Tuan the King of the Deer


Killarney Red Deer

The Red Deer on the Lake Hotel Grounds

There is a herd of Red Deer that can be seen on the Lake Hotel grounds all year around. The best time to see them is early in the morning or in the evening and night-time. Each year from late September to late November the annual "Deer Rut" takes place. It is the Deer mating season and the Stags can be heard bellowing in the evenings, it is an ideal treat for Guests of the hotel to be able to experience one of Ireland's wildlife wonders from the hotel.
Each Year for the "Rut" we name the dominant Stag "Tuan" the King of the Deer, Tuan was the name in Irish mythology to a creature that could transform from one creature to the next. While the Red Deer hear stay with us all year round its still a mystery what becomes of Tuan when he leaves. Is it possible that when Tuan departs in January until late August that he transforms into an Eagle and watches his family from the sky until next years "Rut" there are many questions to be answered could we have eventually found the true story below.
tuan killarney
 Princess Sadhbh and King Tuan A Halloween Story – By Sadhbh Mannix age 8 & Louise Kimmage age 10

king tuan lake
Long, long ago on the shores of Lough Lein there lived a beautiful princess called Sadhbh. She lived in a beautiful Castle at Muckross Abbey. Sadhbh was loved by all the people of Killarney as she was gentle and kind and she loved to play her magical harp, she sang like a nightingale as she passed away her days in her magical kingdom of Killarney. In time Sadhbh met a handsome prince named Tuan and they soon became engaged to be married. They set the date for their wedding as October 31st and they were so happy to have such exciting times ahead starting out their young lives together.

king tuan
Unfortunately, not everyone loved Sadhbh and there was a jealous witch that lived nearby who was determined to put a stop to their happy plans. She hated anyone who was beautiful and happy and couldn’t stand to watch Sadhbh and Tuan being so happy together. The witch had magical powers and so she cast a horrible spell on Sadhbh and Tuan that would curse them for the rest of their days. On Halloween Eve, the night before Tuan and Sadhbh were due to be wed the witch visited them at Muckross Abbey and turned them both into two of our native Irish Red deer. She banished Sadhbh to roam the demesne of Killarney’s National Park and Tuan was sent to the lands of Castlelough and the McCarthy mór Castle.

king tuan killarney

Everyone in the Kingdom always wondered what had happened to the beautiful young lovers who had disappeared without a trace from the abbey that evening. If they listened closely they could still hear King Tuan roaring and calling Sadhbh every October and hear Sadhbh who returns in her ghostly form playing her beautiful harp strings and singing in that sweet voice waiting for Tuan her love to return to her once more.

The End


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Outdoor Activities in Killarney

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Things To Do In Killarney

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