Statues Based on Irish Folklore

Although not as popular as Greek or Norse Mythologies, Celtic Mythology, and Irish Folklore are as culturally influential and important. The Celtic gods, goddesses, demi-gods, semi-humans, heroes, villains, and tragic figures have inspired many artistic works. These statues are just some of the works based on Irish folklore.

The Children of Lir

There was a powerful king in ancient Ireland whose name was Lir. King Lir had a beautiful wife, Eva, who had 4 children together named Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra, and Conn. 3 boys and 1 girl loved their parents dearly but one day Eva died which made them very sad. After this tragic event, Lir decided to marry again.

the children of lir

However, Lir’s second wife had magical powers and she was jealous of Lir’s love for his children. Therefore, one day she took the children to a pond and turned them into swans. Although they were swans now, the children could sing and they sang to their father how Aoife cursed them.

the children of lir of irish folklore


Finvola was the daughter of the chieftain of O’Cahan clan. Although she was the daughter of a chieftain, she was very down-to-earth and genuine. Everybody in the clan loved her and was very sad when she decided to marry a Scottish man and move to other lands.

finvola and her lyr
Mark Ward

Her father allowed the marriage with only one condition. If Finvola were to die, her husband would have to send her body back to Ireland. When Finvola got sick and died, a banshee cried until her father brought her body to her hometown. The clan was so sad that they never forgot her and immortalized her with a song.

finvola of irish folklore
The Ireland Way

Grace O’Malley

Unlike the other statues, it is a fact that Grace O’Malley was a real person. Grace was a pirate and a ferocious one at that as well. She was known as the Pirate Queen of Ireland and began her career as a pirate at the age of eleven with his father.

grace o malley and her home
MaryRose Denton

Grace was also a landowner and when a rival clan killed her husband and took their lands she vowed revenge. With some preparation, she sailed to her land and took it again by killing the rival clan. Her story as a pirate however was cut short by Elizabeth I.

grace o malley the pirate

Molly Malone

A figure so culturally essential, Molly Malone is one of the most important parts of Dublin’s history. Molly is so popular that a song for called Sweet Molly Malone is named as the unofficial anthem of Dublin. All in all, Molly’s story is a sad one.

molly malone and her cart
Abigail Cropper Pires

Dubliners believe that she was a fishmonger who probably lived in the 17th century. One day Molly got sick due to cholera or another disease which gave her a fever. Molly did not survive the disease but she became a ghost and haunted the streets of Dublin trying to sell fish.

molly malone from irish folklore
Catherine Hunter

Diarmuid and Gráinne

The story of Diarmuid and Grainne is a story of a love triangle and the ensuing tragedy. Grainne is the daughter of the king of Ireland. One day, she accepts to marry Chief Fionn who is very old. At their wedding, Grainne meets Diarmuid, a friend and soldier of Fionn, and falls in love with him.

diarmuid and grainne from irish folklore
Rev. DBH

Although Diarmuid refuses her at first, she puts a spell on him, and then they run away together. They hide behind trees and inside caves all over Ireland. Grainne becomes pregnant after some time and they live happily ever after until their story comes to an end when a boar kills Diarmuid.

another diarmuid and grainne statue