“Quiet Man” star Maureen O'Hara in good health and she celebrates her birthday and wants to live to 102.

The US has a lot to thank the Irish for but here are our top ten choices of the amazing ways in which the Irish have enriched life in America. 

1. Maureen O’Hara

She starred in “The Quiet Man”, the Irish movie that has captured the hearts of millions of Irish Americans and will continue to do so for ever. The world was much saddened to hear of her death earlier this year but we will always have her great movies. 

2. Waterford Crystal

Jonathon Billinger / WikiCommons.

Jonathon Billinger / WikiCommons.

 For generations the embodiment of the best that Ireland could offer and produce. Still number one on most Irish Americans' gift list.

3. Michael Flatley 

 The embodiment of the Irish American influence on Ireland, he liberated Irish dance along with the “Riverdance” producers and later struck out on his own.

4. “Danny Boy”  

 Love it or hate it, it has become the needed adjunct to many Irish gatherings, combining sentimentality and sadness at our historic plight.

5. Maeve Binchy  

Her books were the “Fifty Shades of Grey” of their day and still are massively popular with Irish American women and “chick-lit” seekers.

6. Bono

 The quintessential rock star has retained his massive appeal but has always underscored his Irishness to American audiences.

7. Guinness

The black brew embodies Ireland for millions of Irish Americans and is associated with good cheer and a fine time.

8. Jameson

Coming up fast, the Irish whiskey has bewitched Lady Gaga and millions of other Americans as it takes off.

9. “Ryan’s Daughter


This movie is nowhere as popular as “The Quiet Man” but it absorbed millions of Americans who saw it and encouraged them to visit Ireland.


Brown bread/soda bread - The humble Irish staples have continued to grab the loving attention of millions of Irish in America who want a taste of the old sod - literally.

*Originally published December 2014.