Who is the greatest Irish person ever? We took a poll to find out. The winner and the runner-up will surprise you. 

Of all the Irish heroes, warriors, inventors, writers, politicians, musicians, and public figures over the course of history, we wanted to know who was the most famous Irish person of all time. 

So we picked 10 of the best known Irish people from history to today and asked you, our audience, to decide

The options were: James Joyce, Bono, Maureen O'Hara, Arthur Guinness, Michael Collins, Conor McGregor, Liam Neeson, Mary Robinson, Oscar Wilde, and Enya. 

The results? According to just under 2,000 voters, the most famous Irish person of all time is living today - history walks among us! 

And the winner is...


Yes, 32% of voters - 627 people - picked the U2 frontman as the best known Irish person of all time. 

Bono, born Paul David Hewson in Dublin on May 10, 1960, joined U2 while he was still in secondary school (high school) but it was their six album, The Joshua Tree, that made the band international stars.

Over the years Bono has used his celebrity status to bring the world’s attention to problems such as world poverty and AIDS, spearheading major philanthropic initiatives. In 2005 he was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine and in 2007 Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary knight for his service. With U2, he has won 22 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Bono's closest competition, with 25% of the votes (479 votes) was none other than 'The Big Fella' himself, revolutionary and statesman Michael Collins

While none of the other candidates came close to Bono and Michael Collins, Arthur Guinness, the founder of the world-famous brewery that still bears his name, placed third, with 10% (197) of the votes. 

Next came Ulysses author James Joyce with 9.5% (185), followed by Hollywood star Maureen O'Hara with 8% (156).

Mary Robinson, the first woman to be elected President of Ireland, got the least votes at 1.3% (26), with singer and musician Enya placing slightly above her with 1.7% (33). 

In the comment section, many people proposed Saint Patrick the most famous Irish person of all time. While he is widely and readily associated with Ireland as the country's patron saint, Patrick was from Roman Britain and only wound up in Ireland when he was captured by pirates at the age of 16. 

Another name mentioned multiple times was John F. Kennedy - stay tuned for a poll on the greatest Irish Americans of all time. 

Do you agree with the results? Do you think someone else should have won the title? Share your thoughts in the comment section.