His life experience as an automation engineer, project manager and business-man gave him an insight to how history is written and told from different points of view. Myth and legend is just history without a known author or without authority.
This insight, and his childhood experiences of mythic Sligo, brought the discipline of anthropology to his attention and led him to a course of study at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth to complete a BA (Hons), an MA and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology.
His research in the borderlands between the fields of medicine and religion and spirituality drew his attention to the function that life-experiences contribute bring to the construction or destruction of ideas of spirit, soul, self and identity. The Great Irish Famine is a good example of what can undermine a sense of safety, security and well-being. How it is written is essential. Until Irish people come to terms with what actually did happen as distinct from what our school-books have told us, we will remain fragile in the face of adversity. The Story Of The Great Irish Famine seeks to begin this project afresh.
Michael has recently started the Sligo Myths and Legends Summer School. His most recent work is on the Myths and Legends from the Northwest Ireland, The Cailleach of Sligo.