Irish Stereotypes: A Coda

This is a follow-up to my previous post:

The Toxicity of Taxonomy- Stereotyping the Irish

To further  explode the myth that the Irish are stupid, Here is a list of smart Irish people. There are many more I have not included.

Padraig Colman


Bob Geldof

Laurence Sterne

Jonathan Swift

Bishop Berkeley

James Hoban (Architect of the White House)

William Congreve

Maria Edgeworth

Oliver Goldsmith

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Edmund Burke

Bram Stoker

JM Synge

George Bernard Shaw

Oscar Wilde

James Joyce

WB Yeats

Samuel Beckett

Frank O’Connor

Flann O’Brien

Sean O’Faolain

John Banville

John McGahern

Sebastian Barry

Claire Boylan

Maeve Brennan

Roddy Doyle

Edna O’Brien

Anne Enright

William Trevor

Kenneth Branagh

Brian Friel

Frank McCourt

Patrick Brontë

Frank McGuinness

Brian Moore

Seamus Heaney

Paul Muldoon

Neil Jordan

Thomas Kinsella

Cecil Day-Lewis

CS Lewis

Sean O’Casey

Nick Laird

Iris Murdoch

Joseph O’Connor

Colm Tóibín

JD Bernal

Ten Irish people have won Nobel prizes. Four Irish writers have won the Booker prize. William Trevor has been shortlisted four times and won many other awards. JG Farrell won the Booker of Bookers prize for the best Booker winner.


Lola Montez

Danny La Rue

Pierce Brosnan

Colin Farrell

Gabriel Byrne

Michael Gambon

Richard Harris

Patrick McGoohan

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Liam Neeson

Maureen O’Hara

Peter O’Toole

Colm Meany

Milo O’Shea

Stephen Rea

Cyril Cusack

Sinead Cusack

Sorcha Cusack

Fiona Shaw

Saoirse Ronan

Damien Rice

Daniel O’Donnell

Van Morrison

Johnny Rotten


My Bloody Valentine


Hothouse Flowers

Thin Lizzy

The Corrs

Skid Row

The Undertones

Dame Ninette de Valois

Chris de Burgh

Shane McGowan

Here are a few people of Irish origin in the US and the UK

Henry Ford

Daniel Day-Lewis

Eugene O’Neill

Gracie Allen

Walter Brennan

James Cagney

Spencer Tracy

Errol Flynn

Tyrone Power

Robert Mitchum

Jack Nicholson

Martin Sheen

Aidan Quinn

John Cusack

Sean Penn

George Clooney

Gene Kelly

Donald O’Connor

William Randolph Hearst

J Paul Getty

Jack Welch

John Ford

Raoul Walsh

Walt Disney

John Huston

F Scott Fitzgerald

Mary Higgins Clark

George V Higgins

Cormac McCarthy

Pat Conroy

Tom Clancy

Dennis Lehane

Bing Crosby

JF Kennedy

Andrew Jackson

Richard Nixon

Ronald Reagan

Bill Clinton

John McCain

Irish people had a big influence in Latin America.

Ambrose O’Higgins (1721-1801) from Sligo was governor of Chile and viceroy of Peru.

His son Bernardo is regarded as the father of Chilean independence.

William Brown (1777-1857), founder of the Argentine navy, was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo.

Thomas Charles Wright (1799-1868) of Drogheda, founder of the Ecuadorean navy;

Peter Campbell (b. 1780) of Tipperary, organized the first Uruguayan naval force in 1814;

George O’Brien, Charles Condell, and Patricio Lynch, naval heroes in Chile;

Che Guevara was an Irishman!!!

That iconic image was certainly created by an Irish artist, jim Fitzpatrick. Che’s name was Ernesto Guevara Lynch. The Lynch family were one of the famous 14 Tribes of Galway. Most people seem to accept that Che’s grandmother, Anna Isabel Lynch, was born in the west of Co. Galway and eventually she moved to South America. Once there she met a man called Guevara, and they had a child they named Ernesto who was Che’s father. On March 13th 1964, the Irish Times journalist Arthur Quinlan interviewed Che at Shannon Airport during a stopover flight from Prague to Cuba. Guevara talked of his Irish connections through the name Lynch. He told Quinlan of his Grandmother’s Irish roots in Galway. Later, Che, and some of his Cuban comrades, went to Limerick City and adjourned to Hanratty’s Hotel on Glentworth Street. According to Quinlan, they returned that evening all wearing sprigs of Shamrock, for Shannon and Limerick were preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Che was also aware of family roots in County Cork.