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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Resources for Studying the Daoine Maithe

 I've written before about resources, more generally, for studying the Good Neighbours across the Celtic language speaking cultures that acknowledge them and a few years ago I wrote about good resources for Irish paganism specifically. But I don't think I've ever written a list of resources I trust for learning about the Irish Daoine Uaisle in particular so today seems like a good day to tackle that. There is so much out there that's bad quality, fiction put out as folklore, or just plain wrong that I think its especially important for people to know where the good sources are. Below I'll give all the people, books, and sites that I consider trustworthy sources on this topic specifically


  • Eddie Lenihan – a renowned storyteller and also the author of several books, Eddie Lenihan is a great resource for folklore about the Good Folk. His book "Meeting the Othercrowd' in particular, as well as his new Youtube channel and the various other interviews of his available in that site.
  • Lora O’Brien – has a series called 'folklore friday' as part of a wider YouTube channel which often features fairylore and stories of the Irish Othercrowd. Lora also offers several classes through the Irish Pagan School covering the subject.
  • Dr. Jenny Butler – Dr. Butler has several videos on Youtube discussing the Good People, and also offers a class through University College Cork called 'Myth and Magic an Introduction to the Study of Irish Folklore and Mythology' which discusses vital aspects of the Good Folk and the Otherworld. 
  • Michael Fortune – a great resource for Irish folklore, including stories of the Othercrowd. Michael Fortune has a series of youtube interviews he’s done with people around Ireland discussing folklore, beliefs, and practices which includes a series of first and secondhand accounts of people interacting with the Daoine Maithe.
  • 'The Banshee' by Patricia Lysaght - the author's dissertation this book is literally everything you could ever want to know about the Bean sidhe
  • 'Meeting the Othercrowd' by Lenihan and Green - mentioned above this book is a collection of stories about the Good Folk.
  • 'Tales of the Wicklow Hills' by Richard Marsh - a collection of stories and legends, as well as anecdotal accounts, from the Wicklow area. Includes accounts of púcaí, fairy trees, and fairy forts. 
  • 'Away With the Fairies' by William Henry - A collection of folktales and folk beliefs from Galway, including various stories of na Uaisle.

  •  Ireland’s Folklore and Traditions – excellent blog about traditional Irish beliefs, traditions, and folklore, with a great article about the 'reality of Irish fairies'. 
  • Blúiríní Béaloidis – a podcast about Irish folklore with some excellent discussions of the Good People
  • Circle Stories – a facebook page that features articles discussing Irish folk beliefs, with many great articles about the Othercrowd and Otherworld.
  • Dú – a treasure trove of folklore recorded in the early 20th century including many very important stories about the Daoine Maithe. 

So I know I usually tend to seem a bit harsh on fiction but there are several books that deal with the Irish Good People in a creative way that I do like and which I feel stays true to their nature as depicted in folklore. So I'm going to include them here as well to wrap up this article.
  • Ruth Frances Long – this author has several series, but I especially want to highlight the Dubh Linn series which begins with ‘A Crack in Everything‘. It heavily involves the Good Folk, as well as a blend of other folklore and belief. 
  • Peadar Ó'Guilín - this author has a two book series 'The Grey Lands' which looks at an alternate world Ireland which has been cut off from the rest of the globe and is at the mercy of the Othercrowd. 

lone tree on the path to an Ceathrú Chaol

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