The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley

Artist Name(s) Michael Fortune & Aileen Lambert
Artwork title The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley

The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley is a collection of local stories and superstitions as told by children from The Island and Moyross areas of Limerick City. The multi-part video work was recorded by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert as part of Young EV+A and The Cuisle Poetry Festival in 2004 and 2005. This collection was recorded in two Limerick City National Schools, over a two-week period in September 2004 and screened in Halla Ide in Limerick City in the month to follow.

Following the production of this collection, both artists were invited to undertake a larger collection as part of Young EV+A. Beginning in January 2005 both artists began filming as part of a larger three-strand project they were undertaking throughout the city. Recordings took place in three local national schools and as a result of this process they uncovered stories which revealed a remarkable knowledge and wealth of folklore, ancient and contemporary.

In this work Fortune and Lambert use the camera to collect and re-present folkloric superstitions and beliefs. They do not use folklore to service nostalgia, but instead attempt to highlight how folklore is constantly added to, and how it is intrinsically linked to both memory and occasion, fiction and interpretation. This is evident in this work, as the urban environment in which these children live is negotiated and charted by a mixture of ancient folkloric stories which have been intertwined with personal accounts and contemporary urban myths.

Ultimately, this work is a celebration of the storyteller and how folklore is constantly added to by boundless imagination of the storytellers themselves. Recordings took place in three local national schools and as a result of this process they uncovered stories which revealed a remarkable knowledge and wealth of folklore, ancient and contemporary.


A limited edition of 500 DVDs were produced and were available free of charge from the artists and Limerick City Arts Office. All DVDs have since been distributed and no more are available.


Michael Fortune was born in rural Co. Wexford, in 1975. His practice revolves around the collection of material. He does not script or storyboard, instead he generates material out of the relationships and experiences he develops with the people and circumstances he encounters.

Fortune presents work internationally mostly in a variety of contexts, ranging from video installations in galleries through to single screen presentations in film and video art festivals.  Since the beginning of 2007 his work has been presented in over ninety-five shows in a total of twenty-five countries spanning from Armenia to Venezuela and from Kilnaboy to Claremorris. Further information on

Aileen Lambert was born in County Wexford in 1975, where she now lives and works. Her practice spans video, performance and sound work, as well as participatory public art projects. Aileen's video and performance work has been presented in exhibitions and events nationally and internationally including the National Review of Live Art (Glasgow), Festival Miden (Greece), Infr'Action International Performance Art Festival (France), Darklight Film Festival (Dublin), 7000IS (Iceland), Anti Festival of Contemporary Art (Finland), Tulca (Galway) Out of Site (Dublin) and SWGC Art Gallery (Newfoundland).

Aileen has recently been commissioned by Yale University and The Arts Council to produce new performance work for the School of Divinities in Yale. She is currently working on public art commissions with Fingal and Mayo County Councils. Aileen was in receipt of a Bursary from Wexford County Council in June 2008, and The Arts Council in 2007 and 2009.

Further information on

Commission Type Local Authority,Other,Schools/Colleges
Commissioner Name Limerick County Council and Young EV+A
Project commission dates August 31, 2004 - March 1, 2005
Partners Cuisle Poetry Festival and Young EV+A

Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Limerick City Council
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 31/08/2004
Project commission end date 01/03/2005
Location Moyross and St. Mary's Park 
County Limerick
Town Limerick City
Content contributor(s) Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert
Relationship to project Artists 
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Online video editor - Robert Corrigan



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