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When Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, lit a candle for the Irish all over the world during her days as President of Ireland, she inspired a sense of family in all over us, whether we call Dublin or Denver home.
We Irish are very much a far-flung people. And this thought was very much in our minds as we put together our Global 100 lists.
It was exciting to explore the Irish threads that color the mosaic of so many countries; to discover a champion surfer in Australia with Irish roots, and a Polo player in Argentina, and to consider the story of their immigrant ancestors.
We uncovered the topsoil of a huge story that encompasses some 70 million Irish around the world.
In the following lists we celebrate the achievements, of our brothers and sisters across the globe and rejoice in the fact that though you can take a man or woman out of Ireland, you can’t take the Irish out of them, or their descendents.
We have a number of categories here. In the Global Irish, we look at those who have contributed to an array of fields, such as politics, philanthropy, sports and the arts.
Thirty percent of Australians claim Irish ancestry and about 50,000 of them were born in Ireland. The rest of are descendents of various waves of migration, including the 40,000 Irish convicts transported between 1791 and 1867 for political offenses.
Our Australians list demonstrates the tremendous achievement of the Irish Down Under.
One of the largest ethnic groups in Britain are the Irish – over six million Britons have an Irish grandparent. “The British” list is mainly made up of musicians.
The Irish immigrated to Argentina in two waves: the first tapered off in 1880, the second from 1948-52. In this list, we write about two notable Irish-Argentinians.
Other lists we include on our Global 100 include Canadians and Mexicans.
The Irish Americans, of course, have a special place: this is the real heart of the Irish Diaspora. As such, the largest portion of our Global List is devoted to Irish Americans, which include politicians, writers, entertainers and financial titans.