Celtic Mermaid Aine
The Goddess Aine has three forms: a mermaid, a young woman and a hag. As a Celtic mermaid she lives at the bottom of Lough Gur (Enchanted Lake). As a young woman she is a powerful creative goddess, who made the fairy people and gave life to the earth. As a hag she defends her realm under the lake.
One day, the Earl of Desmond found Aine in her mermaid form combing her hair by the lake. He sneaked up on her and stole her magic cloak, which put her in his power. (Compare this part of the story to
"The Celtic Mermaid Wife"
) She agreed to bear the Earl a son in exchange for her freedom. This boy grew up to be exceptional in every way, once jumping into and out of a bottle. Later, due to a curse, he was condemned to spend eternity under the lake with his mother.
It is said that once every seven years Lough Gur dries up and you can see the sacred tree at the bottom of it. The tree is guarded by Aine in her hag form, while she knits the fabric of life. A man on horseback once tried to steal her cloth, but Aine made the waters of the lake retrieve the cloth, and a part of the horse as well.
The King of the Gold Mines was once accused of adultery by his wife-to-be because he was given a present by Aine. In her mermaid form she has made a likeness of him out of magic seaweed. The story ends tragically when the king is killed and his betrothed dies of grief. Mermaid Aine changed the lovers into two palm trees that grow together.