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. 

Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O'Hara (Getty Images)

Maureen O'Hara (Getty Images)

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 forever. The world was much saddened to hear of her death earlier this year but we will always have her great movies.

Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal.

Waterford Crystal.

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

Riverdance

In 1994, the Eurovision Song Contest introduced the seven-minute performance Riverdance, starring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, to the world. Irish dancing was suddenly launched into the mainstream for a new awakening, the influence of which is still being felt today.

“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.

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy.

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.

Bono

Bono.

Bono.

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

Guinness

Guinness.

Guinness.

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

Jameson

Jameson.

Jameson.

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

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

Brown bread/soda bread.

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. 

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