Manannan or Manannan Mac Lir was a popular deity in Celtic mythology, belonging to an Irish mystical race known as the Tuatha De Danann.
Son of Lir, the Irish God of the sea, Manannan’s title was Lord of the Sea until his Father’s death whereupon he took the title.
Manannan was connected through mists with other worlds, where the souls journeyed in the after-life. Also known as a master of tricks and illusions, Manannan had many magical possessions.
His horse, called Aonbarr, could gallop across the waves of the sea as if they were solid ground. He also had a ship called ‘wave sweeper’ that needed no oars or sails to travel; a sword called The Answerer that could cut through any armour or shield; a spear called Ctann Buide (Yellow Tree); and a breastplate which no weapon could pierce.
Manannan’s famous great cloak could change to any colour he wanted. He could shroud himself in mist and disappear from his enemy’s sight. It was with this magical cloak that he was able to protect the Isle of Man.
And when Manannan was angry the cloak would make a thunderous sound, bringing forth stirring storms.
(You can see it in action at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btMDu8rAUwg).
The Isle of Man was the throne of Manannan, his stronghold was on the top of Barrule, and he held his court from Manannan’s Chair at Cronk y Voddy. “Manand” is the Old Irish name for the Isle of Man and the Isle of Man actually takes its name from Manannan.
In Irish mythology, Manannan was killed in battle in the battle of Magh Cuilenn and is said to be buried in the Tonn Banks, off the coast of Donegall.
Many shipwrecks have occurred there and it is said the spirit of Manannan rides on the storm.