James Joyce comes in at number five

The top ten Irish of all time


James Joyce comes in at number five

As we near the end of a decade, it’s that time again – the time for top 10 lists.

We’re not the only  ones to be thinking about it. An Irish magazine just came out with a list of the top 10 Gaels of all time. We know it’s hard to include all the right people in a list, but we were surprised to see this one had not a single woman.

Ever since Queen Maeve took up arms against her husband, Conor, because he had a bull that she wanted, Ireland has been known for its strong women. Female activists and artists have long had a role in Ireland’s culture.

What women would you include in a list of great Irish Gaels?

We thought about about former president Mary Robinson, who was high commissioner at the UN and continues to work to promote human rights. And Samantha Powers, a journalist, public policy professor and former advisor to Obama. And Veronica Guerin, a reporter dogged in her pursuit of Dublin criminals until they gunned her down in 1996.

What about Sinead O’Connor for her musical talent and controversial public gestures? (Ok, we’re not going to include her in the top 10 – but she’d make it into a top 50 list, for sure).

We’d also like to include Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for their work in Belfast. Going back in time a little, there’s Maud Gonne, Yeats’ muse and an actress and feminist in her own right, and Countess Markievicz, who wore pants and carried a gun in the 1916 rising.

Here’s irishcentral’s list, a mix of influential male and female Gaels. We probably haven’t got everyone, and there are more we’d like to add. Who do you think is worthy of a place in the top ten?

1. William Butler Yeats
2. Mary Robinson
3. Veronica Guerin
4. Samuel Beckett
5. James Joyce
6. Michael Collins
7. Eamon De Valera
8. Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams (joint)
9. Samantha Powers
10. Heck, why not Queen Maeve!


Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:

Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.

Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: