The title for his book "A Monk Swimming" came about as a result of his childhood misinterpretation of a line from the "Hail Mary" prayer: "Blessed are thou 'amongst women'".
Younger brother of Frank McCourt.
Childhood friend Richard Harris helped secure Malachy's first film role in The Molly Maguires (1970).
Has four biological children (Siobhan, Malachy, Conor, and Cormac) and a step-daughter (Nina).
In 2002, he published a book length history of the song "Danny Boy."
His brother Frank wrote a noted autobiography called "Angela's Ashes", which told of their growing up dirt poor in Limerick. Director Alan Parker directed the movie version of Angela's Ashes (1999).