The Water Horses of White Claddagh

My grandmother told me a story when I was small about Manannán Mac Lir, the powerful sea god of Atlantica who had the ability to change the weather. My grandmother was on the White Claddagh seashore seeking shelter from the storm when suddenly Manannán Mac Lir, from the old legends rose up from the waves on his majestic white horse. Behind him were four beautiful young women with bluebell eyes and golden tresses riding four white horses with silver manes. They looked like the froth of the waves themselves.
Manannán’s deep voice boomed above the noise of the thunder; ‘I am looking for a young man to marry my eldest daughter. My grandmother stammered nervously; ‘My brother might be willing’, she knew this sea god could raise mountains and tame seas. ‘Alya, do you hear that!’ he bellowed joyously. ‘Yes father’, she replied, but I already told you I don’t want to be married yet’. ‘Nonsense you will be married at sunset’. Alya sighed, her father would never listen to her. ‘Bring your brother down to the beach this time tomorrow’ Manannán commanded. ‘I will’, she replied and began to climb the steep rocky path home. When she got to the house she saw her brother Oisín sitting outside. She quickly told him the story and he said; ‘I don’t want to do this, but if it keeps you safe I will’. ‘Thank you’, she said, going inside to rest.
When she got up in the morning it took her a while to remember what had happened the day before but finally she did and got ready immediately. Oisín was already waiting for her and he didn’t look as if he had slept a wink. Alya was waiting down at the beach, looking really grumpy, but when she spotted Oisín her face cleared. My grandmother thought it was love at first sight as Oisín looked equally dazzled. Manannán rose up out of the waves beaming with joy; ‘I need a young man to come with us under the waves as my kingdom is falling and only a human can restore balance’. ‘I’ll come’, Oisín replied eagerly, ‘I mean if you want me to’. ‘Excellent’, bellowed Manannán, ‘you will be married at sunset and once you are in Atlantica you will have your own white stallion’. ‘I suppose this is goodbye’, my grandmother said quietly. ‘I will always be with you’, Oisín said with a smile, giving her the biggest hug he could. He then broke free and walked into the waves joining hands with Alya. ‘Goodbye’, my grandmother shouted just before they dived into the lapping waves. She turned to go but just then she caught sight of hundreds of galloping white horses riding the waves.
At the end of the story my grandmother said, and that is why I raised you after you were delivered to me because your parents became part of the ocean’.