25 Most Famous Irish People

famous irish people the irish flag blowing in the wind
Image from Shutterstock.

Ireland might be a small country, but it produces talents who are known all around the world. There are dozens of individuals born in Ireland who are household names.

If you’re interested in learning more about the most famous Irish people, you’ve come to the right place. Sit down and get ready to learn more about some of the most prominent Irish people of all time.

1. Bono

bono in sunglasses looking straight ahead
Image from Shutterstock.

First on our list of the most famous Irish people is Bono, singer-songwriter, activist, and philanthropist. He was born in Dublin and went on to create a successful career as the lead singer of U2.

2. Sinead O’Connor

sinead o connor on stage singing into a microphone
WARSAW – MAY 31: Irish singer Sinead O’Connor during the City Culture Zone festival. Square in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. May 31, 2008 in Warsaw, Poland. Image from Shutterstock.

Sinead O’Connor was a singer, songwriter, and activist known for taking firm stances on what she believes, such as in the famous SNL incident where she tore up a picture of Pope Saint John Paul II. O’Connor was born in Dublin and achieved international success for her talent and activism.

3. Graham Norton

graham norton in a plaid suit on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Irish comedian Graham Norton was born in Clondalkin, Ireland, and remained there until he began to host The Graham Norton Show. He’s made a name for himself as a talk show host, author, comedian, and actor.

4. Saoirse Ronan

saoirse ronan on the red carpet in a green dress
Image from Shutterstock.

Oscar-winner Saoirse Ronan began her life in New York, but she was born to an Irish family and has held on to the famous Irish accent. The talented actress has had a decade of incredible performances in movies like Lady Bird and Little Women.

5. Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde in a fur jacket leaning on one knee
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of the most famous Irish people is the well-known author Oscar Wilde. The icon was born in Dublin and produced famed works like The Picture of Dorian Gray.

6. C.S. Lewis

an image of the chronicles of narnia by CS lewis
Image from Shutterstock.

C.S. Lewis is one of the most well-known Christian apologists, known for his work in England and beyond. However, he’s actually an Irishman in background. Lewis is known for famous works like The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity

7. Liam Neeson

liam neeson in a black jacket on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Liam Neeson is an actor with roots in Northern Ireland, though he spent most of his life growing up in the United Kingdom and in the United States. He’s received many accolades for his iconic work, from the well-known Taken series to the heart-wrenching Schindler’s List.

8. Pierce Brosnan

pierce brosnan on the red carpet in a blue suit
Image from Shutterstock.

Pierce Brosnan was born in the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Ireland, known for his life as a stylish film actor and producer. Brosnan was one of many exciting men to take on the role of James Bond, and he’s also appeared in movies like Mamma Mia, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Black Adam.

9. Michael Fassbender

michael fassbender arriving for an event in italy in a black suit
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of the most famous Irish people is Michael Fassbender, actor extraordinaire, born in Germany to Irish and German parents. He’s been in movies like Assassin’s Creed and X-Men, even appearing on The Irish Times’s list of the best Irish actors.

10. Maureen O’Hara

maureen o hara in her later years on the red carpet in a chair
Image from Shutterstock.

Maureen O’Hara was an Irish actress who was born in Dublin and worked her way into her earlier years in Hollywood. She appeared on screen in films like Miracle on 34th Street, Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, and more, solidifying her spot in the ranks of Hollywood and Irish legends.

11. Ruth Negga

ruth negga on the red carpet in a black lace dress
Image from Shutterstock.

Ruth Negga is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who appeared on the scene rather recently, taking the big screen by storm with roles in Loving and Ad Astra. She’s already received several nominations for her impressive work and will likely continue to do so in the coming years.

12. Conor McGregor

2 men practicing mixed martial arts
Image from Shutterstock.

Conor McGregor is a professional mixed martial artist from Crumlin in Dublin, Ireland. He’s one of the best fighters in the world as the former featherweight and lightweight Ultimate Fighting Champion and the first to hold a win in both of these categories.

13. Cillian Murphy

Image of cillian murphy in a leather jacket sitting at a conference
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of the most famous Irish people is Cillian Murphy, an Irish actor who recently appeared in the intense Oppenheimer. He’s been on the scene since 1996, landing roles in successful films and TV shows and making a name for himself in Hollywood.

14. Saoirse-Monica Jackson

saoirse monica jackson in a white dress on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson got her big claim to fame when she starred in the show Derry Girls on Netflix. The Northern Irish actress is a powerhouse, and fans around the world have little trouble recognizing her.

15. Enya

singer enya at a movie premiere in a black dress
Image from Shutterstock.

Enya is an iconic Irish singer, songwriter, and musician born in 1961 in Gweedore, Ireland. She’s known for her modern take on Celtic music, becoming the second-best Irish performer to sell music behind the Bono-led U2.

16. Jamie Dornan

jaime dornan and the res of the 50 shades of grey leas cast members on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Jamis Dornan is an Irish actor, model, and musician who skyrocketed to fame when he took the lead role in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. He’s been nominated for several awards and even appeared on The Irish Times list of best actors.

17. Adrian Dunbar

image of adrian dunbar on the red carpet in a jacket
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of the most famous Irish people is Adrian Dunbar, an Irish actor, director, and singer. He’s known around the world for his exceptional work in the theater and movies, writing and starring in the film Hear My Song in 1991.

18. W. B. Yeats

the grave stone of writter WB yeats
Image from Shutterstock.

Not only was W.B. Yeats a senator of the free state during his life, but he was also an author, poet, and dramatist. Yeats was a massive part of the Irish Literary Revival and helped bring the Abbey Theatre to life.

19. Niall Horan

niall horan playing guitar and singing with one direction
Image from Shutterstock.

Niall Horan got his big start when he emerged from the X Factor as a member of the boy band One Direction. He and the other members of the band produced several years of popular music before they all parted ways, and Horan began his solo career.

20. Brendan Gleeson

brendan gleeson in front of a blue background wearing a navy shirt
Image from Shutterstock.

Brendan Gleeson is an actor of Irish descent, hailing from Dublin. His astounding ability to act has landed him roles in movies like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Braveheart, Gangs of New York, Banshees of Inisherin, and more.

21. Hozier

hozier singing and playing guitar on stage during a concert
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of the most famous Irish people is singer Hozier, hailing from Bray, Ireland. The artist draws religious and literary themes into a unique folk and soul combination.

22. Van Morrison

van morrison playing saxophone and wearing a hat
Image from Shutterstock

Van Morrison is an Irish singer, musician, and songwriter with an impressive career spanning seven decades. He’s from Northern Ireland, but his popular hits like “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Moondance” have made him a household name. 

23. Christy Moore

irish singer christy moore playing guitar and singing on stage
Image from Shutterstock.

Christy Moore is a popular Irish folk songwriter, singer, and guitarist, hailing all the way from Newbridge, Ireland. He’s had significant success as a recording artist, including founding the band Planxty and the Moving Hearts and releasing the album Paddy on the Road with Dominic Behan.

24. Kenneth Branaugh

kenneth branaugh at a restaurant in a black suit
Image from Shutterstock

Although he spent most of his life in England, the well-known talent Kenneth Branaugh was born in Belfast, Ireland. He’s a director, actor, and writer known for creating some of the best film adaptations of Shakespearean plays today.

25. Luke Kelly

a statue of luke kelly in ireland holding a banjo
Image from Shutterstock.

Last up on our list of the most famous Irish people is Luke Kelly, an Irish singer and actor from Dublin, Ireland. He was known for his folk music and played a role in the folk music revival of his time in Ireland, landing him a permanent spot in Ireland’s famous occupants.


Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





famous irish people

Night Two of Artic Monkeys at the Armory

5 Seconds of Summer at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hot 5 Seconds of Summer Heat up the Armory