A former member of the Board of the Society of Irish Playwrights and shareholder of the Abbey, Ireland’s National Theatre, she was also on the Board of Galway Art Centre in the early 1990’s.
Hennessy Award Winner for Literary Fiction (1988) and a recipient of The County Council, Bank of Ireland award, for her contribution to the Arts, Máire Holmes lives beside the Atlantic Ocean in An Spidéal, Galway, Ireland.
Regular appearances on Ireland’s first television soap, SIOPA AN BHREATHNAIGH, introduced Máire Holmes to television drama in 1961. Already writing to National newspapers and Radio, a natural way of life unfolded. Poetry and stories were a part of childhood; stage plays came later.
Máire Holmes is writer-in- schools for Poetry Ireland, the Vocational Education Committees, Údarás Na Gaeltachta and Pleáráca. To date, eight books have been published by Pléaraca, highlighting creative writing in Secondary and Primary schools, in the Irish language.
As outreach writer for the National University of Galway from 1998-2008 she was facilitator to many writing groups who produced twelve published collections. Some individuals wrote separate books during the workshops and continue today, to increase their output.
IDIR MNÁ by Ban scriobhneoirí Rosmuc (1994) published by CLO IAR CHONNACHTA, resulted in an invitation to all the contributors, for an International reading at Harvard.
COISCÉIM published a slim collection DÚRÚN and her poetry was selected for the schools syllabus.
For many years Holmes has been a frequent contributor to Radio Na Gaeltachta and RTE. Among her stage plays are; AN FÁINNE, Taibhdhearc Na Gaillimhe. 1988.1994. THE BUTTERY WHO COULDN’T DANCE, the Peacock Theatre Dublin1989. HOLLYDAZE, Taibhdhearc Na Gaillimhe, 1990. AN ROGHA, the first of her radio plays on RTE has been followed by many others.
After a writing silence following the sudden death of her husband Tom Breathnach on the summit of a mountain and time for readjustments for their son Iarfhlaith Breathnach: Máire Holmes became Writer in Residence in the Aran Islands, Connemara and Mayo. In February 2012, CLÓ IAR CHONNACHTA recorded sixty minutes of her Irish language poetry for future availability on screen with sound.
JOY, (selected poetry) was launched in September 2012 at International Culture Night, as part of OVER THE EDGE and is available on line from Kenny’s Bookshop. Researching the mystical links between East and Western poetry is her poetic work in progress.