In the 1960s he wrote for The Irish Times about social issues such as the fate of people in institutional care. His articles were later incorporated into the Ryan Report on institutional abuse of children in Ireland.
His later work is about the natural word. He has lived in rural Murrisk, near the coast south of Louisburgh, since 1977. He is perhaps best known for "Another Life", a column which has appeared weekly in The Irish Times since 1977. Over the years the focus of the column has shifted from sustainability to natural history.
Viney´s books include:
- Ireland: A Smithsonian Natural History. 2003
- Ireland's Ocean (co-written with Ethna Viney)
- Brendan Kelly, "Walking through the past in today’s Sligo", Irish Medical Times, 13 October 2010
- Rosita Boland, "If I had stayed working in Dublin I'd probably be dead by now", The Irish Times, July 10, 2010
- The Irish Times, "Television awards presented", December 8, 1966
- Aosdana website
- O'Sullivan (May 2017). "Michael Viney elected to the Royal Irish Academy". The Irish Times.
- Paul Clements,"Our precious stake in a fragile world", Fortnight magazine, January 2004