Pádraic Ó Conaire was born in the city of Galway in 1882. He attended numerous primary schools in Galway and in County Clare, and he got his secondary schooling in Rockwell College in Tipperary and in Blackrock College in Dublin.
In 1899 he moved to London where he got a job in the civil service, and it was there that he began to write. It was in London that he met Molly McManus and they had four children together.
He returned to Ireland in 1914. He spent some time as a teacher and as an Irish language organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge, but it was with his pen that he primarily earned his living. He died in the poor ward of Richmond Hospital in Dublin in 1928.