it.
In Irish mythology, Manannan was a prince from an ancient race who had supernatural powers. After he died, he was re-incarnated as a god. Mac Lir means the son of Lear, or the sea. It was his responsibility to guard the entrance to Lough Foyle from the area known as the Tonn Banks.
Unfortunately Manannan Mac Lir is quite a changeable fellow and when he loses his temper, it can be very dangerous for sailors. During storms in the Lough, legend is that he can be seen riding on the waves in his chariot pulled by three white horses, and the Tonn Banks have seen many shipwrecks over the years.
The sculpture head is also made from reclaimed timber from the old port. It is thought that this timber may be around 250 years old, having been in the water at the Derry docks from the 1940's but would originally have been Oregon Pine and was approx. 170 years old when it was used on the port.
Stop briefly to look at the sculpture head and then continue walking.