In Ireland, he worked on the Donegal Archaeological Survey and Galway Archaeological Survey before being appointed as co-director of the National Sites and Monuments Record, Office of Public Works for a period of ten years. He has directed surveys and excavations on Croagh Patrick and has mapped the uplands and islands of the Connacht Coast. He is currently serving a term with Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann – The Folklore of Ireland Council.
He currently works in heritage tourism, specializing in academic and cultural tourism to the Boyne Valley and the West of Ireland. Michael has extensive experience guiding groups both at home and abroad. As well as Ireland, he has led groups in the Sinai Peninsula, SW Turkey, Peru, the Outer Hebrides and has guided for some of the leading international cultural and activity tourism companies including Butterfield and Robinson and Martin Randall Travel. He remains an archaeologist in private practice, and makes regular contributions to archaeological and historical conferences in Ireland as well as delivering lectures to local archaeological and historical societies and contributing to archaeological and maritime programmes on local and national radio.
Michael is a member of the Nautical Archaeology Society and his current research interests include the archaeology of Irish uplands and islands, in particular the maritime pilgrimage tradition. He has carried out detailed research on some of the most important of these including Skellig Michael World Heritage Site, St MacDara’s Island and Caher Island. Recent archaeological work has included mapping the intertidal zone of the Galway and North-Burren Coast with a particular focus on the prehistoric midden complexes, vernacular quays, harbours and seaweed farms.