Irish History From The Annals
The Mermaid from Clontuskert Priory, Co. Galway.
The Irish annalists also recorded folklore and mythology, like mermaid tales, along with the more usual annual accounts.
There are three mermaids recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters between 558 and 1118. The account of 558 is part of the tale of the drowning of Eochaid and his children that is also found in the twelfth century Book of the Dun Cow. The account of 887 appears to be a description of a whale and the account of 1118 may be described as “Fisherman’s Tales”.
In 558 it was recorded:
In this year was taken the Mermaid, i.e. Liban, the daughter of Eochaidh, son of Muireadh, on the strand of Ollarbha, in the net of Beoan, son of Inli, the fisherman of Comhgall of Beannchair.
In 887 it was recorded:
A mermaid was cast ashore by the sea in the country of Alba. One hundred and ninety five feet was her length, eighteen feet was the length of her hair, seven feet was the length of the fingers of her hand, seven feet also was the length of her nose; she was whiter than the swan all over.
In 1118 it was recorded:
A mermaid was taken by the fishermen of the weir of Lis-Arglinn, in Osraighe, and another at Port-Lairge.