This project developed from a series of song projects which Michael and Aileen have conducted with the National Library of Ireland and Irish Traditional Music Archive with the support of Age and Opportunity and the Arts Council in recent years. Past projects include: The Wild Bees Nest and As I Roved Out which included nationally and internationally recognised masters in the field of traditional song in Ireland, including Rosie Stewart, Len Graham, Róisín White, Brigid Tunney, Jerry O’Reilly, Tim Lyons, Sandra Joyce and Grace Toland among many others. Please see and for information on these concerts.

Aileen Lambert on RTE’s Six One News speaking about the song project in the NLI December 2010 and The Wild Bees Nest CD Cover



In October 2016 Michael presented ‘Vizzards and Collicks’, a seminar exploring the folklore and customs surrounding Hallowe'en in Ireland  which was held in The National Library of Ireland. This day long seminar featured guest speakers, singers and film screenings in relation to Irish folklore and also saw the launch of The Michael Fortune Folklore Collection by Manchán Magan. More information at

Selection of DVD covers from The Michael Fortune Folklore Collection. (October 2016)

In 2016 they worked on a series of other 1916 related projects including Backroads to the Rising and Children of the Revolution. Backroads to the Rising was a large scale community walking and cycling event which took place on Easter Monday morning throughout Co. Wexford.

The Children of the Revolution project was a unique concert series which brought together traditional musicians and singers from throughout Ireland who were descended from men and women involved in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Children of the Revolution fiddle player Bríd Dunne beside her great-grandfather 'The O'Rahilly' and flute player Niall Keegan beside his grandfather Pat Keegan.

Most recently Michael and Aileen have been working on the song project Man, Woman and Child, again with support from the National Library, ITMA and Irish World Music Academy in University of Limerick. This song project was based on The Child Ballad Collection: a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J. Child in England and Scotland between 1882 and 1898.  To hear songs and project details visit

Selection of musicians and singers from the Children of the Revolution project with a set of Éamonn Ceannt's uilleann pipes (November 2016)

In May 2015, Aileen and Michael presented The Bird Song Project, a traditional song project based around songs in the Irish tradition which reference birds and birdsong. This project was commissioned as part of the 2015 Bealtaine Festival and included research in the National Library and the Irish Traditional Music Archive with five concerts being presented in all four provinces. Please see for more information on this project.

About Aileen and Michael

Aileen’s singing is rooted in the English language repertoire of her native County Wexford, where she regularly works with communities of all shapes and sizes, sharing her love and enthusiasm of traditional song, while undertaking field research in parallel. These projects include ‘The Wexford Song Project’, supported by Wexford County Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme, and ‘At The Foot of Mount Leinster’, supported by a Deis Award from the Arts Council. Aileen also delivers traditional song workshops in primary schools with infants up to sixth class as part of the Heritage-in-Schools Scheme. She has appeared as a guest at singing festivals and clubs, including the 2015 Frank Harte Festival. In recent years Aileen has developed a practice, with her partner Michael Fortune, of devising and facilitating traditional song projects, from themed concerts to song composition projects, with a wealth of fine traditional singers from across the country.

Michael grew up in a family immersed in story, superstition and folk belief in an area known as ‘The Macamores’, an old Gaelic stronghold in County Wexford. He completed his BA in Fine Art, specialising in video and performance, at Limerick School of Art in 1999 and his MA in Screenwriting at DLIADT in 2003. Growing up in an environment steeped in folklore 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 on film throughout Ireland over the past fifteen years, in rural and urban communities, with young and old.  Michael has pioneered the use of digital media in this area and has produced one of the most comprehensive collections of living folklore on film in Ireland to date.  In October 2016 ‘The Michael Fortune Folklore Collection’, a 21 DVD Box Set recorded between 2005 - 2016 was be launched in The National Library of Ireland in Dublin.

They continue to live in their native Wexford, at the foot of Mount Leinster, with their three young children in an environment where traditional song, story and customs are part of the fabric of his everyday family life.

Contact Details:

Aileen Lambert/Michael Fortune




Co. Wexford,


00353 (0)539256885


Background to Project

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