Legend Of Úna Bhán:
MacDermot was chieftain of Moylurg, a Celtic Kingdom in North Roscommon. He had a
beautiful daughter, Úna
Bhán - so named because of her long blonde hair.
His neighbour was Tomás Láidir Costello, a good and sincere man, handsome and
Úna Bhán and Tomás Láidir fell in love but
MacDermot would not allow the relationship because he believed Tomás Láidir was not
good enough for his daughter. Tomás Láidir was banished from the area and
MacDermot had Úna Bhán confined on Castle Island, Lough Key, then called "The Rock".
Úna Bhán went into a deep melancholy and was dying of grief. Tomás
Láidir, hearing of the situation went to see her, and when he left, vowed that
if MacDermot did not send a message for him to return before he reached the
river, he would never go back. The messenger was sent, but did not reach Tomás
Láidir until after he had crossed the river. Being a man of honour Tomás Láidir
was unable to break his vow and did not return.
Úna Bhán died of a broken heart and was buried on Trinity Island,
Lough Key. In
his grief Tomás Láidir used to swim to the island every night to keep vigil at
her grave. Eventually he got pneumonia, and realising that he was dying
requested that MacDermot allow him to be buried beside Úna Bhán. His request was
granted and so the two lovers were belatedly united.
Tradition says that two trees grew up over
their graves, entwining together to form a Lovers Knot, standing guard over the