Born in Dublin, the third of five children of Kerry parents, Marie MacSweeney's early childhood home was in Percy Place on the Grand Canal in Dublin, where she attended the nearby Haddington Road school, later moving to Loreto College in Crumlin.
She began writing in 1981 months after she was injured in a serious car crash, when she recounted her experiences of the event and its immediate aftermath in an article published in the Sunday Independent. Among the many responses was a letter from poet, Pat Ingoldsby. He explained how moved he was when reading the article.
If you are not already a writer, he wrote,
you sure as hell should be. It was many years however, before she was free to take her writing seriously.
She started writing short stories in 1989, and has been published widely since then. She also writes radio plays and has had two, 'Dreams and Stars' and 'A Life in the Day of Ravishing Rita' broadcast on RTE Radio One, for whom she has also broadcast a number of radio talks. Marie also spent six month working on the script panel of Irish soap 'Fair City' before moving to Wales in 1992.
On returning from Wales she lived near Trim in County Meath before settling in Drogheda. While living in Trim and later in Drogheda, she continued writing and began tutoring part-time in Creative Writing and Public Speaking, with local vocational bodies, with An Grianan - the Irish Countrywoman's Association Adult Education College, and with Rehab. She was also involved in a literacy scheme in North County Dublin.