Famous Irish Women

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Enough of Irish men! It is time to shift the spotlight to their lesser-talked but equally worthy counterpart, the Irish women. Sharp, witty, feisty, fierce, and industrious, Irish women have always been somewhat of a mystery for the world. They have wooed, wowed, and inspired a generation of womankind with their sheer guts and accomplishments. Be it Hollywood, Human Rights, hospice or humanitarianism, Irish women have rocked it all and how? Now only if you thought that Ryan Gosling, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Lawrence were the only famous Irish women the world could count, you are in for a huge, huge surprise. Killer looks aside, Irish beauties like Queen Medb of Connaught, Countess Markievicz, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Mary Robinson, Mary Raftery, Lady Gregory, and Christina Noble are just some other influential Irish women who have impacted Ireland and the world at large in unthinkable ways. Read on to discover and get inspired by the lives and feats of many such Irish women in their biographies below that covers their timeline, trivia, and lesser-known facts with utmost honesty.
Vote for Your Favourite Irish Women
 1 
Angela Lansbury
(Actress and Singer Whose Career Spanned Over 80 Years)
Angela Lansbury
67
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Angela Lansbury played a key role in shaping the Golden Age of Hollywood. Recognized as one of the few stars still alive from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, Angela Lansbury has received accolades, such as an Honorary Oscar. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 2 
Saoirse Ronan
(American-Born Irish Actress Known for Her Work in Period Dramas)
Saoirse Ronan
65
Birthdate: April 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Saoirse Ronan is noted for her roles in period dramas since she was in her teens. Her breakthrough came when in 2007 she played a precocious teenager in the film Atonement. Since then she has acted in several successful movies. She’s also a stage artist and was featured by Forbes in two of their 30 Under 30 lists in 2016.

 3 
Katherine Ryan
(Comedian, Best Known for her Stand-up Specials)
Katherine Ryan
13
Birthdate: June 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan initially worked at a restaurant to support her education and then stepped into open mic and comedy nights. She has performed across Canada and the UK and even at the LA-based Comedy Store. Now an actor, too, she is also a 2-time skin cancer survivor.

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 4 
Dolores O'Riordan
(Lead Vocalist and Lyricist for the Alternative Rock Band ‘The Cranberries')
Dolores O'Riordan
24
Birthdate: September 6, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland
Died: January 15, 2018

Dolores O'Riordan went from being a church singer to becoming the lead vocalist of the Irish alternative rock band The Cranberries and a rock icon of the 1990s. She stunned her fans with her death as a result of accidental drowning due to intoxication at age 46.

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 5 
Becky Lynch
(One of WWE's Most Recognizable and Highest-Paid Wrestlers)
Becky Lynch
25
Birthdate: January 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Becky Lynch is a four-time WWE champion and was named sixth on Twitter’s 2019 Top Female Athletes Worldwide list. She initially wrestled as "Rebecca Knox", teaming up with her brother. She became the only woman to hold both the Raw Women's Championship and the SmackDown Women's Championship simultaneously.
 6 
Evanna Lynch
(Best Known for Her Role of 'Luna Lovegood' in the 'Harry Potter' Film Series)
Evanna Lynch
27
Birthdate: August 16, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Termonfeckin, Ireland
Evanna Lynch is best known as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movie franchise, Harry Potter-themed video games, and the musical A Very Potter Senior Year. An avid animal rights activist, she has launched a vegan-themed podcast titled The ChickPeeps and a cruelty-free make-up box named Kinder Beauty Box.
 7 
Enya
(Irish Singer and Musician Known for Pioneering Modern 'Celtic' and 'New-Age' Music)
Enya
11
Birthdate: May 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland

Known for her unique blend of Celtic and folk tunes, Irish singer Enya has been dubbed the Queen of New Age. The Academy Award-nominated singer is also a 4-time Grammy winner and soared to fame with tracks such as Only Time and Orinoco Flow. She is the best-selling Irish solo artist ever.

 8 
Katie McGrath
(Irish Actress Known for Her TV Series: 'Merlin', 'Dracula' and 'Supergirl')
Katie McGrath
13
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ashford, Ireland

Katie McGrath is an Irish actress known for playing important roles in popular TV series like Merlin, Dracula, Supergirl, and Frontier. Her journey from being a wardrobe assistant on the set of a television series titled The Tudors to becoming an actress after being advised to try her hand at acting is quite inspirational.

 9 
Jessie Buckley
(Irish Actress and Singer Known for Her Films: ‘Beast’, ‘Wild Rose’ and ‘The Lost Daughter’)
Jessie Buckley
22
Birthdate: December 28, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Killarney, Ireland

One of the most popular actresses from Ireland, Jessie Buckley was ranked 38th on Ireland's greatest film actors list published by The Irish Times in 2020. Also known for her singing abilities, Jessie Buckley is a member of the Tipperary Millennium Orchestra. She can also play the piano, clarinet, and harp.

 10 
Ruth Negga
(Irish Actress Known for Her Portrayal of 'Mildred Loving' in the Movie 'Loving')
Ruth Negga
21
Birthdate: January 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Born to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father, Ruth Negga didn’t look back after grabbing a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the Best Newcomer, with her performance in the play Duck. She also played both Ophelia and Prince Hamlet in two different productions of the play.

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 11 
Aisling Bea
(Irish Comedian and Actress Known for Her Comedy Series 'This Way Up')
Aisling Bea
11
Birthdate: March 16, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kildare, Ireland

Aisling Bea is an Irish actor, screenwriter, and comedian who has been serving as a team captain on the popular British comedy panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats since 2016. Apart from being a comedian and actor, Aisling Bea is also an activist; she campaigned successfully for the introduction of legal abortion and same-sex marriage legislation in Ireland.

 12 
Yvonne McGuinness
(Irish Visual Artist)
Yvonne McGuinness
19
Birthdate: October 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kilkenny, Ireland
Irish visual artist Yvonne McGuinness is renowned for her video installations and prints. Most of her art works revolve around themes of conflict between revealing and hiding one’s true self. She has also made several short films, such as Charlie's Place. She is married to Irish actor Cillian Murphy.
 13 
Dominique McElligott
(Irish Actress)
Dominique McElligott
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Irish actor Dominique McElligott is best known for her appearances in Hell on Wheels, The Astronaut Wives Club, The Boys, and the Netflix series House of Cards. She began her career with On Home Ground, in her teens. Her character in The Philanthropist was dropped before the series started airing.
 14 
Allie Sherlock
(Irish Singer, Guitarist and Busker)
Allie Sherlock
47
Birthdate: April 7, 2005
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland

Irish singer, songwriter, and guitarist Allie Sherlock came into the limelight in 2017 after a YouTube cover of hers went viral. Even though she had been uploading her music on YouTube since 2014, it was only in 2017 that she gained widespread attention. Since then, she has appeared in a few TV shows as well.

 15 
Nicola Coughlan
(Irish Actress)
Nicola Coughlan
7
Birthdate: January 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Galway, Ireland
 16 
Sarah Bolger
(Irish Actress Known for Her Films ‘In America’, ‘Stormbreaker’ and ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’)
Sarah Bolger
1
Birthdate: February 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Sarah Bolger is best known for her roles in movies such as Stormbreaker, The Lazarus Effect, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. She is also known for her IFTA Award-winning performance as Princess Mary Tudor in the series The Tudors and for her role as Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time.

 17 
Vogue Williams
(Television presenter)
Vogue Williams
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Reality TV star Vogue Williams soared to fame with the show Fade Street. Initially a DJ, Vogue had also worked for Stellar magazine. She later won Bear Grylls: Mission Survive. She also once launched her own fitness bootcamp. Vogue is married to TV personality Spencer Matthews.

 18 
Mary II of England
(Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689 - 1694))
Mary II of England
12
Birthdate: April 30, 1662
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 28, 1694

Mary II of England was Queen of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 to 1694. Although she co-reigned along with her husband William III of England, she also took major decisions by herself whenever William was abroad. Mary has been portrayed in films, such as Orlando and England, My England.

 19 
Maureen O'Sullivan
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland
Died: June 23, 1998
 20 
Nadine Coyle
(Pop Singer and a Member of the Girl Group ‘Girls Aloud')
Nadine Coyle
2
Birthdate: June 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Derry, Northern Ireland

Part of the award-winning girl band Girls Aloud, Irish singer-actor Nadine Coyle began her career with the show Popstars and later launched a solo career, with songs such as Go To Work. She has also been a model and has launched an Irish pub, which was later run by her family.

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 21 
Siobhan Fahey
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish singer and musician Siobhan Fahey is best known as a founding member of the British/Irish girl group Bananarama. As part of the group, she delivered several top 10 hits. Later, she formed the musical act, Shakespears Sister, which went on to win an Ivor Novello Award. In her 60s now, she continues to be active in the music scene.

 22 
Sarah Greene
(Actress)
Sarah Greene
1
Birthdate: July 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
 23 
Katie Taylor
(Irish Professional Boxer, Former Footballer and Undisputed Lightweight Champion Since 2017)
Katie Taylor
6
Birthdate: July 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland

A 5-time world champion and an Olympic gold medalist, Katie Taylor is one of Ireland’s best boxers. She also has 6 gold medals at the European Championship. Born amid poverty in the coastal town of Bray, to a boxer father, Katie was initially trained by him.

 24 
Ali Hewson
(Activist and Co-founder of the Fashion Line "EDUN" and Skincare Products Company "Nude")
Ali Hewson
5
Birthdate: March 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Ali Hewson is an Irish businesswoman and activist. In the 1990s, Hewson joined the anti-nuclear movement and started working with activists like Adi Roche. In 2002, she played a key role in organizing campaigns against the Sellafield nuclear facility in England. As a businesswoman, Hewson has co-founded a skincare company and a fashion label called Nude skincare and EDUN respectively.

 25 
Louisa Harland
0
Birthdate: 1994 AD
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 26 
Andrea Corr
(Singer-songwriter)
Andrea Corr
4
Birthdate: May 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dundalk, Ireland

Andrea Corr is an Irish singer, musician, songwriter, actress, and author. She is part of the popular Celtic pop-rock and folk-rock group The Corrs, where she plays the ukulele, piano, and tin whistle apart from being the lead singer. Also a humanitarian, Andrea Corr takes part in several charitable activities to raise money for various causes.

 27 
Maria Doyle Kennedy
(Actress Known for Playing Catherine of Aragon on the Series 'The Tudors')
Maria Doyle Kennedy
2
Birthdate: September 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland

Irish singer and actor Maria Doyle Kennedy is best known for her role as Catherine of Aragon in The Tudors. She has also been part of films such as The Conjuring 2 and The Commitments. Once part of the Black Velvet Band, she has also released several solo albums.

 28 
Dervla Kirwan
(Irish Actress)
Dervla Kirwan
7
Birthdate: October 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland
Irish actor Dervla Kirwan gained fame as Assumpta Fitzgerald in the series Ballykissangel. She was also seen in Goodnight Sweetheart and in The Next Doctor, a Christmas special episode of Doctor Who. A skilled stage actor, too, she has appeared in plays such as a production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal.
 29 
Sorcha Cusack
(Irish Television and Stage Actress)
Sorcha Cusack
5
Birthdate: April 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Sorcha Cusack is an Irish actress known for her association with popular theatre companies, such as the Royal Exchange, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre. Born into a family of actors, Sorcha Cusack followed in the footsteps of her parents to establish herself as an actress. 

 30 
Kerry Condon
(Irish Actress Best Known for Her Role as ‘Octavia of the Julii’ in the TV Series ‘Rome’)
Kerry Condon
8
Birthdate: January 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tipperary, Ireland

Irish actress Kerry Condon is popularly known for playing the role of Octavia of the Julii in the TV series Rome. Also active in theater, she is the youngest actress ever to play Ophelia in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. She has appeared in numerous movies as well and received acclaim for her performance in Intermission. 

 31 
Charlie Murphy
1
Birthdate: April 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland
 32 
Ruth Kearney
1
Birthdate: November 11, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 33 
Aisling Franciosi
(Irish Actress Known for Her Role as ‘Katie Benedetto’ in TV Series ‘The Fall’)
Aisling Franciosi
7
Birthdate: June 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Irish actor Aisling Franciosi is best known as Katie Benedetto from the series The Fall and as Kate Crawford from the TNT series Legends. She was also seen as Lyanna Stark in Game of Thrones and as Clare Carroll in The Nightingale, and won an AACTA award for the latter.
 34 
Fionnula Flanagan
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 35 
Brenda Fricker
5
Birthdate: February 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 36 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 37 
Grace Marks
(Irish-Canadian Maid & Murderer)
Grace Marks
5
Birthdate: 1828
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ulster
Died: 1873 AD
 38 
Una Healy
(Pop Singer Best Known as a Member of Five-Piece Girl Group 'The Saturdays')
Una Healy
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: County Tipperary, Ireland

Una Healy initially rose to fame as part of the 5-member girl group The Saturdays. The Irish singer is the niece of country music star Declan Nerney. A talented swimmer, she gave up the sport at 13 to switch to music. She has also scored solo hits such as Stay My Love.  

 39 
Valerie Hobson
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Larne, County Antrim, Ireland
Died: November 13, 1998
 40 
Anne of Denmark
(Queen Consort of England and Ireland (1603 - 1619))
Anne of Denmark
3
Birthdate: December 12, 1574
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Skanderborg, Denmark
Died: March 2, 1619

Often described as a "dumb blonde," Anne of Denmark, who became the queen of Scotland, England, and Ireland, through her marriage to King James VI and I, was an art connoisseur known for attending extravagant masques. She probably also converted to Catholicism later, going against James’s anti-Catholic stance.

 41 
Nauheed Cyrusi
(Actress, Model and VJ)
Nauheed Cyrusi
7
Birthdate: October 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India

Nauheed Cyrusi is an Indian model, actress, and VJ. Cyrusi is best known for appearing in TV commercials for well-known brands like Head & Shoulders, Britannia, and Himalaya. Over the years, Cyrusi has become a household name in India, thanks to her acting skills and visibility across the country.

 42 
Sinéad Cusack
(Irish Stage and Film Actress)
Sinéad Cusack
6
Birthdate: February 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dalkey, Ireland

Sinéad Cusack is an Irish actress best known for her contribution to British and Irish theatre. Over the years, she has received nominations for prestigious awards, such as the Tony Award and Olivier Award. In 2020, Sinéad Cusack was named in Ireland's greatest film actors list published by The Irish Times.

 43 
Catherine FitzGerald
(Landscape architect)
Catherine FitzGerald
1
Birthdate: May 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
 44 
Sharon Corr
(Singer)
Sharon Corr
2
Birthdate: March 24, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dundalk, Ireland

Best known as part of the Irish family band The Corrs, singer Sharon Corr is equally talented in instruments such as the violin and the guitar. Born to musician parents, she began playing for orchestras as a child. She opened up about her social anxiety disorder through her solo album.

 45 
Mary Robinson
(7th President of Ireland (1990 - 1997))
Mary Robinson
2
Birthdate: May 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ballina, Ireland

A seasoned lawyer and a Harvard and Trinity College alumna, politician Mary Robinson has also taught law at Trinity. The Labour Party member later rose to be Ireland’s first female president. She was also a founding member of the global group of peacekeepers and leaders The Elders.

 46 
Niamh Algar
(Actress)
Niamh Algar
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ireland
 47 
Tana French
(American-Irish Writer Best Known for Her Novels: ‘In the Woods’, ‘The Likeness’ and ‘Faithful Place’)
Tana French
5
Birthdate: May 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States

Tana French is an American-Irish theatrical actress and writer. She is best known for her first novel, In the Woods, which received several prestigious awards, such as the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Macavity Award, Anthony Award, and Barry Award. Over the years, Tana French has become an important name among fiction readers across the world.

 48 
Laura Donnelly
5
Birthdate: August 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Belfast, Northern Ireland
 49 
Constance Markievicz
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 15, 1927

Irish revolutionary political leader and suffragist Constance Markievicz scripted history by becoming the first woman to be elected as a cabinet minister in Europe and also the first female to be elected to the British Parliament. Sentenced to death for her role in the Easter Rising, she was later granted amnesty.

 50 
Eva Birthistle
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bray, Ireland