John Moriarty: Grounded in Story

Publication Date: June 2024



 John Moriarty was an original, a thinker, a poet, a mythologian. He was born and reared just outside the little village of Moyvane in north Kerry. Growing up on his parent’s farm he was attuned to the rhythms of weather and soil from his youth. Having graduated from college and university, having outgrown the academic life of a lecturer in Canada, he would eventually return to Ireland, to Connemara, and later to Mangerton mountain, to discover his bush soul. 

Tracing the extraordinary journey from Moriarty’s challenges with Christianity to his reconciliation of self and soul, Grounded In Story is centred in Moyvane, his home place which lives and speaks through him, with him, in him. Beautifully illustrated by his niece Amanda Carmody, Grounded In Story is a necessary book, a guide into the world, and the wisdom, of this extraordinary man. 

The intention behind this selection of writing is to bring John Moriarty home to Moyvane, to demonstrate the influence of his native place on the development of his thought and to introduce, in his own words, the culture and the characters that had such a profound effect on him. 


JOHN MORIARTY was born in North Kerry in 1938 and educated at Listowel and University College Dublin. He taught English literature at the University of Manitoba in Canada for six years, before returning to Ireland in 1971. He is author of Dreamtime (1994), and the trilogy Turtle Was Gone a Long Time: Crossing the Kedron (1996), Horsehead Nebula Neighing (1997) and Anaconda Canoe (1998).


Amanda Carmody is a niece of John Moriarty, a daughter of his youngest sister, Phyllis. She spent the first few years of her life living at the Moriarty home place at Leitrim Hill, growing up in relationship with her grandmother Mary and grandfather Jimmy, and with the place itself. Her connection with John began on his visits home and deepened in later years when he returned to live at Coolies, on the side of Mangerton mountain, near Killarney. Since his death she has immersed herself in his writing and is currently chairperson of the John Moriarty Institute for Ecology and Spirituality.

 Mary McGillicuddy, originally from Cork, has been living in Listowel in North Kerry since 1978. She first became fascinated by John Moriarty through his television programme The Blackbird and the Bell and by hearing his occasional radio and television interviews. The publication of his autobiography Nostos in 2001 was her entry point into his writing, and this began the journey which eventually led to her book John Moriarty: Not the Whole Story, an introduction to his life and vision. She is currently secretary of the John Moriarty Institute for Ecology and Spirituality. 

Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 234 × 156 mm


Publication Date

June 2024


216 pp