John Moriarty Chronology

29-7-1903 Jimmy Moriarty, John’s father, was born in Baile an Lochaigh, Dingle, Co. Kerry.

16-1-1904 Mary O Brien, John’s mother, was  born in Barragougeen, Co. Kerry.

1929 Jimmy Moriarty and Mary O’ Brien married in Springfield, Massachusetts; by the mid-1930s they moved back to Ireland.

2-2-1938 John Moriarty born in Moyvane, Co. Kerry.

1943-1951 John attended National school in Moyvane.

1951-1956 Attended St. Michael’s College, Listowel.

1956-1958 Attended St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College, Drumcondra, Dublin.

1958-59 Taught in a Christian Brothers National School in Portarlington, Co. Laois. 

1959-1962 Attended University College Dublin and graduated with a First Honours degree in Philosophy and Logic.

1962-1964 Lived in various locations between Moyvane and London, with a spell teaching in a Catholic Boarding School in North Staffordshire.

1964-65 Tutored in the Philosophy Dept. at the University of Leeds.

1965-1971 Lecturing in the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada:

  • Summer 1967 – Trips to San Francisco, Mexico, Vera Cruz.
  • Summer 1968 – Trips to London and Greece
  • 1968-1969 – Year off on half pay. Lived in France.
  • !969-1970 – Back in Canada, with trips to the Shetland Islands and London that summer.

1970-1971 Final year in Canada. During the Christmas vacation he took a road trip from Manitoba through the mid-western States to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

1971 Quit his position in Canada and returned to Ireland in June, lived on the island of Inisbofin off the Connemara coast until September, then relocated to the mainland, Ballyconneely, until Dec 21, on which date he moved to one of Lynn Hill’s cottage at Toombeola, near Roundstone, Co Galway.

1972-1974 Rented the cottage at Toombeola, living frugally, dependent on his savings from Canada.

1974 Began work helping in the kitchen of Ballinahinch Castle in March and lived in the staff quarters there.

1974-76 Spent these years working and living part-time in Ballinahinch, part-time at the cottage in Toombeola. In 1976 he spent a week in the Carmelite Priory at Boar’s Hill in Oxford and then returned there for the summer from May to September.

1977 Spent this year at Boar’s Hill, living with the monks and working in the gardens until he became ill and returned to Connemara in November.

1978 The early months of this year were spent at Toombeola recovering from illness, during which time he decided to seek work as a fulltime gardener. He found a position working for the Guinness family at Lodge Park, Straffan, Co. Kildare.

1978-1980. He worked at Lodge Park until the sudden death of his mother, Mary Moriarty, in early January 1980, after which he returned to Moyvane and spent that year living at home with his father.

1981-1982. Returned to Lodge Park and worked there until the summer of 1982, after which he returned to Toombeola and began working as a gardener in two local estates, Leitirdyfe and Lisnabrucka.

  1. Starts building a house on a site gifted to him by his neighbours, the McCahill family.

1983-1995. These years were spent in Connemara, living in his house at Toombeola, while gardening, writing, giving talks at various locations around the country and in 1994 he published Dreamtime.

  1. Moved to Kerry to Coolies, on Mangerton Mountain near Killarney.

1995-2007. Lived in Coolies, while publishing his Turtle trilogy, and writing Nostos, Invoking Ireland, Night Journey to Buddh Gaia, What the Curlew Said, and the Slí na Fírinne publications. In 1997 he hosted a six-part television series, The Blackbird and the Bell, for RTE.

John died on June 1st 2007 at his home in Coolies, Killarney.

Timeline originally published in Mary McGillicuddy, John Moriarty: Not the Whole Story. Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2018.