The Children of Lir
Lir was Chief of the Tuatha de Danaan. His second wife, Aoife, an enchantress, was jealous of her four step-children. She turned them into swans and decreed that they should remain so for 900 years – 300 of those years on Lough Derravaragh, near Mullingar. The children were endowed with the gift of song, and, while they themselves endured much suffering, they brought joy to all who heard their singing. The spell expired with Saint Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland and the children were converted and baptised before they died.