The Land Of Promise

Irish mythology and folklore speaks of Tír Tairngire, the Land of Promise or prophecy. The descriptions of this place are generally paradisical and it is often the intended destination of imrama, voyage stories, such as St Brendan’s. The mythological version was the source of the Rowan tree, which the Tuatha Dé Danann (Fair Folk) then spread throughout the Blessed Isles.

A further complication arises from the explorations of Tim Severin, who used the Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis (The Voyage of St Brendan) as a guide to sail through our reality from Ireland to Newfoundland between 1976 and 1978. In this interpretation of the story, Newfoundland could be considered the Land of Promise and has some parallels with that Navigatio‘s description of it.

Coincidentally, academics have suggested that there are parallels between the original Irish myth and several Icelandic traditions, although the rowans are not a feature of the Icelandic version.

The modern Land of Promise is an Otherworld island that shares boundaries with the isle of Foula in the Shetlands. Close range reconnaissance trips undertaken by the Rangers working with local Parish Wardens identified this Otherworld island in 1873, although the name was suggested later by an Irish academic due to the number of Rowan trees observed there.


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