Cillian Murphy, from Co. Cork native, is a successful actor, both at home as a leading man in movies like "Intermission" and "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" and overseas as the "bad guy" in movies like "Batman Begins" and "Red Eye" (he was nominated for a Golden Globe for this role). Whatever the role, we appreciate Cillian's (pronounced KILL-ian) talent - and looks.
In 2000, Andrea Corr was voted 26 on FHM's "100 Sexiest Women" list, and she continues to be one of Ireland's best-looking women, along with her sisters Sharon and Caroline. So we'll forgive the Corrs for occasionally making some pretty much God-awful music.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers may be a bit of a Colin Farrell-bad boy (he was arrested in 2007 on charges of public drunkenness and breach of the peace and has attended rehab more than once), but this Dublin-born actor, singer and model has earned awards for his television work ("The Tudors" and "Elvis") and critical acclaim for his film work (most notably for "Velvet Goldmine.")
Coyle famously lied on her application form for an Irish version of "American Idol," saying that she was 18 when she was in fact 16. She was one of the winners of the show, and got to join an all girls pop banded called Six. When the truth was uncovered, she was booted out of the band - which may in fact have been the best thing to have every happened to her. Later she entered "Popstars" (a U.K. version of American Idol) and won: today she is one of the members of the band that emerged from that, Girls Aloud, which has become one of the most successful British pop bands of the decade. (Today, Six are available for children's birthday and various other family functions.) She has been romantically linked to a series of male celebrities: Jesse Metcalf from "Desperate Housewives" and NFL player Jason Bell. It's not hard to see how they could fall for this lovely Derry lass.
Nooo, this is not just Charlize Theron's long-time partner - this is the handsome face of one of Ireland's gifted actor/directors. The dark-featured stud was first noticed overseas for his role of a seducer in 2000's "About Adam," and then as a vampire in 2002's hit "Queen of the Damned," which co-starred Aaliyah. It's his star power and good Irish looks that make this Howth, Co. Dublin native much more than Charlize's arm candy...
Cute in a very indie-chick kind of way, Gemma Hayes, from a village called Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary, has been on the music scene in Ireland for a few years now. Presumably she was the inspiration behind the Counting Crows song, "Washington Square," when he sings "I wandered the highways from Dublin to Berkeley / And I heard the songbirds of Ballyporeen." And looking at her, it's easy to see why Adam Duritz would feel inspired a song about her.
Our one and only sportsman that made the list. "The Derry Destroyer" may sound scary, but when you get a look at him, fear will be the last thing on your mind. Ireland's famous middleweight boxer is known in the States for his fights at Madison Square Garden, including his St. Patrick's Day fight against Leonard Pierre - all of which he won. He is also known for his rugged handsomeness. Duddy has won over fans with his athleticism, looks and his commitment to Irish immigration reform in the U.S.; the boxer has attended numerous Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform meetings, and even entered the ring in March 2006 donning an ILIR t-shirt.
The first, and only, Irish Miss World, Davison is also famous for the being the daughter of Chris de Burgh. De Burgh was famous for being the singer of the song "Lady in Red," beloved of cheesy romantics everywhere. (The most recent survey on this song found that over 2 million couples claim this as "our song.") In normal circumstances, De Burgh should be shot for crimes against music; but he can surely plead clemency on the basis that his daughter is so incredibly beautiful. (Although maybe this didn't work as an excuse when his wife, recovering from a serious horse riding accident at the time, discovered he was having an affair with their nanny.)
So technically he's Irish AMERICAN, but comedian Des Bishop is widely considered an honorary Irishman since he has lived in Ireland since he was 15, has created numerous Irish t.v. shows and is now fluent in Gaelic. Therefore, we feel justified in claiming him as one of our own and adding him to the list (his boyish good looks and great sense of humor didn't hurt his chances either). New York City-born Des is famous in Ireland for his hilarious comedy shows and his stand up (and for singing "Jump Around," or in Gaelic, "Leim Thart").
Probably one of the best things to have happened to Irish music in a long while was for Damien Rice to have kicked Lisa Hannigan out of his band. Hannigan had been his backing singer and was always the best thing about a lot of Rice's songs. Rice always came across as being an entirely self-absorbed misery cuts; Hannigan's debut album "Sea Sew," is an altogether more charming and playful affair, and one of the best solo albums from an Irish singer-songwriter in years. And did we mention how gorgeous she is? She looks like the kind of girl who doesn't actually know she is ridiculously hot, making her even more hot.
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