Great Irish People

In this last blog post on great Irish people, we will be looking at people from the Arts section. This will include Irelands best Musicians, poets and actors. It has been great learning about all these great Irish people, most of them I’d have known but there were others then that impressed me when I was doing my research and they just had to be included. From now on the blog posts will look more at Ireland as a tourist destination and will be either talking about certain destinations or giving advice on certain places.


Top 5 Artists


  1. Bono

The most famous Irish musician worldwide of all time. For anyone reading that doesn’t know him, he is Paul Hewson, born in Dublin in 1960 and is the lead singer for the Irish rock group ‘U2’.

Soon after he joined the band, U2, he catapulted to fame with his stand-out lyrics based on religious and spiritual themes. The release of the 1987 album, ‘The Joshua Tree’ triggered widespread international acclaim and has promulgated a series of hits ever since. His 2004 album, ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb’ was his magnum opus and made him the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

However, he did not restrict himself to music only as he was one of the very few celebrities to use his popularity for creating awareness regarding various social issues. He was involved in a number of humanitarian efforts in Africa and co-founded various organisations including, DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red.

For his philanthropic works, he received widespread recognition and became the only rock musician to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was conferred an honorary knighthood. So as you can see he was not only a Rockstar but so much more and that is why he goes in at No.1 on our list.


  1. George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. He was a playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics.

He’s the only person to have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar, for his adaptation of his play Pygmalion to the cinema. Those achievements alone have him on my greatest Irish people list.

Since Shaw’s death, scholarly and critical opinion has varied about his works, but he has regularly been rated as second only to William Shakespeare among English-language dramatists; analysts recognize his extensive influence on generations of playwrights. The word “Shavian” has entered the language as encapsulating Shaw’s ideas and his means of expressing them.


  1. Sir Daniel Day Lewis

Sir Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis was born on 29th April 1957, He holds both British and Irish citizenship. So, for this list we’re claiming him as one of own. Plus, he currently lives in County Wicklow, Ireland.

One of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, Day-Lewis has earned numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood(2007) and Lincoln (2012), making him the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars.

He was also nominated in this category for In the Name of the Father (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002). He has also won four BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. In November 2012, Time named Day-Lewis the “World’s Greatest Actor.” In June 2014, he received a knighthood at Buckingham Palace for services to drama.


  1. William Butler Yeats

W.B. Yeats as he was known as was born on June 13th 1865. He was a poet and playwright and was considered as one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival.

He was the first Irishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1923). His greatest works include The Tower and The Winding Stair and Other Poems. He also served two terms as an Irish Senator.

He was a man before his time and changed the thinking of a generation of people on these isles.


  1. Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof was born on 5th  of October 1951, is an Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor, and political activist. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement.

The band had hits with his compositions “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays“. He co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?“, one of the best-selling singles of all time, and starred in Pink Floyd‘s 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as “Pink.”

Geldof is widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. They went on to organise the charity super-concert Live Aid the following year and the Live 8 concerts in 2005. Geldof currently serves as an adviser to the ONE Campaign, founded by fellow Irishman Bono. A single father, Geldof has also been outspoken for the fathers’ rights movement.[10]

Geldof was appointed an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, and is a recipient of the Man of Peace title which recognises individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace”, among numerous other awards and nominations. In 2005 he received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Geldof can be insufferable at times but there is no denying his contribution to not only music but charities as well.