The work of artist/folklorist Michael Fortune

About is a living online archive centered on the practice of artist/folklorist Michael Fortune and an insight into his practice. He has been working in this field since the late 1990s and this website is a good introduction to his folklore, oral history and place-based recording work. This website contains links to 27 YouTube playlists which amount to over 300 individual films and hundreds of hours of content. However if you wish to view more please subscribe to his YouTube Channel which has over 1,300 recordings. You should also consider following on Facebook as there are 1,000s of posts which simple can’t be shared here.

If you are looking for genuine, source based and practice led research from Ireland, the work of Michael is probably one of the best entry point into the contemporary living superstitions, beliefs and customs of the country. He has dedicated the past 25 years of his life to this and in most cases produced and archived under his own steam and without any agency support.

All of the material which he has collected, archived and re-presented on stems from localised field work which he has undertaken within communities and with individuals the length and breath of Ireland. He says that “this is not copy and paste folklore or material produced for academic posturing or online click-bait, instead I generate material with the intention of widening the conversations around the area of contemporary folklore, folk-belief and customs in 21st century Ireland.”

Recording ‘Following the Whitethorn‘ in Ballinrobe. Co. Mayo, 2007

Speaking in October 2016, author and broadcaster

Manchán Magan stated that

“There have only been a few people - guardians, sacred recorders - who have collected and documented this material and Michael is one of them. Michael Fortune in years to come is going
to be Ireland’s Alan Lomax.”

The Irish Dresser

and Folklore Calendar


In the Summer of 2020 and in the depths of Covid I decided to produce a calendar using the images and stories of Irish dressers that I’d documented around the country since 2015 as part of The Irish Dresser Project. I had thousands of photos on my hard-drives and hundreds of stories in my head that needed to see the light of day.

So in September I designed the calendar from my home here in Wexford. Once I had a draft produced, I decided to add another layer and pencil in various Irish folklore calendar dates. To be honest, I was tired of seeing dates on calendars and diaries that had no connection to me in Ireland. I also noticed many were designed and printed outside of Ireland and this was something that I addressed and deliberately got mine printed with Walsh Print in Kerry.

So here we are, three years and three calendars later. The calendar has been a huge success and every year has been a sell-out. The operation is a very simple where I have my hand to everything from the taking the photos, to the design and then the distribution. This is all done from my home/studio here in rural Wexford and sales open in late October and finish up just before Christmas.

90% of my sales come from online while I do have some bookshops around the country that stock them. I am too small of a producer to get them stocked nationwide and the time chasing and following up shops simply isn’t feasible.

Maureen Carroll, Birr, Co. Offaly

The 2024 Irish Dresser and Folklore Calendar

I am currently designing the 2024 calendar which you can now pre-order from this website. Shipping will be late October 2023.

I have kept the calendar costs the same as it was in 2021 and they will retail €15 each plus €3 P+P on all orders in Ireland while postage varies on any orders outside of Ireland.

You will be able to an purchase them using all Major Cards and Revolut, while if you don’t use online payment can also order by Cheque or Postal Order.

Michael Fortune, 22nd September 2023

PDFs of Irish Dresser and Folklore Calendar

(2021, 2022 and 2023)

The 2021 Calendar

Featuring dressers and stories from Mayo, Tipperary, Carlow, Waterford and Wexford.

Click image above to view a PDF of the 2021 calendar in ISSUU.

The 2022 Calendar

Featuring dressers and stories from Cork, Wicklow, Galway, Clare, Mayo, Meath, Tipperary, Carlow, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford.

Click image above to view a PDF of the 2022 calendar in ISSUU.

The 2023 Calendar

Featuring dressers and stories from Mayo, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Carlow, Offaly, Waterford and Wexford.

Click image above to view a PDF of the 2023 calendar in ISSUU.

Pre Order alphabet letters with space copy on wooden background

Preorder The Irish 2024 Dresser and Folklore Calendar

I am currently putting the final touches to the 2024 calendar which will be sent to print at in early Octoberand the calendars will be available for shipping by mid October. This year features dressers from counties Meath, Mayo, Tipperary,Sligo, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Offaly and Carlow plus a load more interesting folklore and calendar dates from throughout Ireland.

If you would like to pre-order a copy please do so below and these will be shipped as soon as I have them in my hand. There will only be 3,000 calendars printed this year, compared to 5,000 in previous years as I am also working on a new folklore publication entitled The Folklore of North Wexford which will be launched on the 1st of December. This new publication will draw on my time and resources and as I am one person producer and I have balance both.

The Calendar - Where it is printed and technical spec.

The calendar will be printed with Walsh Print in Co. Kerry and will A3 in size folded down to A4, complete with a drill hole for ease of hanging. It is saddle stitched with full image on top and month and information on the bottom.

The days and months are in the Irish and English language and the front cover is a 300gsm silk gloss laminate paper while the inside pages are on 150gsm silk. It is hung via a punched hole. Please refer to the YouTube videos here which shows you what the publications looks like.

€3 shipping on all to anywhere in Ireland.

The calendar costs €15 plus €3 shipping on any order numbered from 1 to 10. Due to rising An Post costs, I have to charge for P+P this year and have set a fixed €3 fee for all orders. This offer stands for all 32 counties of Ireland. Orders are shipped each day and it is usually next day delivery within Ireland if ordered before 4pm. Prices for orders outside of Ireland vary and again are based on set An Post costs. When you are ordering please select the number of calendars you want and then select the appropriate postage.

Credit Card Payments

The calendar can be paid for using all major credit cards and this year I have upgraded from PayPal to Stripe which handles payment easier.


You can play by Revolut too and my Revtag is 'michaelfortune' or 0876470247. Please include your postal address when paying by Revolut.

Shops around Ireland

As I am such a small producer it is simply not feasible to stock the calendars in shops in every county in the country. It simple takes up too much admin and time. In saying that I have built up a list of bookshops which I will stock them in and will let you know these once these have been confirmed.

Other Payment Methods

If you don’t use online shopping you can also order by Cheque or Postal Order and they should be made out to Michael Fortune and posted to Curragraigue, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Y21C867. Please include the senders full address with these orders.

No Twixing or Crossing

About the Publication

No Twixing or Crossing is the title of this collection of beliefs and superstitions which I produced as a result of conversations with a group of Traveller women from the Bunclody area of County Wexford in January and February 2023.

The content shared here with me is practiced, believed and multi-layered. This is not 'copy and paste' folklore. Instead, these accounts are real and transcribed from the mouths of those who practice them. What is immediately striking about this collection is the lack of names associated with the stories.

For many folklorists, collectors and historians, this very fact goes against all the standards of recording and documenting, as the person's name is a vital part of the story. However, this was the condition that the group made with me prior to this publication; all the stories were to be nameless.

Naturally at first I thought this would throw up archiving and validity questions but after the first session with the women, I could see it made sense for them. It made sense as the stories were communal and collective and they were the shared voices of the women. The stories were of and from their community and not the individual. The stories had a purpose and there was no interest in whose voice it was or who owned them - that didn’t matter, as they all owned the folklore.

The women agreed that my phone could be used to voice record the chats as I simply would not remember the content as stories were flying at me left, right and centre.

The thing is, I grew up in a rural working-class house in Wexford where these kinds of conversations took place in the same manner and at the same pace so this was natural territory for me.

The sessions were multi-layered and multi-voiced with loads of natural cross-talking, side chats, laughs, jokes, messing and general busyness. In many cases, the stories shared here don’t just belong within the Travelling Community, they are found right across the county and the country.

However it is the currency that they hold in this community that strikes me. The beliefs and stories have a reason to exist as they are valued and practiced. As a result, these beliefs, customs, expressions etc often change slightly as they are passed on in the traditional manner of word of mouth. Sometimes they take on different meanings and things get lost, re-shaped and moulded to suit the lives of those who tell them. That is okay as there are no rules or right or wrong when it comes to folk belief and practice - we all do what works for us.

In saying all of this, I do not want to underplay the great sessions we had making and chatting and working together. The activities around making crêpe paper flowers was something special, likewise the St. Brigid’s crosses. These meant something to the group as the flowers brought back memories for the older women who made them as children while learning how to make St. Brigid's crosses meant a lot to the women.

For the last session, my own daughters came in with me and we sang, chatted, told jokes and riddles and made more stuff and as I was leaving the group gave me a plate which I will cherish dearly. I love the content in this publication however I will remember the relationships and the craic that I had with the woman the most.

Michael Fortune, March 2023

View a PDF of

No Twixing or Crossing

Click on the cover of the book to view a copy of the book in ISSUU.

Order a copy of ‘No Twixing or Crossing‘

In June 2023 I ordered 150 copies of this book which were distributed to the group and local libraries. Such was the demand from the public to own their own copy that on the 3rd of July 2023 a limited run of 150. Within one day they sold out.

A 3rd reprint of 150 books was ordered on the 11th of July and these sold out before they arrived from the printers. Such has been the demand Michael has decided to order a 4th reprint which can be pre-ordered below.

The book was designed and printed in Ireland (Walsh Print in Kerry) and you can view a preview of the book on Issuu above or also borrow a copy from libraries in Co. Wexford. They cost €12 each plus P+P and can be shipped anywhere in Ireland or the World. Postage is based on An Post postage costs in Ireland.

Credit Card Payments

The calendar can be paid for using all major credit cards via Stripe which handles global payments.


You can play by Revolut too and my Revtag is 'michaelfortune' or 0876470247. Please include your postal address when paying by Revolut.

Other Payment Methods

If you don’t use online shopping you can also order by Cheque or Postal Order and they should be made out to Michael Fortune and posted to Curragraigue, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Y21C867. Please include the senders full address with these orders.

View a PDF of

No Twixing or Crossing

Click on the cover of the book to view a copy of the book in ISSUU.

England, Scotland, Wales,EU

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About Michael

Michael Fortune is many things to many people. Some people know him as an artist and filmmaker, more as an educator, more as a collector of folklore and more as a lover of traditional song. He grew up in The Macamores, on the east coast of Wexford and completed his BA in Fine Art (1999) and MA in Film (2003) and since then has been a pioneer in the area of socially engaged work within Ireland. During this time he has widened the conversations regarding the intersection of traditional and contemporary cultures and the general appreciation and understanding of culture in all its manifestations.

The interest in Irish folklore and place wasn’t as popular as it is now in 2023 and for the first decade and a half, Michael found it a lonely road and very few creative practitioners with any interest in the area while many in the academic circles kept things tight and did not have an understanding of outreach and public engagement outside of their own circles. Considering the content was coming from people, i.e. the folk of Ireland, he could not comprehend such an approach and felt a duty and responsibility to share the stories and content to as wide a reach as possible. The fact that he bought the domain in 2004 shows how much interest there was in Irish folklore at the time.

In the late 1990’s he picked up a video camera and began collecting stories and accounts in day care centres, halls, schools and private homes around the country and shared them back to the communities from which they came - a decade before YouTube and social media and the ‘share’ button concept ever came into existence. At the core of his practice are people and his genuine connection and engagement, plus his inquisitive mind, results in uniquely rich and personal and often unrecorded material. The intimate nature of the relationships with the people and circumstances he encounters, and the subsequent reflective treatment of the material at hand, is a key feature of Fortune’s work.

His work sits as comfortably in an international conference, film festival or gallery, as it does in a day care centre or in a local village hall. His treatment of his source material is never compromised and he doesn’t make work to suit a certain audience; the material is the material and the audience comes to it. Each viewer connects and reacts to the work in their own way and with their own understanding.

Growing up in an area rich in folklore and belief has awarded Michael a natural understanding of the crossover between traditional and contemporary beliefs and customs, and the fluid borders where fact and fiction meet. As a result he has been commissioned to undertake multiple folklore collections, oral history programmes, mapping projects and project work throughout Ireland over the past twenty years, and he has worked on and curated shows with the National Museum (Country Life), the National Library of Ireland, the Irish Traditional Music Archive and a host of local museums, libraries and institutions around the country.

Recording ‘Songs of the Wexford Coast’ 2019.

Since 2016 he has used social media to share content while also acting as a research platform based on the responses he receives from viewers and followers. He has also contributed articles and features to various national and local papers as well as making various appearances on RTÉ Television and Radio.

He does not use Instagram or Twitter as his audience is not there. His popular page on Facebook receives between 500,000 – 2.5 million interactions every four weeks which showcases local Irish content and sources.

In his home County of Wexford, he has spearheaded a resurgent interest and confidence in local customs and beliefs and in particular those around the month of May and Hallowe’en and has reestablished the May Bush tradition back into the fabric of the county with The Wexford May Bush Festival.

His work also brings him into classrooms all over the country at Primary, Secondary and Third Level and for the past 12 years he has worked at Limerick School of Art and Design on the MA in Art and Design Teacher Education programme.

He continues to live in his native Wexford, at the foot of Mount Leinster, with his partner Aileen Lambert and their three young children and continues to conduct project work throughout the country.

Screening back of children’s folklore collection in a handball alley in St. Mary’s Park,

Limerick City. March 2005. Collection entitled “The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley”.



Michael fortune


00353 (0)87 6470247




Co. Wexford