Gabriel was born in 1952 in the village of Moyvane, Co. Kerry, where he still lives. He retired as principal of the local national school at the end of 2007.
He is the author of more than forty books including the poetry collections, ‘The Boghole Boys’ and ‘I and the Village’, his translations ‘Poems from the Irish’ and the autobiographies of Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé (‘House Don’t Fall on Me’) and Bernie Long (‘Ventry Calling’). He has edited several collections of essays including ‘Come All Good Men and True’ on the works of John B. Keane. His children’s poetry includes ‘I’m Proud to be Me’ and ‘Really Rotten Rhymes’. A collection of selected and new poems for children entitled, ‘Will You Be My Friend?’ was published in 2016 by Liberties Press in Dublin.
On Friday of Éigse 2018 Gabriel launches Milking the Sun/Ag Crú na Gréine a translation by him of a series of poems by the late Séan O’Ríodáin with original paintings illustrating the text by his wife, artist Brenda Fitzmaurice. It is published by Salmon Poetry.