She began playing at eleven years old, inspired by her family, many of whom are noted musicians from West Cork. She drew heavily on traditional styles, but also created new techniques of ornamentation. Her 1985 The New-Strung Harp was the first harp album to consist of exclusively Irish traditional dance music
Her stylistic innovations made her famous in the Celtic music scene, and she began teaching in continental Europe and in the United States.
She has taught for more than fifteen years at Cúirt Chruitireachta, a school in Termonfeckin, County Louth, organized the Irish Harp Society, Cairde na Cruite. Her arrangements have been collected in two books, The Irish Harper Volumes
I and II, and she has an honours degree in Celtic Studies from University College Cork. In 1989 she recorded The Living Wood with guitarist Chris Newman.
They have worked extensively together as a duo since then
Máire also works with the Choir of New College, Oxford and the New English Chamber Orchestra, and she also appeared in the film Driftwood. Among other musicians, she has worked with Celtic pioneer Dan Ar Braz. The Carolan (1991) - with guitarist Chris Newman.