With a long literary and theatrical history, it’s no surprise that Ireland has churned out some of the best acting talent in the world. Here’s a list of our ten favorite Irish actresses.

1. Brenda Fricker

One of the foremost known names in Irish acting, Brenda Fricker, has had roles in ‘My Left Foot,’ ‘Veronica Guerin,’ and is in the new film ‘Albert Nobbs,’ which is receiving Oscar buzz. Fricker was born in Dublin in 1945, and lives there now.

2. Saoirse Ronan

This young break-out star has starred in the critically acclaimed films ‘Atonement,’ for which she received an Oscar nomination, and ‘The Lovely Bones.’ While Ronan was born in New York City, she was raised in Carlow by her Irish parents. She’s known for her uncanny ability to put on different accents.

3.  Fionnula Flanagan

This Dublin native has made a name for herself in both television and film. She’s starred on the big screen in such hits as ‘Waking Ned Devine’ and ‘The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.’ She’s appeared on both American and foreign television, most notably on the ABC hit ‘Lost.’ Flanagan has homes in both Dublin and California presently.

4. Orla Brady

This actress, nominated for several IFTAs, has graced both movie screens and television screens. She is perhaps best known for her work in the 1998 film ‘Wuthering Heights,’ and on the popular Irish television program ‘Mistresses.’ Brady was born in Dublin in 1961.

5. Sarah Bolger

This young starlet was born in Dublin in 1991, and has starred most famously in the film ‘In America,’ and on the television series ‘The Tudors’, alongside Cork native Jonathan Rhys Meyers. She has several projects in both production and post-production.


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6. Elaine Cassidy

This Wicklow native was named one of  European films' Shooting Stars by European Film Promotion in 2001. She starred alongside Nicole Kidman in the 2001 thriller, ‘The Others.’

7. Kerry Condon

Currently starring in the new HBO drama ‘Luck’ alongside Dustin Hoffman, Condon was born in Tipperary in 1983. She appeared in the film version of ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and ‘Intermission’ and is in 2011’s ‘This Must be the Place.’

8. Evanna Lynch

Lynch secured the coveted role of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film franchise after beating out 15,000 other hopefuls at an open-call audition. This Irish beauty was born in Termonfeckin in 1991.

9. Fiona Shaw

This Cork native has starred famously as Petunia Dursley throughout the Harry Potter film franchise. Following that, she’s had a recurring role on the HBO hit ‘True Blood.’

10. Ruth Negga

This half Irish / half Ethiopian beauty was born in Dublin in 1982. While she doesn’t have a lengthy film resume, she appeared in the popular 2005 Irish film ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ alongside Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson.

Irish Mammys are the best --Brenda Fricker in My Left FootGoogle Images