Fionn Cycle Folklore Project

Director: Prof. Natasha Sumner

The Fionn Cycle Folklore Project was initiated in September 2019 with grant support from the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme and Harvard University (Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship; Barajas Dean’s Innovation Fund for Digital Arts and Humanities; Milton Fund). The project is currently funded until summer 2022.

The project is constructing a trilingual (Gaeilge / Gàidhlig / English) online database of c.3,400 stories and songs about the best-loved heroes of the Gaelic world: Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) and his roving warrior band, the Fianna.

Stories about Fionn and the Fianna have been told for over a millennium and have been carried everywhere Irish and Gaelic speakers went -- even as far as North America!

The database will be a research tool for scholars and a resource for the public to discover tales about these fascinating Gaelic heroes.


In academic year 2019-2020, Dr. Brian Frykenberg was employed as a research associate to prepare catalogue data. One important task involved recording geodata so the stories can be mapped:

Image of work in progress

Website construction is ongoing, and the database is expected to launch in 2021/22.


The online database will be free and open to the public. Launch details will be provided when available.

In the interim, researchers are welcome to consult the preliminary catalogue I prepared as a supplement to my doctoral dissertation:

A Catalogue of Fenian Folklore (© 2015, all rights reserved)


Emigrant Support Programme logo