Tory Island , County Donegal

Like in other European countries , Ireland has myths of a great battle between two sets of deities at the beginning of the world. In Ireland , the myth was developed in such a way as to locate that battle at some great island in the sea , an island that is a must see on your Ireland tours.

Such place lies off the North-West coast of Donegal , overlooking the wild Atlantic. It is called Oilean Torai , in earlier form Tor-Inis , the import of both names being ‘towery island’. Because of its remoteness and its evocative pinnacle appearance , from the mainland the whole island could easily be imagined as a sort of tower where the waters meet with the skies.

The island has been inhabited since antiquity. Tradition claims that it was the residence of Balar , King of the destructive deities called Fomhoire who lived in the watery regions and who fought against the bright deities called Tuatha De Danann. Balar had a destructive eye in his forehead , which destroyed all on which he looked , burning up landscapes and reducing men and beasts to ashes.

Hearing a prophecy that he would be slain by his own grandchild , he kept his only daughter locked in a tower on the island so that no man could gain access to her. She did meet a young man , however , and when Balar realised that she was pregnant he ordered that the baby be killed immediately upon its birth.

The baby was a beautiful boy , and the soldiers of Balar took pity on him and allowed him to be spirited away to the mainland , where he grew up to be the divine champion Lugh , leader of the Tuatha De Danann. In the great primordial battle , Lugh confronted his tyrant grandfather , pierced the terrible eye , and slew him. On the more level end of the island , a lighthouse stands today.

To discover more about the mythical tale contact us now to organise a visit on your Ireland tours.