FAMOUS IRISH PEOPLE
(27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891)
Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish landlord, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Parnell led the Irish Parliamentary Party as a Member of Parliament through the period of Parliamentary nationalism in Ireland between 1875 and his death in 1891. He was described as one of the three or four greatest men of the 19th century. The Irish Parliamentary Party split during 1890, following revelations of Parnell’s private life intruding into his political career. He has nevertheless been revered by subsequent Irish parliamentary republicans and nationalists. You can find the Parnell Monument at the north end of O’Connell Street.
(6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847)
Often referred to as The Liberator or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation—including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years—and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.
(16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde is an Irish writer and poet. After writing several works in the 1880s, he became one of London’s most famous playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is best known for his epigrams, his novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray, his plays but also the circumstances of his imprisonment and his early death. Thanks to his eloquence, his flamboyant wardrobe and his biting spirit, Oscar Wilde became one of the most famous personalities of his time. success and his fame, while his masterpiece The Importance of Being Constant (1895) is still played in London, Wilde sues the Marquis of Queensberry for defamation. He is arrested for indecent behaviour with another man. After two trials, he is sentenced to two years imprisonment and forced labour. Following his release, he left immediately in France, with the intention of never returning to Ireland or Great Britain. It is there that he writes his last work, The Ballade of the Reading Jail (1898), a long poem describing the difficult pace of life in prison. He died ruined at the age of 46.
(24 September 1725 – 23 January 1803)
An Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery business and family. He was also an entrepreneur, visionary and philanthropist. At 27, in 1752, Guinness’s godfather Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed him £100 in his will. Guinness invested the money and in 1755 had a brewery at Leixlip, just 17 km from Dublin. In 1759, Guinness went to the city and set up his own business. He took a 9,000-year lease on the 4-acre (16,000 m2) brewery at St. James’s Gate from the descendants of Sir Mark Rainsford for an annual rent of £45. Guinness’s florid signature is still copied on every label of bottled Guinness. You can visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn more about Arthur Guinness and his brand.
(2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941)
An Irish novelist and poet considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he utilized. Joyce was born in 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin into a middle-class family on the way down. A brilliant student, he excelled at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father’s love of drink and precarious finances. He went on to attend University College Dublin. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce’s fictional universe centres on Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses, he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, “For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.
(10 May 1960 – )
Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best recognized as the footman of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, and the future members of U2. Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, frequently using religious, social, and political themes. During U2’s early years, Bono’s lyrics contributed to their rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members.