Sionnan And The Shannon
Acrylic and pastel on paper
50 x 25cm, 20 x 10″
Professionally framed in white wood & double mounted, size:
65.5 x 40 x 5cm, 25.7 x 15.7 x 5″
According to the legend on which this piece is based, the Shannon is named after Sionnan, who was the granddaughter of Manannán mac Lir, the god of the sea. She came to this spot to eat the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which was planted by the Druids. As she began to eat it, the waters of the pool sprang up and overwhelmed her. She was drawn down into the pool and its water began to flow over the land, forming the River Shannon.
Another version of the legend is that during the time of the Druids they would gather on sacred nights in special places throughout the country to practice their ancient ways. One such place was The Well of Knowledge in the Cavan Mountains and it is here where Druids would come to gain an insight into the magic of the land. On one such evening, the young and headstrong Sionnan set about following the Druids to this secret place. She hid in the surrounding forests, waiting for them to leave and as she did so her curiosity began to build. ‘What could possibly be contained under the cover of that well,’ she thought. Having waited until near dawn for the Druids to leave, her opportunity came. She rushed to the well and as the first bright blade of sunlight burst from over the distant hills, she opened the cover and gazed down its dark neck. Suddenly the well erupted and streamed down the mountain, slicing through the countryside and dividing the land in two. Her lifeless body was carried along with it, transforming her into a goddess and queen of all the rivers in Ireland.