Famous Irish Business People

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Irish Business People

 1 
Nadine Coyle
(Singer)

Nadine Coyle
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Birthdate: June 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Derry, Northern Ireland, UK

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.

 2 
Ali Hewson
(Activist)

Ali Hewson
3
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.

 3 
Mark Carney
(Economist)

Mark Carney
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada

After his 13-year stint with Goldman Sachs, Mark Carney served as the governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England. He was also part of the Canadian finance department. He is an ice-hockey lover and played the sport actively during the school and university days.

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 4 
Walter O'Brien
(Business Person)

Walter O'Brien
6
Birthdate: February 24, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Wexford, Ireland

Irish IT expert and entrepreneur Walter O'Brien produced the CBS action-drama TV series Scorpion, which was inspired by his life. It is believed he established Scorpion Computer Services at age 13 and had an IQ of 197 as a child, though many such claims by him remain unproved.

 5 
Pallonji Mistry
(Businessman known for 17.3% stake in Tata Sons)

Pallonji Mistry
3
Birthdate: 1929 AD
Birthplace: India

 6 
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry
(Ex Chairman of Tata Group)

Cyrus Pallonji Mistry
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Indian-born businessman Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, son of billionaire Pallonji Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group and an influential member of Mumbai’s Parsi community, chaired the Tata Group briefly. He was, however, voted out of his chairmanship over disagreements with the Tata family. Mistry is an Irish citizen through his Irish-born mother.

 7 
Mark Getty
(Businessman who is the co-founder and chairman of Getty Images)

Mark Getty
0
Birthdate: July 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
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 8 
Denis O’Brien
(Entrepreneur)

Denis O’Brien
3
Birthdate: April 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Republic of Ireland

Irish media magnate Denis O’Brien, the owner of Communicorp and Digicel, got his first lessons in salesmanship from his father, who was pharma salesman. While in school, he excelled in rugby. Named one of the World's Top 200 Billionaires in 2015, he owns a philanthropic foundation, too.

 9 
Niall Quinn
(Football player)

Niall Quinn
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin-born footballer Niall Quinn made waves as a striker for clubs such as Arsenal, Sunderland, and Manchester City. Known for his towering 6’4” frame, he won a Football League Cup with Arsenal. His popularity can be gauged by the fact that his fans created a song, Niall Quinn's Disco Pants, just for him.

 10 

Philomena Lynott
2
Birthdate: October 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
Died: June 12, 2019

Apart from being the mother of Thin Lizzy lead singer Phil Lynott, Philomena Lynott also made her mark as an author, with her memoir My Boy. She learned about Phil’s struggle with drug addiction after he collapsed in his home. Phil died soon after, following which Philomena became a campaigner against drug abuse.

 11 
Tony O'Reilly
(Rugby Player)

Tony O'Reilly
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Tony O'Reilly excelled in various sports as a child, including football and cricket, but later chose rugby as his career path. Apart from being a famed Irish rugby player, he had also been a successful businessman, heading H.J. Heinz Company as its CEO. A debt issue led him to be declared bankrupt later.

 12 
Noel Tata
(Chairman of Trent and Tata Investment Corporation, the managing director of Tata International)

Noel Tata
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Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: India

 13 

Sinéad O'Carroll
2
Birthdate: May 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Singer Sinéad O'Carroll rose to fame in the 1990s with the girl pop band B*Witched, churning out hits such as C'est la Vie. She later appeared on shows such as Dancing with the Stars and once opened up about her struggle with mental illness, financial losses, and phobias, which she overcame.

 14 
Tony Ryan
(Businessman)

Tony Ryan
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died: October 3, 2007

The founder of Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, Tony Ryan had to give up his studies at 18, following his father’s death, and take up jobs. He first tasted success in the aircraft leasing arena, with Guinness Peat Aviation. He also made significant charitable contributions to various Irish educational institutes.

 15 

Alexander Turney Stewart
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1803
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lisburn, Ulster, Ireland
Died: April 10, 1876

Scottish-Irish businessman Alexander Turney Stewart initially aspired to be a Presbyterian minister, before deviating to teaching and then eventually stepping into business. He began with trading textile and then launched a dry goods business, A. T. Stewart & Company, in New York, which he later expanded into an empire.

 16 
Lucinda Creighton
(Businesswoman)

Lucinda Creighton
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Claremorris, Ireland

Apart from being a barrister, Lucinda Creighton has been an Irish minister of state for European Affairs. A prominent leader of Renua and Fine Gael, she made significant contributions to Ireland’s EU/IMF bailout and later served as the CEO of Vulcan Consulting, a company she co-established with her husband.

 17 
Alison Campbell
(Businessperson)

Alison Campbell
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

Apart from being the wife of Irish golfer Darren Clarke, Alison Campbell, née Smyth, has also been a successful model and a former Miss Northern Ireland. Now a successful entrepreneur in her own right, she owns a modeling agency, with clients such as Zoe Salmon from Blue Peter.

 18 
Dick Spring
(Politician)

Dick Spring
1
Birthdate: August 29, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland

Irish politician and former Tánaiste Dick Spring was a great sportsman in his early years, excelling in Gaelic football, rugby, and hurling. Born to Labour politician Dan Spring, he quickly rose to become a Labour leader and also held several ministries, including foreign affairs. He has also been a prominent businessman.

 19 
Danielle Ryan
(Actress)

Danielle Ryan
1
Birthdate: November 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ireland

Best known as Vicky Boyle from the Acorn TV series Harry Wild, Irish actor Danielle Ryan has also won hearts with her stage performances in plays such as The Cordelia Dream. The granddaughter of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan, Danielle has also founded a drama school and works with UNICEF, too.

 20 
Marcus Daly
(Businessman)

Marcus Daly
1
Birthdate: December 5, 1841
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ballyjamesduff, Ireland
Died: November 12, 1900

Born into a poor peasant family, Marcus Daly was 14 when he arrived in New York as an Irish refugee. He started his career unloading ships and then worked as a ranch boy and a railroad worker, eventually taking over the copper mining industry and emerging as a Copper King of Montana.

 21 
Timothy Eaton
(Entrepreneur)

Timothy Eaton
0
Birthdate: December 5, 1841, 1834
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland
Died: January 31, 1907

Timothy Eaton has gone down in history as the founder of one of Canada’s largest retail giants, Eaton’s. Initially a general store apprentice in Ireland, he later sailed to Canada, where he opened his own store, introducing cash sales, fixed price, and better work conditions for retail employees.

 22 
Norah Casey
(Businesswoman)

Norah Casey
1
Birthdate: May 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Born to park ranger parents, Irish entrepreneur Norah Casey grew up loving animals and even worked in Dublin Zoo for a while. She then studied nursing but moved on to journalism later, working with Sky and BBC. She now owns the publishing giant Harmonia, the name behind magazines such as Food&Wine.

 23 
Bill Cullen
(Businessman)

Bill Cullen
1
Birthdate: February 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Summerhill, Dublin, Ireland

The story of Irish business magnate Bill Cullen is one of the rags-to-riches kind. Born to a fruit seller mother, he started trading at an early age. He struck gold with Ford dealership and later also owned Renault Ireland. He has penned a bestselling memoir and hosted the show The Apprentice.

 24 
Nellie Cashman
(Restaurateur)

Nellie Cashman
1
Birthdate: May 25, 1845
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Midleton, County Cork, Ireland
Died: January 4, 1925

Following the Irish Potato Famine, Irish-born Nellie Cashman and her family moved to the US. She launched a boarding house with her mother in Nevada and soon opened several restaurants. She led a rescue team to trapped gold miners in Cassiar and later became a gold prospector herself.

 25 
Hazel Crane
(Socialite)

Hazel Crane
1
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died: November 10, 2003

A well-known South African socialite and businesswoman, Hazel Crane once smuggled diamonds and worked at a strip club. She had also been a nurse. She was gunned down while traveling in her car to testify against Israeli mafia boss Lior Saat. Her interesting life later became public through her post-humous memoir.

 26 
Gerry Robinson
(Television presenter, Businessperson)

Gerry Robinson
0
Birthdate: October 23, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dunfanaghy, Ireland
Died: October 14, 2021

 27 
Christopher Bland
(Businessman)

Christopher Bland
1
Birthdate: May 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Died: January 28, 2017

Apart from being a politician, Christopher Bland was also a successful entrepreneur and headed various organizations, such as the Independent Television Authority, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and British Telecommunications. Once an Olympic fencer for Ireland, the Oxford alumnus later also owned a vineyard and penned a novel.

 28 

George Croghan
1
Birthdate: 1718 AD
Birthplace: Ireland
Died: August 31, 1782

Irish-born George Croghan, The King of the Traders, later moved to America, where he was successful in befriending the local tribes of the Ohio region. Over the years, he got many treaties signed on behalf of the British government and had a 16-year stint as the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

 29 

William Russell Grace
1
Birthdate: May 10, 1832
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ballylynan, Ireland
Died: March 21, 1904

Irish-American shipping magnate William Russell Grace is best remembered as the founder of W.R. Grace & Co. Born in Ireland, he sailed to the US at 14. He initially worked for a shipping firm in Peru and Chile and later joined politics in the US, becoming the first Catholic mayor of New York.