Ní Ghuairim, Máire (1896–1964), teacher, author and sean-nós singer, was born 6 July 1896 in Roisín na Manach, Carna, Co. Galway, eldest daughter of farmer Máirtín Gorham and his wife, Catherine Burke. She received her earliest education in the Convent of Mercy school in Roisín na Manach. Afterwards she attended schools in Clifden and Tuam, Co. Galway. On completing school she moved to Dublin where she taught Irish in Carysfort teacher training college in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. On Seán Beaumont's appointment as secretary of Co. Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC) he employed her as an Irish teacher in accordance with the policy of employing native Irish speakers in the schools under his charge. While living in Dublin Ní Ghuairim became active in the Irish-language movement and was a member of both Conradh na Gaeilge and Comhairle an Fháinne around 1924. From 1919 she began publishing stories and essays in a number of Irish-language publications including An Stoc, Fáinne an Lae, An Lóchrann, An tÉireannach, An Scuab and An Chearnóg. From 1931 she began writing for the Irish Press. Her contributions consisted primarily of nature stories. A collection of stories in An tÉireannach (1938) was published under the title Ceol na mara. The stories were of a morbid nature with regular references to death. Although not as renowned as her sister Sorcha, she is reported to have had a beautiful singing voice, particularly sean-nós. She broadcast on both 2RN and Radio Éireann and recorded an Irish language course for Linguaphone.
On 12 September 1929 Ní Ghuairim married Fianna Fáil TD, Seán Mac Brádaigh, whom she met through her involvement in Conradh na Gaeilge; they had two daughters and two sons. She died at her home in Ranelagh, Dublin, 15 October 1964.
In 1928 she was instrumental in bringing her younger sister Sorcha Ní Ghuairim (1911–76) (b. 11 October 1911) to Dublin and assisting her to obtain a teaching post with Conradh na Gaeilge. Sorcha studied with Tomás Ó Máille (qv) at UCG and was later employed as an Irish teacher by the CDVEC. Like Máire, she became active in promoting Irish. Initially a columnist using the pseudonym ‘Coisín Siúlach’ for the newspaper the Irish Press, she subsequently became editor. She also contributed a regular column for the children's page under the pseudonym ‘Niamh Chinn Óir’. These contributions included a series of stories for children entitled Eachtraí mhuintir Choinín and Sgéal Taimín Mhic Luiche. Together with Pádraig Ó Concheanainn she translated Charles McGuinness's adventure story Viva Irlanda for publication in the newspaper. The translation was later published under the title Ceathrar comrádaí (1943). She was appointed lecturer in spoken Irish in TCD in 1941 and the same year was awarded an MA jure officii. She remained in the post until 1955. She began a weekly refresher course on Radio Éireann in 1944, ‘Is your Irish rusty’, for the benefit of those who had learnt Irish but through lack of practice had forgotten much of it. But she is best remembered for her sean-nós singing and made her first record (Folkways Records FW 861) while visiting her brother in the USA in 1945.
Sorcha Ní Ghuairim moved to England around 1955, spending the rest of her life there. It seems that by then she had become disillusioned with the future of the Irish language, particularly as a result of the decline of the gaeltachts, the standardisation of the language and the introduction of roman print. The exact date of her death is unknown as when she was found in her London apartment she had been dead for some time. She was buried in Carna, Connemara, 24 December 1976.