Christy Moore opens up in revealing new interview

In an in-depth new interview with Ruairí McKiernan on the Love and Courage podcast the legendary folk singer discusses the loss of his father at a young age, receiving hate mail, songs, spirituality, sobriety, and why he’s determined to do more for the planet.


Folk singer and musician Christy Moore, once named ‘Ireland’s greatest living musician’* has been entertaining and inspiring people all over the world for five decades. The Kildare born singer, who was a founder member of legendary acts Planxty and Moving Hearts, has released almost 30 solo albums, and continues to be an outspoken voice on social issues.


Moore is famously private when it comes to his personal life. However, in what may be his most honest and revealing interview yet, the folk legend has opened up about how the death of his father impacted him at an early age, about the joy he has found in sobriety, hate mail he has received, and why he feels more needs to be done when it comes to environmental action.


Speaking with Ruairí McKiernan on his Love and Courage podcast, ‘Christy’ as he is affectionately known, says the death of his father had a profound impact on him that he still feels today. He recalls how it wasn’t until he became a parent himself that it really struck him.

I was driving down the road one day and my eleven-year-old son was in the back seat of the car and I looked in the mirror and I saw him and suddenly it dawned on me the effect it would have on him now at this moment, if he was told what I was told when I was eleven. And it really hit home. That thing hit home to me that day, even though it was many, many years on.”


It was a shocking experience and it affected us all in different ways and I believe all six of us are still affected by it, you know, by the impact that had on our lives.” he says, speaking of the impact his father’s death had on his brothers and sisters.


He says the awareness of his mother’s struggle as a lone parent with six children helped him realise the need for greater understanding and support for people in need.


“You know, I was blessed to grow up in a strong family environment and even though we lost our daddy when I was eleven and the eldest of six and the family was shattered by that, we still grew up in a loving, caring environment, you know. And unfortunately, not everybody has that privilege.”

Moore isn’t a fan of the politics that talks about prioritising the needs of people ‘who get out of bed early in the morning’.

“There are many who’ve no reason to get out of bed, I suppose. People living in depression and people living in need and in want.”

On the subject of sobriety, his time as a drinker as part of the 70s folk scene is well known and he says his current life of sobriety as a “wonderful thing”.


I know it took me a few years to come into the light. I can still remember the first time I ever walked out on stage without alcohol or any other substance and it was, for me in my life, it was quite an amazing moment cos for many years I thought I couldn’t do anything without those crutches.”

When it comes to speaking out, Christy Moore has never shied away from the issues of the day, standing behind the Birmingham 6, the Stardust fire families, and campaigns against fracking, racism, and other causes. He describes how he has received hate mail in the past but that he embraces criticism as part of the work of being an artist.

“Ann Lovett caused a lot of hate mail, you know. Not a deluge but it certainly did rattle, you know. But that’s okay. I have to say that that doesn’t bother me. There was a time it used to scare me a bit but now it means it’s working, you know. The songs are working if people love them and hate them. They’re living. They’re alive. They’re not just meaningless.”

Growing up near the Curragh in Kildare and spending time with family and neighbours on farms and bogs inspired a young Christy with a love of nature, something that shines through in many of his songs. He says he increasingly concerned about the state of the planet and is determined to do more to act.

“We seem to be able to disregard it. I mean, we see the fires in California and it’s kind of disregarded. It’s seen as a terrible tragedy and God fix love those poor people but not why is it happening. The way the weather is changing, you know. There are voices out there and we listen and then we go out and buy a new flat-screen television and a new car and everything has to be quadruply wrapped in plastic and on we go. I’m not a very good warrior in the ecological movement. I sing about it and I talk about it but I hope I can do better. I hope I can do more. On the back of this, I’m going to do better. On the back of this conversation on this day, I’m going to do better. I’m going to do less plastic.

You can listen to Ruairí McKiernan’s full 1-hour interview with Christy Moore for free on the Love and Courage podcast. Find it on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud or via

* 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ‘s People of the Year Awards.[1]







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