In my original message, I misspelled "Roan Inish," for which I apologize.
More on selkies:
The OED reports many variant spellings -- saelkie, sealchie, sealkie,
selchie, selchy, selkie, selky, silkey, silkie, and silky -- and indicates
the word originated in Orkney and Shetland, and means "seal ... Also, in
folklore, a creature or spirit having the appearance of a seal; spec. one
able to assume human form."
I also discovered two wonderful books on this subject:
Williamson, Duncan. The Broonie, Silkies & Fairies: Travellers' Tales of
the Other World. Illustrated by Alan B. Herriot. New York: Harmony
Books, 1987. ISBN 0-517-56525-0. -- A collection of Scottish folktales
collected and retold by Duncan Williamson, who lives in Fife, Scotland.
Williamson has an informative introduction to his book, "Silkies and the
Cooper, Susan. The Selkie Girl. Illustrated by Warwick Hutton. New
York: A Margaret K. McElderry Book, 1986. ISBN 0-689-50390-3. -- A
children's book ... "Versions of this seal story are still found in the
Orkney and Shetland islands, and in places throughout the coasts and
islands of Scotland and Ireland."
I still have not seen the movie, "The Secret of Roan Inish." Thank you to
those who have, so far, responded to my original queries.
George H. Scheetz