The Burren: The Legend of Connor O’Quin and the Swan Maiden

There are plenty of folklore tales from The Burren that have been passed down through the ages. One such tale is The Legend of Connor O’Quin and the Swan Maiden. This story takes place at Inchiquin Lake and Castle in the heart of the Burren near Corofin.


The story goes that one day Connor O’Quin of Inchiquin saw a beautiful lady on the southern brink of the lake across from his castle. The woman was combing her hair and when he went around the lake to approach her she disappeared. He went back home disappointed and decided to keep an eye out for her the next day. The next day she appeared in the same place once again. Just like the previous day when he made his way around the lake to approach her she disappeared! Connor was sick of this and decided to set up camp behind some bushes near where he had seen her. He didn’t have to wait long before he saw her walk out of the lake, lower her hood and begin to brush her hair. Connor finally managed to speak to her. He proposed, they married and lived happily in his castle for 3 years.


One day the Chiefs of the Country decided to hold a tournament and invited Connor. His wife begged that he not invite anyone back to their home and he agreed not to. Unfortunately Connor forgot and invited the O’Brien clan back to the castle for a feast. His wife was deeply upset by this and after she served dinner she put her hood back on, ran outside and plunged into the lake never to be seen again.

Connor O’Quinn’s bad luck was not over yet though. He was playing cards with O’Brien who proposed that if he wins Connor would lose his castle. Connor foolishly agreed to this and lost the game along with his castle. O’Brien was slight generous however and allowed Connor to build a small home a little to the northwest which today lies in ruins and is known to locals as O’Quinn’s.