fear gorta

"Man of hunger." A benevolent fairy in Hiberno-English tradition who roams the land in times of famine. He appears as a pale, emaciated figure who is so weak and thin that he can barely lift his alms cup. He wears only a few clothes, even in winter times. He rewards those who help him with good luck.

Stories about the fear gorta may have originated during the Famine times in Ireland (c. 1846-1848), which was called the Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór).



  • MacKillop, James. (2004). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
  • Yeats, W.B. (ed.). (1888). Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry. London: W. Scott, p. 81.