From the Kilkenny architect who designed the White House, to the Clare inventor who built the first submarine, the thirty-two counties of Ireland have produced countless men and women who for hundreds of years have made a significant impact across the world. Great Irish People traces those memorable Irish figures from the Flight of the Earls in 1607 throughout the most dramatic four centuries in the country’s history, to the Good Friday Agreement and right up to the present day.
These periods saw the men and women of Ireland reach dizzying heights, not only on this island but worldwide: Antrim’s Chaim Herzog became President of Israel; Derry’s Charles Thomson designed the Great Seal of the United States; Derry’s Matthew Thornton was a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence; Waterford’s William Hobson was the first Governor of New Zealand and Carlow’s Patrick Francis Moran the Archbishop of Sydney.
Great Irish People is arranged on a county-by-county basis, allowing for an extensive look at this ‘reservoir’ of Irish men and women of merit and achievement. There are also specially commissioned hand drawn portraits of each ‘Great Irish Person’ in this special collection which celebrates the contributions made by the Irish at home and in virtually every corner of the globe; an immense, amazing, sometimes bizarre, extraordinary and varied collective.