One of the deities that can be found in the mythology of several different Celtic nations is Manannán; called Manannán mac Lir (son of the sea) in Ireland, and Manawydan to the Welsh. His home was said to be the Isle of Man, called Manaw in Welsh and Manu in Irish; Manannán’s name clearly derives from this and since this name for the island is a later development O hOgain posits that Manannán himself and his mythology are later developments as well, likely dating to no earlier that the 3rd century CE (O hOgain, 2006). The Irish initially borrowed the name from the Welsh, but then added the title “mac Lir” which was then borrowed into the Welsh as “map Llyr” (O hOgain, 2006). This demonstrates the composite nature of Manannán that has developed over time as the cultures shared mythology back and forth. To the Manx he was the first king of the Island of Man, and stories locate his grave there, as well as tell of how he would walk among the Manx fishermen as they repaired their nets (Monaghan, 2004).
Manannán appearance is described as being that of a handsome warrior (Berresford Ellis, 1987). Manannán’s wife is Fand, a peerless beauty who at one point had an affair with Cu Chulain, until Manannán used his magic to make Cu Chulain forget about her and return to his own wife, Emer. It is said that Manannán traveled to the mortal world to father Mongán, a prince and hero, and under the name of Oirbsiu he may have fathered the Conmhaicne sept of Leinster (O hOgain, 2006). There are many stories about his various sons and daughters, who are usually treated as minor characters (O hOgain, 2006). One of his more well known children is Aine, although some sources list her as his wife.