Both Barde, and Harper, is preparde, which by their cunning art, / Doe strike and cheare up all the gestes, with comfort at the hart - John Derricke, Images of Ireland, 1581

Richard Marsh, Bardic Storyteller

Irish Myths, Legends, Folk Tales

and International Stories


Richard’s storytelling blog is about Irish, Spanish, Basque and world stories.

See the bottom of this page for details on storytelling CDs Saints and Gore and Fairy Lore and The Tower of Breogán. Click here for details of the engraving on the right.

Wicklow Archaeological Society, The Folklore of Ireland Society, Irish Actors’ Equity, Society of Authors, Dublin Yarnspinners, Storytellers of Ireland (Aos Scéal Éireann), Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos (International Storytelling Network), Writers in Schools.

Richard Marsh at the court of Henry VIII in 1525

Richard Marsh at the Mount Clemens, Michigan, Tellabration 21 November 1998 Storytelling tours in the US have taken me to Washington, Oregon, California, Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont.

Spain and the Basque Country: Sabadell, Móstoles, Sabiñánigo, Jaca, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Pamplona, Santander, Palencia, León, Zamora, Ponferrada, Ourense, A Coruña, Avilés, Salamanca, Málaga, Fuengirola, El Ejido, Jaén, Mérida, Valdemoro, Llanes, Mieres, Burgos, San Sebastian, Getxo, Barakaldo, Torrelavega, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Oviedo, Calamocha, Monreal del Campo, Teruel, Gandía, Fuenlabrada, Segovia, Leganés, Ávila, Toledo, Arévalo, Villagarcía de Arousa, Pontevedra, Ferrol, Guadix, Motril, La Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz, Las Palmas, Telde, Ingenio, Puerto del Rosario, Ribadeo, Viveiro, Vigo, Córdoba, Sevilla, San Fernando (Cádiz), Marbella, Ronda, Granada, Loja, Órgiva, Miranda de Ebro, Irún, Tolosa, Ordizia, Santurtzi, Laredo, Castro Urdiales.

Elsewhere: Germany, Norway, Sweden.

Richard Marsh at The Irish Cultural Centre of New England, Canton MA, 16 November 2007. Photo by Karen Chace.

Sample reviews

“I joined in the mood of anticipation, but little did I know that I would be led into a magic world of breathless excitement and wonder. Just by sitting in the audience, I felt I was participating in an adventure which was summoning from many listeners a flow of colorful recalls, of wild imaginings, and magical visions beyond the realm of logic and common reality.
“... [Marsh] is counted among that special company of artists who search out and preserve what peoples, in all times and climes, have created. They are, in fact, the guardians of the culture, and more, its transmitters and teachers.”
From “The Lore of the Seanachaí” by Mikel O’Riordan in The Irish Herald, San Francisco, May 1997

“With a soft lilting voice Richard Marsh blends the beauty of the old Celtic verse with the stories of the legendary heroes of Ireland.”
Elizabeth Gibson, Storyteller and Teacher, Sacramento, California

Richard Marsh at Escola Oficial de Idiomas in Orense, Galicia, Spain: March 2003. Photo by Iain Colquhoun.

“The lights were dimmed as the first group of 60 students entered the world of the storyteller and within minutes we could hear the distinct voice and commanding presence of Richard Marsh launch into the opening line of Oisín and Niamh in Tír na nÓg .... Long, long ago in Ireland, before the coming of the modern age, there was a band of warriors called the Fianna ....
“Two stories later, the second being Jaun Zuria - The Fair-Skinned Lord, an Irish/Basque saga, it was obvious that every student in the library had discovered again the richness of listening to a story. ... this strange man who could talk for an hour without as much as a yawn being noticed. When we blew the candle out and locked up for the night, we were all left with the magic of the story and the teller in our mind.”
John Liddy, Teacher and Librarian, British Institute for Young Learners [of English as a foreign language], Madrid, January 1998

“The Lehigh Valley Story Festival was so pleased to have Richard Marsh bring his bardic storytelling to grace our program [4 April 2008]. With a voice that one can listen to forever, he softly regaled us with stories from the ancient Irish cycles. A more pleasant evening one can not have.”
Charles Kiernan, Director, Lehigh Valley Story Festival 2008, Bethlehem Pennsylvania

Richard Marsh at The Irish Cultural Centre of New England, Canton MA, 16 November 2007. Photo by Karen Chace.

“Thank you so much for presenting your lovely program ‘Irish Legends and Folk Tales’ here at the Fredricksen Library [10 April 2008]. Your comfort with your craft and your passion for it made for a truly enchanting evening. Your approachable manner and sense of humor really helped the audience feel whisked away to another place and time. Although the appreciation of the audience was evident, I’d like to add that programs like yours greatly enhance the community and help the library grow as a cultural center, not just a place to get books! I truly appreciate the heart and soul you put into your storytelling.”
Jessica Nupponen, Community Events Coordinator, Fredricksen Library, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Richard is one of the storytellers featured in the History Channel’s 5-part series Celtic Myths.


For those who can’t come to the places in Ireland,
Richard travels to other countries to tell the stories.

Richard at Ourense, Galicia, 16 March 2011.

Escuela Oficial de Idiomas
(Official Language School)
Ourense, Galicia
16 March 2011

Irún, Gipuzkoa

Escuela Oficial de Idiomas
(Official Language School)
Irún, Gipuzkoa
February 2016

Ordizia, Gipuzkoa

Escuela Oficial de Idiomas
(Official Language School)
Ordizia, Gipuzkoa
March 2016

Next storytelling tour outside Ireland

Richard Marsh Storytelling Tour Itinerary

Richard Marsh Storytelling Tour Itinerary

Stories of Irish Myth and Legend


Tour dates so far.

For more information on this storytelling tour or for booking, email me at

You can print out a high-resolution copy (1079 x 1597 pixels) of this poster, or I can post you an A4 (210mm x 297mm) copy.

Back to Richard Marsh, Storyteller

Next public performance world-wide

The Liskeard Storytelling Cafe and Strong Words Storytelling Club, a jolly combined group of yarnspinners in Cornwall, has invited me to be their featured teller on Zoom this Thursday, 23 September, at 7.30 pm British/Irish time. I’ll tell one longish Ulster story from the North of Ireland, one longish all-Ireland, and a short one or two if time allows.

Midir and Étaín - 9th century, all-Ireland.
The Sidhe lord Midir meets immortal Étaín, they fall in love and get married and live happily – for a time. The trouble starts when he takes her home after the honeymoon, and his first wife meets her. Then things get complicated over the next thousand years. Magic, mayhem, romance, shape-changing and shape-shifting, lust*, jealousy, and vengeance, with a bitter twist* at the end.
*If no under-18s are present.

The Champion’s Portion (Bricriu’s Feast) - 8th century, Ulster
Starring the great hero Cúchulainn and featuring the arch-villain Bricriu, the Irish counterpart of the malevolent Norse trickster Loki. Ulster warriors Cúchulainn, Conal Cearnach and Laoghaire Buadach compete for the champion’s portion – the finest cut of meat – at feasts and undergo a series of trials to determine who is most deserving. Language and literature experts generally agree that this story is the origin of the 14th-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

To register go to Liskeard Storytelling Cafe and Strong Words Storytelling Club

Richard Marsh Storytelling Tour Itinerary

Richard Marsh Storytelling Tour Itinerary

Stories of Irish Myth and Legend

Richard’s videos

Camino de Santiago
(filmed in Tenerife by Enrique Páez; subtitles in Spanish)

Cúchulainn and Ferdia’s Single Combat
(filmed at the Setanta Wall off Nassau Street, Dublin; from Storymap)

Over the Wall to the Trinity Ball (audio)
(from the Dublin Yarnspinners CD)

Pyrenees Snow
(filmed in Tenerife by Enrique Páez; subtitles in Spanish)

The Big Snow of 1982
(filmed at a Milk and Cookies session, Dublin)

The Black Pig’s Dyke
(filmed in Tenerife by Enrique Páez; subtitles in Spanish)

The Man With No Luck

Two Kinds of Gorse - Os Toxos de Irlanda
(filmed by Manuel Gago on the Pico Sacro - "Sacred Peak" - near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia)

Several stories (time: 12.16)
(filmed at an Age Action concert, Liberty Hall, Dublin)

Richard at Hamburg PA, 7 April 2008. Photo by Charles Kiernan.

To contact Richard Marsh for a storytelling session email

A World of Tricksters

154 international stories

Foreword by Bairbre Ní Fhloinn

Ebook or print


Amazon reviews

There can never be enough books about tricksters. Richard Marsh is one of the most meticulous researchers and most enthusiastic storytellers I know; kind of a trickster himself. He gathers some rare stories in this book, revealing the amazing diversity of trickster characters around the world, with a special focus on Irish trickery.

Richard Marsh's wide knowledge of world folklore gives us a wonderful collection of tales of trickery. Every lover of storytelling should have this book.

Hellhounds and Hero Horses

Beasts of Myth and Legend

245 international stories

Foreword by Csenge Zalka

Paperback Kindle ebook


Amazon reviews

Richard Marsh dove deep into the treasure trove of legend and lore to assemble this collection. He is the most meticulous researcher I know, undaunted by nearly inaccessible sources or language barriers. He chases down leads like a hunting dog, gathers information like a worker bee, and treasures rare stories like a clever magpie. His enthusiasm and collecting fervor shows through his work. Each story comes with information of its origins and significance woven through its fabric – the mark of the storyteller who doesn’t only research and respect stories, but also takes great enjoyment in sharing them. We are the fortunate audience of someone who can open up a treasure chest at any moment, and spill the gems of ages and continents at our feet.

Marsh always earns your respect and admiration. He brings decades of learning at two levels. He always has done his homework with the received knowledge in libraries. But his perspective is widened with on-the-ground observation, constantly revisiting sites that inspired. Deeply pleased that his new work has been made available.

Extraordinary Beasts

Print edition only ISBN: 978-0-915330-19-5
A5 paperback
205 stories
248 pages

This is a Young Adult version of Hellhounds, without the more "adult" pieces.

12 euros

Amazon Paperback

Meath Folk Tales

legends, local stories, ghost tales of the Royal County
26 drawings by 11 artists

The History Press Ireland, 2013; reprinted 2019, 2021

Ebook or print


Irish King and Hero Tales

From the Golden Age of early Irish literature

Foreword by James MacKillop

Details at Legendary Books

Available directly from Richard Marsh
Amazon ebook or print

Spanish and Basque Legends

A People’s Chronicle from Prehistory to the 21st Century

Foreword by Pilar Alderete-Diez

Details at Legendary Books

A5 paperback with photos

Available from Richard Marsh
Amazon ebook or print


Tales of the Wicklow Hills

2000 years of history, myth, legend and local stories

Foreword by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin

Legendary Books 2007

The Legends and Lands of Ireland

a collection of Irish legends lavishly illustrated by photographs

Foreword by Frank McCourt

Sterling/Penn (2004, US) ISBN 1-4027-0784-3

List of Contents


Saints and Gore and Fairy Lore
Stories of Irish and Basque Myth and Legend

told by Richard Marsh

Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Burning of Tara
(Listen to the introduction to the story - 352 KB) (Listen to the full story - 1.19MB)
Tír na nÓg - Oisín and Niamh
Oisín and Saint Patrick
Saint Kevin - and the cow, bird, water monster, Hollywood, temptress
Fingal Rónáin - a tragic historical legend of blood and lust
Jaun Zuria - how an Irish prince became the first lord of Bizkaia

Cover: the passage tomb or sidhe mound or Otherword entrance on the Hill of Tara called the Mound of the Hostages.
More on Tara here.

54-minute CD/mp3

Review of Saints and Gore and Fairy Lore

Order from

CD 12.50 euros, including P & P.
mp3 (4.55MB) 5 euros
(Calculate your currency’s equivalent with the Irish Times Exchange Rate page.)


The Tower of Breogán
and Other Tales from Ireland and Spain

told by Richard Marsh

The Tower of Breogán - how the Celts came to Ireland from Spain
The Holy Companion - an Irishman sees Santiago, patron saint of Spain
Soldier John - his tricks, treats, trials and triumphs
The Knight Who Came Late to Battle - angelic intervention
The Doctor and Death - a Spanish-Basque-Irish version
La Casa del Duende - a haunted house in Madrid
Raftery - the famous blind poet/fiddler plays for a poor couple’s "afters" in Donegal
The Phantom Steam Roller - a true ghost story from County Down
Lady Beresford and the Black Ribbon - one of Ireland’s most famous ghost stories
The Ballad of Kishóg’s Curse - a curse on those who refuse a friendly drink (Listen to the full ballad - 452KB)

Cover: The Tower of Hercules, a 2nd-century Roman lighthouse built on the site of the Tower of Breogán in La Coruña, Galicia.
More on the Tower here.

60-minute CD/mp3

Order from

CD 12.50 euros, including P & P
mp3 (5.26MB) 5 euros
(Calculate your currency’s equivalent with the Irish Times Exchange Rate page.)

Back to Richard Marsh Main Page

For Richard’s custom storytelling tours in Ireland, go to

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