A statue of the Celtic God of the sea, Manannán mac Lir, has been stolen from Gortmore viewing point near Magilligan.
Previously, the statue could be found with outstretched arms overlooking panoramic views of Magilligan, the Lough Foyle and the Atlantic Ocean. Police say they are investigating the statue’s disappearance.
The sculpture, commissioned by Limavady Borough Council in 2012, formed part of a ‘myths and legends’ trail with other sculptures dotted throughout the Roe Valley area.
Manannán mac Lir was revered by the ancient Celts of both Ireland and Britain and survives in Welsh legend as Manawydan. It is from him that the Isle of Man is named.
He is remembered in the Roe Valley through the place-name of Carraig Manáinn (Manann’s Rock) off Magilligan. These are the white breakers off Magilligan Point, from the Irish word ‘toinn’ meaning waves, where Manannán was believed to dwell.
In Celtic mythology he appears as a trickster god with power to control the weather and bring sea-mist and fogs at will and bring storms in his anger. His magical possessions included ‘Enbharr’, a white horse he used to ride across the waves, as well as a cloak of mists to make him invisible, a sword which could not be defeated named Freagrach and a famous ship known as the Wave Sweeper.