Mac Suibhne, Micheál (c.1760–c.1820), poet, was born at Funshinaugh, near Cong, Co. Mayo. The names of his parents are not known, but his family is said to have migrated from Ulster to Connacht in Cromwellian times. Micheál Mac Suibhne and his brother Toirdhealbhach are believed to have moved to Tooreen in the parish of Ballinakill, between Letterfrack and Clifden, Co. Galway, where the poet was employed as a blacksmith by a landlord named Steward.
The song entitled ‘Máirín Seoighe’, a romantic piece in praise of a woman of the same name, would appear to be one of Mac Suibhne's earliest works as it is set in his native district of Cong. Other romantic compositions attributed to him include a song entitled ‘Jenny Ward’ and a version of ‘Muirnín na Gruaige Báine’ that is implausibly said to have been written for a daughter of Richard Martin (qv) – an MP and reputedly the largest landowner in Ireland. Mac Suibhne's other works include ‘Amhrán an phúca’ which was inspired by reports of a púca (goblin) that Mac Suibhne declined to take seriously; ‘An Turcach Mór’ which is said to have been prompted by the sight of a carved figurehead of a ship that was washed ashore; a satire which upbraided the inhabitants of Errislannan for their lack of hospitality towards the poet; ‘Banais Pheigi Ní Eaghra’, perhaps Mac Suibhne's most popular work, which gives an exaggerated account of preparations for a lavish wedding; and a song in praise of whiskey, beginning ‘Ar meisce dom níor mhiste liom, gach lá saoire is Domhnaigh’. The last of these is consistent with reports that the poet was a heavy drinker.
It is not known if Mac Suibhne married. He is believed to have died at Fahy, near Clifden, about the year 1820, but his burial place is not recorded.