Pride came before the fall.

Some years ago, I was frustrated that no credit was ever given to the achievements of the Irish apart from a talent for talking and drinking.  As I said to a boss I had in London ca.1978  ‘not all of us-not all the time’.

As for charming and friendly Irish- I was never sure it applied in general.

ca. 2005.   I was curiously filled with a strain of  ‘nationalitis’; no doubt a reaction to 4 decades of hearing the stereotypical British view of us.  It was an affliction where pride in ones country was overpowering.   I felt compelled to research all the forgotten if ever remembered ‘world figures’ who regard or were entitled to call Ireland their homeland.

Currently our ‘greatness’ is still our  global export of people but my patriotic fervour has been dimmed by the realisation that we or some of us were not only stupid, but criminally stupid.

cowen lenihan

Howandever, ca.2005, I wrote about my pride in an Irish ‘type’ that was common in the  generations of my parents and grand-parents and great grand-parents back further into an ancestral and mystic past (but not mythical)

Please overlook the poor standard of writing (cut and paste) as I hastily typed a defence of our national character.  I was naive!  I have since reverted to the view that a country is a piece of land that keeps you from falling into water.

Kentaro Nagai+world as animals

 by Kentaro Nagai. 

If it were not for the Irish gene-thousands who came to be cultural icons on a global scale would literally ‘not be’

There wouldn’t have been a Che Guevara, whose father declared ” in my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels”.

Diametrically in a political and cultural sense….

John F Kennedy closed a speech at the US Naval Academy.”

It is with that in mind that I see such profound linkages to our early

naval traditions of tenacity and the ability to overcome adversity. Let me

close with an Irish toast that often comes to mind at the end of a long day

in Washington ? “May the devil chase you every day of your life and never

catch you.” As I always mentally add to that toast, if the devil isn’t at

least chasing you, you’re probably not doing it right? and you’re probably

not Irish. Thank you and Erin Go Braugh! ”


At Shannon airport in 1963 JFK invited the Irish to visit DC, and the White House.

The 7 year old who momentarily saw him from a distance in 1963 would more by happenstance than design, visit the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the Capitol Building, and indeed for a second time the Pentagon four decades later.


On War and …


From as long as I can remember UK publications and most broadcast media have significantly circumvented any reference to ‘Irishness ‘when the subject is of a heroic nature.

The commemorative reportage of World Wars have continually overlooked

contributions from citizens of Ireland (even when other countries are deservedly

mentioned) .

One of the greatest air aces serving with the

RAF during WW2 was ace spitfire pilot Patrick(Paddy) Finnucane, a Limerickman.

It is invidious to make comparisons in matters of such gravitas, but in the interest of balance and enlightenment it should be noted that per capita of population, the Irish (South/North ) have had more Victoria Cross honours than any other nation or country; and in numbers alone are second only to their English ‘comrades’.

Doubters may check the records.

English 614. Irish 190 awards. (South/North combined).



 Notwithstanding misplaced heroism

Crimean War (1854 – 1856) 111 awards

Persian War (1856 – 1857) 3 awards

Indian Mutiny (1857 – 1859) 182 awards

Taranaki Maori War, New Zealand (1860 – 1861) 2 awards

Third China War (1860 – 1862) 7 awards

Umbeyla Campaign (1863) 2 awards

Shimonoseki Expedition, Japan (1864) 3 awards

T’ai P’ing Rebellion (1851 – 1864) 1 award

Bhutan War (1864 – 1865) 2 awards

Canada (1866) 1 award

The Gambia (1866) 1 award

Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand (1863 – 1866) 13 awards

Andaman Islands Expedition (1867) 5 awards

Abyssinia Expedition (1867 – 1868) 2 awards

Looshai Expedition, India (1872) 1 award

First Ashanti Expedition (1873 – 1874) 4 awards

Malaya (1875 – 1876) 1 award

Baluchistan (1877) 1 award

Ninth Cape Frontier War (1877 – 1878) 1 award





Zulu War (1879) 23 awards

Second Afghan War (1878 – 1880) 16 awards

Second Naga Hills Expedition (1879 – 1880) 1 award

First Boer War (1880 – 1881) 6 awards

Basuto War (1879 – 1882) 6 awards

Occupation of Egypt (1882) 3 awards

Sudan (1881 – 1885) 4 awards

Chin Field Force, Burma (1889) 1 award

Karen-Ni Expedition, Burma (1888 – 1889) 1 award

Hunza-Naga Campaign, India (1891) 3 awards

Manipur Expedition, India (1891) 1 award

The Gambia (2nd) (1892) 1 award

Kachin Hills Expedition, Burma (1892 – 1893) 1 award

North West Frontier, India (1895) 1 award

Matabeleland Rebellion, Rhodesia (1896) 2 awards

Mashona Rebellion, Rhodesia (1896 – 1897) 1 award

Crete (1898) 1 award

Malakand Frontier War, India (1897 – 1898) 1 award

Mohmand Campaign, India (1897 – 1898) 3 awards

Tirah Campaign, India (1897 – 1898) 7 awards

Boxer Rising, China (1900) 2 awards

Sudan Campaign (1896 – 1900) 6 awards

Third Ashanti Expedition (1900 – 1901) 2 awards

Second Somaliland Expedition (1902) 1 award

South African War (Boer War) (1899 – 1902) 78 awards

Kano-Sokoto Expedition, Nigeria (1903) 1 award

Third Somaliland Expedition (1902 – 1903) 3 awards

Armed Mission to Tibet (1903 – 1904) 1 award

Fourth Somaliland Expedition (1903 – 1905) 2 awards

First World War (1914 – 1918) 626 awards

North Russia Relief Force (1919) 5 awards

Arab Revolt, Mesopotamia (1920) 1 award

Waziristan Campaign, India (1919 – 1921) 3 awards

Mohmand Campaign, India (2nd) (1935) 1 award

Second World War (1939 – 1945) 181 awards

Korean War (1950 – 1953) 4 awards

Malaysia-Indonesia Confrontation (1963 – 1966) 1 award

Vietnam War (1959 – 1975) 4 awards

Falklands War (1982) 2 awards

In comparison the alarmingly boastful Welsh have had 25 VC recipients in the same time frame..


Whilst Admiral Nelson had a majority number of Irish aboard his ship from both including a surgeon.

A more contemporary skirmish…

Ship off the coast of Kerry, Oct 95.

Radio conversation-transcript.

released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-03-02:

Irish: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South, to avoid a


British: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North, to avoid

a collision.

Irish: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South

to avoid a collision.

British: This is the captain of a British navy ship. I say again, divert

your course.

Irish: Negative. I say again, You will have to divert your course.

British: This is the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. The second largest

ship in the British Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers,

two missile cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change

your course, 15 degrees north, I say again, that is 15 degrees north, or

counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure that safety of this ship.

Irish: We are a lighthouse. Your call!…..


Further afield significant numbers of Irish Americans (some Irish-born)served with the USAF, US Marines and US Navy and of that number a sizeable percentage distinguised themselves and received Medals of Honour. They didn’t ask or choose to fight no doubt,  but when sacrifice was called for, they did their service.

Beyond fighting on fields and sea for the errors of world leaders over the

centuries; the Irish Diaspora made their mark

In the speech at Rice University, Kennedy

with his opening sentence answered the question of why man should venture

into space

“We set sail on this new sea because there is knowledge to be gained”

I would suggest that JFK was more than conscious that these were the same

sentiments that Irish people have always had since Irish monks revived the

teaching of Latin and Greek in colleges around Europe in the 8th and 9th


 Space…the Irish frontier.

As I wrote this piece (Thursday, 14 July 2005), Eileen Collins, now Commander Collins, was on station to lead a crew to re-establish shuttle flight (after Columbia).She was previously an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a test pilot before she became an astronaut. She had logged 4,100 hours in 30 different aircraft. She was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. Her second in command is also an Irish American.

Over the years, there have been Irish Americans at the leading edge of NASA, USAF, Special Forces; Marines, Navy, and Coastguard.

Among the earliest Astronaut corps with a Celtic ancestry include:

Edward A. White, the first American to E.V.A. (walk in space);

JamesMcDivitt, Commander of Gemini IV and of Apollo 9;

Michael Collins, the pilot of Apollo 11;

and Gerald Carr, who retired to be Project Director at the

McDonald Observatory.

Marine Corps Colonel Bryan O’Connor, was Mission Commander aboard Columbia

in June 1991. On the same flight was medical doctor, Andrew “Drew” Gaffney.

Shuttle pilot Brian Duffy flew the Atlantis in March, 1992. On board with

him, among others, was veteran Kathy Sullivan. Kathryn was the

first U. S. woman to walk in space (October, 1984). She flew again on

the shuttle mission that deployed Hubble Telescope (1990). In 1991, she was

Payload Commander on a shuttle mission to study the earth’s atmosphere. In

1992, Ms. Sullivan left NASA to return to her original field of study, Oceanography, when she accepted an appointment as Chief Scientist of the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration.

The most recent on the flight-line, so to speak, is Commander Mark Kelly.

Endeavor pilot Brian Duffy was also with the Air Force and a test pilot before becoming an astronaut.

The latest success(2005) has been the ‘Deep Impact’ program led by a Mr A’Hearn.

There are countless other connections to the United States Space program.

Cy Baker was Executive Officer of the Astronaut Office. Cy arranged for the

Division’s three foot Irish tricolor flag to be carried into space aboard

the first shuttle, Columbia, in April, 1981. Other than the American flag,

it was the largest flag carried into space aboard a U. S. flight.


Leaders; peacemakers and revolutionaries.

The American Revolution

Irish-Americans who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Matthew Thornton, George Taylor, James Smith, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch,

Thomas McKean, George Read, and Charles Carroll.

Irish-Americans made up from 1/3 to ½ of the American troops. Including

1,492 officers and 26 Generals.

The American Civil War

Seven Union Generals were Irish-born. 150,000 Irish-Americans fought for the

North in the Civil War. 39 regiments had an identifiable Irish component.

Sixteen Colonels in the Union Army were Irish-born. An estimated 80,000

Irish-Americans fought for the South. Six Confederate Generals were born in

Ireland. Eleven Colonels in the Confederate Army were born in Ireland. All

of them were Americans, of course!

The first two casualties of the American Civil War were Irish.


At Ft. Sumter


during the surrender ceremonies on April 14, 1861, a cannon exploded killing

Pvt. Daniel Hough instantly. Pvt. Edward Galway was severely wounded and

died a short time later. They would not be the last to die in service to


Seventy Irish-born Americans received the Medal of Honor during the Civil

War. Through World War I, Two Hundred and two Irish-Born soldiers received

the medal. The number goes way up if you include Americans of Irish



Eighteen of America’s presidents had Irish or Irish Scots lineage. 

John Adams, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland,Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson,John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson Clinton.

Incidentally (2012 edit)  If you walk down Cocoa Beach south of Cape Canaveral, a district is aligned and named after these US Presidents.  I recall on a dark October night after a shuttle launch   “I must be near Madison-as I passed by Polk”.

Just as Washington DC has grid allignment named after States of the Union (some nice property on New Jersey Avenue, I recall).  As I recall now the kind lady who gave me her mobile phone to find directions back to a reasonably priced hotel(incidentally just a sling shot from the House of Congress.

I return you to the list I wrote ca 2005.   I haven’t had time to give the listing the rigourous editing you may have come to expect, and repetition is rife!.  Errors are possible(some curious names)-but you ‘get the drift’.

 Other Notables

John Barry was the ‘Father of the American Navy’.

Wild Bill” Donovan; Colonel of the “Fighting 69th” in World War I, he was

awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal,

the Congressional Medal of Honor, a Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters

and the Croix de Guerre. After the war he headed up the Office of Strategic

Services (which evolved into the CIA.)


As mentioned earlier American pilots of Irish descent are legion.

Many Irish Americans served with distinction (and sacrifice) in the US

Navy; Marines; SEALS; Special Forces.

From NASA website

 “From the Halls of Montezuma, To the Shores of


The US Marine Corps anthem dedicated to the Irish American Presley O’Bannon.

The following is part of a tribute speech to the US Navy from a NASA

Director and son of another distinguished Irish American Naval Officer.

“Commodore Barry and Lieutenant O’Bannon; but two of thousands of

Irish-Americans who have served heroically in the Navy and Marine Corps and

have given their name to Fleet Destroyers serving today in the U.S.

Navy. Commodore Barry is honored by the second Aegis Destroyer, the Barry;

and Lieutenant O’Bannon by the 25th Spruance Destroyer, O’Bannon.

Indeed, from the opening salvo of the American Revolution through the

present, the battle reports of the Navy and Marine Corps, sparkle with Irish

names. Admiral William Leahy was the first Irish-American five-star

Admiral—one of only four, in the history of the republic. These early

Irish-American naval officers are the lineage of the modern exploration

conquests in space

The descendants of the Apollo legacy are present with us today in the space

program. Our leader of the space flight program is Bill Readdy, veteran

astronaut commander of space shuttle flights, and retired Captain, United

States Navy. Veteran astronaut and Marine Corps Colonel, Bryan O’Connor

bears the enormous challenge of leading our safety and mission assurance


Jim Reilly, descended from County Cork lineage, and presently Lieutenant

Commander, United States Navy is an active member of the astronaut corps, a

veteran of prior missions and slated to serve of a future mission upon our

return to flight; as are the Kelly twins, Mark and Scott, both Navy test

pilots and veteran astronauts, and Douglas Hurley, a Navy test pilot, and a

member of the most recently selected astronaut class.

But, of course, the pantheon of great space exploration veterans of Irish

American descent is not exclusively restricted to naval service roots:

Frank Griffin NASA Administrator, physicist and aerospace engineer alluded to the last public speech President John F. Kennedy,

when he relayed a story told by the Irish writer Frank O’Connor. This story defines what NASA is all about.

“O’Connor wrote how as a boy he and his friends would make their way across

the countryside,” said Kennedy. “When they came to an orchard wall that

seemed to high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their

voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall

so as they had no choice but to follow them.”

The President concluded, “This Nation has tossed its cap over the wall of

space, and we have no choice but to follow it. Whatever the difficulties,

they will be overcome. Whatever the hazards, they must be guarded against.

With the help of all those who labor in the space endeavor, with the help

and support of all Americans, we will climb this wall with safety and with

speed:and we shall then explore the wonders on the other side.”

There’s nothing particularly easy, I’ve come to find, about the challenges

of exploration other than its wide appeal as a human instinctive desire. The

“how-to” is debatable and after controversial. It is with that in mind that

I see such profound linkages to our early naval traditions of tenacity and

the ability to overcome adversity. Let me close with an Irish toast that

often comes to mind at the end of a long day in Washington ? “May the devil

chase you every day of your life and never catch you.” As I always mentally

add to that toast, if the devil isn’t at least chasing you, you’re probably

not doing it right? and you’re probably not Irish. Thank you and Erin Go

Braugh! “(sic)


Indeed President Kennedy expressed a quintessential Irish philosophy that

“All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties,

and both must be enterprised (sic)and overcome with answerable courage.”


 from another speech

“I hope that the qualities of the Irish—good humor, spirit, stubbornness in

the right cause, and the ability to keep your head up when the going gets

hard—will continue to stand us in good stead in the space exploration

community. We will need them in the days ahead as NASA goes through

critically important

These challenges call for bold innovation, and, in some cases, sweeping

changes. Our goal is to reshape NASA into a tightly knit, highly efficient,

focused community capable of regularly repeating the amazing achievements we

see evident in the present Mars expedition. A goal worth struggling for as

the desire to explore is written in the human heart. I am here tonight as an

Irish American proud to be part of the journey, and with the right

determination, I firmly believe we will succeed”

<I acknowledge texts from the NASA website where there is an asterisk and the following information which in part come from NASA and the  American Armed Services. I acknowledge as holders of proprietory and intellectual rights>


Brian O’Leary was but one of only two astronaut scientists in the Apollo


Kathryn Sullivan was the first woman astronaut to conduct a space walk, and

included in the annals of the “Greatest Irish Americans of the 20th Century”

Paul Haney joined NASA when the agency was formed in 1958 and through the

Apollo era was known by Walter Cronkite as the “Voice of Mission Control”


The Irish have always been a catalyst for progress in America. For

instance, it is estimated that during the American Revolution between

one-third and one-half of General Washington’s forces, including 1492

officers, were of Irish descent. Once the struggle was won; many Irish

Americans diverted their energy and courage to subduing the “Wild Frontier.”


Such names as Daniel Boone, first to explore Kentucky, was originally Daniel

Buhun; Davy Crockett, John C. Calhoun; Kit Carson;Bat Masterson; Pat

Garrett; and Sam Houston (the first president of Texas)were the first of an

Irish litany of names to make their contribution to the Great American


Eight of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were of Irish

descent. The document itself was handwritten by Irish-born Charles Thomson

and printed by another Irishman, John Dunlap. *

And if that wasn’t ‘cum summa laude ‘enough……..many in UK would be

shocked to learn and I reiterate,  that the greatest sporting  icon of the 20th century Mohammed

Ali(Cassius Clay)had Irish ancestry. Is it all that surprising given his

alacrity with wit?.

Odessa Grady Clay, Cassius Clay’s mother, was the great-granddaughter

of the freed slave Tom Morehead and of John Grady of Ennis, whose son

Abe had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. She named her son

Cassius in honor of a famous Kentucky abolitionist of that time. It is not

to be overlooked that the appellation ‘Clay’ was regarded as a slave name by

the great one.

Diametrically opposite in the political dialectic to Irish American

politicians seemingly,but nevertheless the outstanding ‘socialist’ figure of

courage and intelligence was another man with Irish ancestry, Ernesto



Astronomer Edgeworth – he made reference to Jupitor’s rings, before Mr Kuiper,.

First female astronomer Irishwoman Dill Russell Everitt

Thomas Grubb for Telescopes and optical instruments

William Rowan Hamilton –Mathematician extraordinaire.

Francis Beaufort for work on wind speed.

Edmund Davy-acetylene torch.

James Martin-ejection seat.

Harry Ferguson—anti-skid and 4 wheel drive/flew planes /invented airfix…and

still had time to build up a tractor manufacture empire.

James Drum-battery powered trains.

Peter Rice-engineer who inspired architects throughout the world. He

pioneered use of materials including cast steel and glass.

Maxwell Simpson-chemistry.

Francis Chesney-military surveyor.(Father of Suez canal)

One of the greatest Mining Tycoons’ was one Marcus Daly from Cavan, who

developed the worlds’ largest copper mine in Montana USA.

William Hunter McCrea

John Gregg-shorthand script.


Samuel Beckett(genius and playwright)

James Joyce,(novelist)

Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, novelist and


Oscar Wilde, novelist, poet, satirist

George Bernard Shaw, (individualist; unique human;novelist, playwright,

Bram Stoker (author of Dracula, and more)

Brendan Behan, playwright, novelist; bon viveur )

Oliver Goldsmith – novelist and dramatist

Sean O’Casey, playwright


as we have entered the ephemeral world of the arts -the subsequent job description may loosely be applied to some or many of the following depending on your evolved sensibilities or lack of same.

Actor- really?  Poet-really? ecetera.

Seamus Heaney,

William Butler Yeats, poet

John Millington Synge – dramatist

Patrick Kavanagh,poet

Francis Ledwidge, poet

Thomas Moore – poet

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright

Laurence Sterne – novelist

George Barrington

Brian Friel, playwright





 Irish American contribution




in Literature include…

Eugene O’Neill America’s most respected playwright  “Long Day’s Journey Into

Night” and “The Iceman Cometh, among his work.

F Scott Fitzgerald.

Mickey Spillane

Tom Kenneally (Tom Wolf)

Actually the list is vitually endless…but not literally so

Did you know that John Steinbeck’s mother was Irish?


Irish American, American-Irish



JOHN FORD (born Sean Aloysius O’Feeney)

Irish gene within their ancestry








AUDIE MURPHY( because he was the most decorated American hero in real life.)


ROBERT REDFORD   (yes! remarkably, he admits to it–after his TCD Hon degree.  What a bribe!)



JOHN WAYNE (Marion Morrison.)


MARTIN SHEEN( of Irish and Spanish extraction)






ERROL FLYNN(to be confirmed)

ANTHONY QUINN(Irish-Mexican or Mexican Irish.  Isn’t there a Greek line?)


JOHN CUSACK(nephew of Joan)



WARREN BEATTY(he is here because any higher would make his head explode)





DENNIS LEARY (comic actor)






 The Irish gene I spoke of initially was obviously not the mutation in the genome we have in local yokel politics, media, finance as a hole, I mean whole. 








in A to Z  order of some mixture of ‘Irishness’  (some dubiously or remotely)

Don Adams Actor 13-Apr-1926 “Missed it by that much.” Get Smart comic was also a war hero

Ben Affleck Actor 15-Aug-1972

Casey Affleck Actor 12-Aug-1975

Christina Aguilera Singer 18-Dec-1980  I guess-maternal side

George Allen Politician 8-Mar-1952 US Senator from Virginia 2001-

Gracie Allen Actor 26-Jul-1895 27-Aug-1964 Say goodnight Gracie

Krista Allen Actor 5-Apr-1972 Jenna on Baywatch

Armand Assante Actor 4-Oct-1949 -maternal side.

Mary Astor Actor 3-May-1906 25-Sep-1987 The Maltese Falcon

Barbara Bach Actor 27-Aug-1947

Alec Baldwin Actor 3-Apr-1958 ie-all  The Baldwin family.

Stanley Baldwin.  Really??? Head of State 3-Aug-1867 14-Dec-1947 UK Prime Minister three times

John Barrymore Actor 14-Feb-1882 29-May-1942 Romeo and Juliet

John Drew Barrymore Actor 4-Jun-1932 29-Nov-2004 High School Confidential!  Blame still remains as he begat a daughter actress.

Mischa Barton Actor 24-Jan-1986 Marissa Cooper on The O.C.

Jennifer Beals Actor 19-Dec-1963 Flashdance

Ed Begley, Sr. Actor 25-Mar-1901 28-Apr-1970 Juror #10 in 12 Angry Men

Mary Boland Actor 28-Jan-1880 23-Jun-1965 Ruggles of Red Gap

Larry Bossidy Business 5-Mar-1935 CEO of Honeywell

Dion Boucicault Playwright 26-Dec-1820 18-Sep-1890 The Corsican Brothers

Stephen Boyd Actor 4-Jul-1931 2-Jun-1977 Ben-Hur

Lisa Boyle Model 6-Aug-1964 Cover of October 1995 Playboy

Peter Boyle Actor 18-Oct-1933 Young Frankenstein

Marlon Brando Actor 03-Apr-1924 1-Jul-2004  Definite Irish blood along with American Indian, and English, and other lineage.

William J. Brennan Judge 25-Apr-1906 24-Jul-1997 U.S. Supreme Court Justice


Susie Bright Columnist 25-Mar-1958 Sexpert, porn critic

Matthew Broderick Actor 21-Mar-1962 War Games

Pierce Brosnan Actor 16-May-1951 Remington Steele, James Bond

Pat Buchanan Columnist 2-Nov-1938 Right-wing conservative throwback

Whitey Bulger Criminal 3-Sep-1929 One of the FBI’s ten most wanted

Anthony Burgess Novelist 25-Feb-1917 25-Nov-1993 A Clockwork Orange.  I had thought he just liked the Irish-as he did -Joyce.

Edward Burns Actor 29-Jan-1968 Saving Private Ryan

Ellen Burstyn Actor 7-Dec-1932 Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Steve Buscemi Actor 13-Dec-1957 Reservoir Dogs

Gary Busey Actor 29-Jun-1944 The Buddy Holly Stor

Thomas Cahill Author 1940 How the Irish Saved Civilization

Dean Cain Actor 31-Jul-1966 Superman

Joseph Califano Government 1931 Carter’s HEW Secretary

Mariah Carey Singer/Songwriter 27-Mar-1970 Diva

Lynda Carter Actor 24-Jul-1951 Wonder Woman

Dana Carvey Comic 2-Jun-1955 Saturday Night Live

Jack Cassidy Actor 5-Mar-1927 12-Dec-1976 The Eiger Sanction. Father of

David(singer). Inference can be made that he is in fact Irish American and

not another ‘welsh claim’

Willa Cather Novelist 7-Dec-1875 24-Apr-1947 O Pioneers!

James Caviezel Actor 26-Sep-1968 Christ on a cross in Mel Gibson’s Passion

Neil Cavuto TV Personality 22-Sep-1958 Fox News Channel VP, news anchor

Linda Chavez Activist 17-Jun-1947 Neoconservative activist, pundit

Tommy Chong Actor 24-May-1938 The stoned half of Cheech and Chong

Kate Chopin Novelist 8-Feb-1851 22-Aug-1904 The Awakening

Mary Higgins Clark Author 24-Dec-1929 A Stranger is Watching

Rosemary Clooney Singer 23-May-1928 29-Jun-2002 Come On-a My House

Rory Cochrane Actor 28-Feb-1972 Tim Speedle on CSI: Miami

Richard J. Codey Politician 27-Nov-1946 Acting Governor of New Jersey 2004-

George M. Cohan Musician 3-Jul-1878 5-Nov-1942 Yankee Doodle Dandy

Chuck Connors Actor 10-Apr-1921 10-Nov-1992 The Rifleman

Frances Conroy Actor 13-Nov-1953 Ruth Fisher on Six Feet Under

John Singleton Copley Painter


Chris Cornell Musician 20-Jul-1964 Soundgarden frontman

Bud Cort Actor 29-Mar-1948 Harold in Harold and Maude

Bob Costas TV Personality 22-Mar-1952 Sportscaster, formerly hosted Later

Kevin Costner Actor 18-Jan-1955 Waterworld

Father Charles Coughlin Religion 25-Oct-1891 27-Oct-1979 Radio

Jeanne Crain Actor 25-May-1925 14-Dec-2003 20th Century Fox studio actress

Joseph Force Crater Victim 1889 6-Aug-1930 NY State Judge vanished

Russell Crowe Actor 7-Apr-1964

Jane Curtin Actor 6-Sep-1947 SNL, Third Rock from the Sun

John Cusack Actor 28-Jun-1966 High Fidelit

Marion Davies Actor 3-Jan-1897 22-Sep-1961 When Knighthood Was in Flower

Daniel Day-Lewis Actor 29-Apr-1957

Robert De Niro Actor 17-Aug-1943 The Godfather: Part II  . He sees himself from his Italian side.  Can’t get away from your Irish side, Bob!  C’mon!!!

Eamon de Valera Head of State 14-Oct-1882 29-Aug-1975 President of Ireland

Mike DeWine Politician 5-Jan-1947 US Senator from Ohio

John Dingell Politician 6-Jul-1926 US Congressman, Michigan 15th

William Donohue Activist 18-Jul-1947 Catholic League president

Wild Bill Donovan Government 1-Jan-1883 8-Feb-1959 Founded the OSS

Robert Downey, Jr. Actor 4-Apr-1965 Not sure

Ellen Drew Actor 23-Nov-1915 3-Dec-2003 If I Were King

Karen Duffy Actor 23-May-1962 MTV VJ turned Dumb & Dumber actress

Nora Dunn Comic 29-Apr-1952 SNL alumnus

Dominique Dunne Actor 23-Nov-1959 4-Nov-1982 Poltergeist

Dick Durbin Politician 21-Nov-1944 US Senator from Illinois

Ms. Dynamite Singer 26-Apr-1981 London-based MC, Booo!

Barbara Ehrenreich Author 26-Aug-1941 Nickel and Dimed

Carmen Electra Model 20-Apr-1972 Jenny McCarthy’s replacement on Singled Out

Jeffrey Eugenides Author 1960 The Virgin Suicides

Chris Evans Actor 13-Jun-1981 The Fantastic Four

John Fiedler Actor 3-Feb-1925 25-Jun-2005 Voice of Piglet

Ralph Fiennes Actor 22-Dec-1962 Red Dragon  ??????

F. Scott Fitzgerald Author 24-Sep-1896 21-Dec-1940 The Great Gatsby

Sean Patrick Flanery Actor 1-Oct-1965 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

John Spalding Flannery Attorney 16-May-1870 17-Feb-1954 Prominent Washington


Errol Flynn Actor 20-Jun-1909 14-Oct-1959  more like Tasmanian-Ozzy Irish

Harrison Ford Actor 13-Jul-1942

John Ford Film Director 1-Feb-1894 31-Aug-1973

Matthew Fox Religion 21-Dec-1940 Creation Spirituality

Vicente Fox Head of State 2-Jul-1942 President of Mexico

Robert Fulton Inventor 14-Nov-1765 24-Feb-1815 Inventor of the submarine and


Thomas Gage Military 1721 2-Apr-1787 Commander of British Forces in America

Janeane Garofalo Comic 28-Sep-1964 Actor, Comedian, Author, Activist

David Garrick Actor 19-Feb-1717 20-Jan-1779 Manager of Drury Lane Theatre

Greer Garson Actor 29-Sep-1904 6-Apr-1996 Mrs. Miniver

Richard Gere Actor 31-Aug-1949 ????????

Aria Giovanni Pornstar 3-Nov-1977 Softcore vixen, fetish & bondage model

Jackie Gleason Actor 26-Feb-1916 24-Jun-1987 Ralph Kramden in The


Louise Imogen Guiney Poet 7-Jan-1861 2-Nov-1920 A Roadside Harp

Joan Hackett Actor 1-Mar-1934 8-Oct-1983 Only When I Laugh

Pete Hamill Journalist 24-Jun-1935 The New York Post

Sean Hannity Radio Personality 30-Dec-1961 Clinton-hater for Fox News

Lord Haw-Haw Radio Personality 24-Apr-1906 3-Jan-1946 WWII propagandist

Dick Haymes Musician 13-Sep-1916 28-Mar-1980 State Fair

Susan Hayward Actor 30-Jun-1918 14-Mar-1975 I Want to Live!

Rita Hayworth Actor 17-Oct-1918 14-May-1987 Gilda

Lafcadio Hearn Author 27-Jun-1850 26-Sep-1904 Japan: An Attempt at

Patricia Heaton Actor 4-Mar-1958 Wife Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond

Van Heflin Actor 13-Dec-1910 23-Jul-1971 Till the Clouds Roll By

Katherine Helmond Actor 5-Jul-1928 Jessica Tate on Soap

Jill Hennessy Actor 25-Nov-1968 Claire Kincaid on Law and Order

Barbara Hershey Actor 5-Feb-1948 Boxcar Bertha and Mary Magdalene.  I just knew it!Beautiful Barbara has Irish-Jewish lineage.

Brian Higgins Politician 6-Oct-1959 Congressman, New York 27th 2005

Henry Hill Criminal 1942 Mobster inspired Goodfellas

Alfred Hitchcock Film Director 13-Aug-1899 29-Apr-1980 Master of Suspense  remote connection ?

Henry Hyde Politician 18-Apr-1924 Congressman, Illinois 6th 1975-

Patricia Ireland Activist 19-Oct-1945 NOW president 1991-2001

Andrew Jackson Head of State 15-Mar-1767 8-Jun-1845 7th US President,

Dr. John Musician 21-Nov-1940 Right Place, Wrong Time

Paul X. Kelley Military 11-Nov-1928 28th USMC Commandant, 1983-87

Grace Kelly Royalty 12-Nov-1929 14-Sep-1982

Moira Kelly Actor 6-Mar-1968 Mandy on The West Wing

Jamie Kennedy Actor 25-May-1970 Scream, Malibu’s Most Wanted

James Kimsey Business 1939 AOL’s founding CEO

Thomas Kinkade Painter 19-Jan-1958 Self-proclaimed “Painter of Light”

Neil LaBute Film Director 19-Mar-1963

Brian Lamb Talk Show Host 9-Oct-1941 Founded C-SPAN

Burt Lancaster Actor 2-Nov-1913 20-Oct-1994

Michael Landon Actor 31-Oct-1936 1-Jul-1991

Artie Lange Comic 11-Oct-1967 MADtv, Howard Stern

T. E. Lawrence Author 16-Aug-1888 19-May-1935 Lawrence of Arabia  ? O’Toole-yes..but Lawrence?

Patrick Leahy Politician 31-Mar-1940 US Senator from Vermont, 1974-

Kelly LeBrock  24-Mar-1960

Hyapatia Lee Pornstar 11-Nov-1960 Hy Heeled Drifter, Titty Committee

Vivien Leigh Actor 5-Nov-1913 8-Jul-1967 Gone With The Wind

G. Gordon Liddy Government 30-Nov-1930 Watergate criminal cum talk-show-host

Donal Logue Actor 27-Feb-1966 Jimmy the Cab Driver

Dan Lungren Politician 22-Sep-1946 Congressman, California 2005-

Phil Lynott Musician 20-Aug-1949 4-Jan-1986 Founder of Thin Lizzy

Peter Maas Author 27-Jun-1929 23-Aug-2001 Serpico

Jeanette MacDonald Actor 18-Jun-1903 14-Jan-1965 The Merry Widow

Connie Mack Sports – Baseball 22-Dec-1862 8-Feb-1956 Manager of the

Philadelphia Athletics

Virginia Madsen Actor 11-Sep-1963 Dune to Sideways

Bill Maher Talk Show Host 20-Jan-1956 Host of Politically Incorrect

Jock Mahoney Actor 7-Feb-1919 14-Dec-1989 Yancy Derringer

Chris Matthews Talk Show Host 17-Dec-1945 Hardball with Chris Matthews

Mercedes McCambridge Actor 17-Mar-1916 2-Mar-2004 All the King’s Men

Paul McCartney Musician 18-Jun-1942 Lineage strongest with Harrison, then by McC, Lennon, Richard Starkey.

John McCone Spy 4-Jan-1902 14-Feb-1991 CIA Director 1961-65

Malachy McCourt Actor 20-Sep-1931 Father Meehan on Oz

James McDermott Politician 28-Dec-1936 Congressman, Washington 7th

John McEnroe Sports – Tennis 16-Feb-1959

Patrick McGoohan Actor 19-Mar-1928

Mark McGrath Musician 15-Mar-1968 Frontman for Sugar Ray

Ben McKelway Journalist 2-Oct-1895 1976 Editor, The Washington Star

Leo McKern Actor 16-Mar-1920 23-Jul-2002 Travelling North, Rumpole of theBaileyMust be Norn Iron category- Irish ancestry’ .  It helps book sales and general ‘fame and social climbing’ in the great wide world outside of UK

Vince McMahon, Sr. Sports – Wrestling 6-Jul-1914 24-May-1984 World Wide

Wrestling Federation founder

Robert McNamara Government 9-Jun-1916 US Secretary of Defense 1961-68

Colm Meaney Actor 30-May-1953 Transporter Chief O’Brien in Star Trek

Anne Meara Comic 20-Sep-1929 Stiller and Meara

Andrew W. Mellon Business 24-Mar-1855 27-Aug-1937 US Secretary of the

Treasury 1921-32

Stephin Merritt Musician 1966 The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths

Tom Mesereau Attorney 1950

Judith Miller Journalist 1948

Kate Millett Activist 14-Sep-1934 Sexual Politics

George J. Mitchell Politician 20-Aug-1933 US Senator from Maine 1980-95

Rhona Mitra Actor 9-Aug-1976

Michael Moore Film Director 23-Apr-1954 Oscar-winning director, agitator

Jim Moran Politician 16-May-1945 Congressman, Virginia 8th

Kate Mulgrew Actor 29-Apr-1955 Star Trek: Voyager

Dermot Mulroney Actor 31-Oct-1963 Young Guns

Billy Murray Singer 25-May-1877 17-Aug-1954 Top recording star of the early


Alannah Myles Singer/Songwriter 25-Dec-1958 Black Velvet

Jack Nance Actor 21-Dec-1943 30-Dec-1996 Eraserhead

Gaylord Nelson Politician 4-Jun-1916 3-Jul-2005 Founded Earth Day in 1970

Jack Nicholson Actor 22-Apr-1937

Pat Nixon First Lady 16-Mar-1912 22-Jun-1993 First Lady

Richard M. Nixon Head of State 9-Jan-1913 22-Apr-1994 37th US President,

1969-74  remotely?

Oliver North Military 7-Oct-1943 Perjuring Iran-Contra figure

Conan O’Brien Talk Show Host 18-Apr-1963 Late Night with Conan O’Brien

Pat O’Brien Actor 11-Nov-1899 15-Oct-1983 Angels with Dirty Faces

Pat O’Brien Journalist 14-Feb-1948 The Insider

Soledad O’Brien Journalist 19-Sep-1966 CNN newscaster

Flannery O’Connor Author 25-Mar-1925 3-Aug-1964

Lawrence O’Donnell Journalist 1955 MSNBC political analyst

Catherine O’Hara Comic 4-Mar-1954

Maureen O’Hara Actor 17-Aug-1920 Miracle on 34th Street

Bernardo O’Higgins Head of State 20-Aug-1778 24-Oct-1842 Supreme Director of

Chile 1817-23

Eugene O’Neill Playwright 16-Oct-1888 27-Nov-1953 America’s greatest


Bill O’Reilly Talk Show Host 10-Sep-1949

Laura Prepon Actor 7-Mar-1980 Donna on That 70’s Show

Lindsay Price Actor 6-Dec-1976 Coupling

Anna Quindlen Columnist 8-Jul-1953 NYT columnist turned novelist

Colin Quinn Comic 6-Jun-1959 Tough Crowd, SNL

Johnny Ramone Musician 8-Oct-1951 15-Sep-2004 Member of the Ramones

Ronald Reagan?????? Head of State? 6-Feb-1911 5-Jun-2004 40th US President, 1981-89

George E. Reedy Government 5-Aug-1917 21-Mar-1999 Lyndon B. Johnson’s press


Donald Regan Government 21-Dec-1918 10-Jun-2003 US Secretary of the Treasury


Tara Reid Actor 8-Nov-1975 Bunny in The Big Lebowski

Charles Nelson Reilly Actor 13-Jan-1931 Very, very gay actor

Tanya Roberts Actor 15-Oct-1955 Bond Girl, Beastmaster, That 70s Show

Ed Rollins Government 19-Mar-1943 GOP political strategist

Andy Rooney Journalist 14-Jan-1919 60 Minutes’ resident crank

Harold W. Ross Publisher 6-Nov-1892 6-Dec-1951 Founder of The New Yorker

Mickey Rourke Actor 16-Sep-1956 Angel Heart, Animal Factory

Mercedes Ruehl Actor 28-Feb-1948 Married to the Mob, The Fisher King

Tim Russert  R.I.P            Talk Show Host 7-May-1950 Meet the Press

Frederick Ryan, Jr. Business 12-Apr-1955 CEO of Allbritton Communications

Augustus Saint-Gaudens Sculptor 1-Mar-1848 3-Aug-1907 Leading 19th c.

American sculptor

Leverett Saltonstall Politician 1-Sep-1892 17-Jun-1979 US Senator from

Masachusetts, 1945-67

Brian Schweitzer Politician 4-Sep-1955 Governor of Montana 2005-

Vin Scully Sports – Baseball 29-Nov-1927 Voice of the Dodgers

Steven Seagal Actor 10-Apr-1951 Pudgy direct-to-rental action star

Mack Sennett Film/TV Producer 17-Jan-1880 5-Nov-1960 Founder of Keystone


Ray Sharkey Actor 14-Nov-1952 11-Jun-1993 Sonny Steelgrave on Wiseguy

Martin Sheen Actor 3-Aug-1940

Maria Shriver Journalist 6-Nov-1955 now ex Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Alfred E. Smith Government 30-Dec-1873 04-Oct-1944 Two-time Governor of New


Patty Smyth Musician 26-Jun-1957 She is the warrior

Dusty Springfield ie Mary O’Brien Singer 16-Apr-1939 2-Mar-1999

Gwen Stefani Singer 3-Oct-1969 Singer

Jimmy Stewart Actor 20-May-1908 2-Jul-1997 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Sharon Stone Actor 10-Mar-1958

Arthur Sullivan Musician 13-May-1842 22-Nov-1900 Gilbert & Sullivan

Louis Sullivan Architect 3-Sep-1856 14-Apr-1924 Early skyscraper architect


Julia Sweeney Comic 10-Oct-1961 Androgyne Pat on Saturday Night Live

Richard E. Taylor Physicist 2-Nov-1929 Verified existence of quarks

John Travolta Actor 18-Feb-1954 Saturday Night Fever

Alan Turing Mathematician 23-Jun-1912 7-Jun-1954 Computing pioneer Really?

Peter Ueberroth Sports – Baseball 2-Sep-1937 Former Commissioner of Baseball

Rudy Vallee Actor 28-Jul-1901 3-Jul-1986 Singer, actor, bandleader


Mark Wahlberg Actor 5-Jun-1971 Formerly of the Funky Bunch

Tom Waits Musician 7-Dec-1949 The drinking man’s Billy Joel

John Walsh TV Personality 26-Dec-1945 America’s Most Wanted

Julie Walters Actor 22-Feb-1950 Educating Rita

Jack Welch Business 19-Nov-1935 CEO of GE, 1981-2001

Mae West Actor 17-Aug-1893 22-Nov-1980 Go up and see her sometime

Dan White Government 2-Sep-1946 21-Oct-1985 Assassinated George Moscone and

Harvey Milk

Michael Williams Actor 9-Jul-1935 11-Jan-2001 Educating Rita

James Woods Actor 18-Apr-1947 Casino, Any Given Sunday

Rose Mary Woods Government 26-Dec-1917 22-Jan-2005 Blamed for 18.5 minute

Watergate tape erasure


more glitzy parade ….




( actress, mother of Mia Farrow)



JOAN CUSACK(Aunt of John)




SHIRLEY MC LEAN(sister of Warren Beatty)

MARY TYLER MOORE(surprised me too!)

and countless others such as

Jennifer Connolly; Megan Murphy

Shannon O’Doherty

On Television

Johnny Carson (Here’s Johnny seminal influence on ‘chat show’ genre for 40


Phil Donoghue (equally influenced the ‘studio question format’ for 35 years)

Conan O’Brien.

Writer/Producer of Sex and the City….Michael Patrick King.

Writer Producer of Nip Tuck….Ryan Murphy

Bill Maher.

John F. Sullivan who changed his name to “Fred Allen

(Anyone familiar with early 20th Century radio knows Allen’s brand of


and Writers /Directors and performers for most hit shows of the last 50


As one in six Americans have Irish ancestry and the remainder wish they

had; adding MORE here would be tedious to the reader, as it is

proving wearisome to me.

Don’t you know God invented Guinness to stop the IRISH from taking over the


Then there were the plethora of Irish engineers and designers and architects throughout each era.

James Hoban from Kilkenny designed and supervised the executive mansion

between 1792 and 1800. When the British burned it in 1814, he oversaw the

reconstruction after which it was known as “The White House.”.

John Philip Holland-A submarine designer who finally convinced the U.S. Navy

to use submarines in 1900.

Henry Ford, son of an Irish immigrant started the Ford Motor Company and the rest is history.

Willis O’Brien advanced the technique of “stop motion” photography for the

film “The Dinosaur” in 1913. He went on to use the technique for “King Kong”

in 1933.

Mathew Brady—Born to Irish immigrants, Brady is the best known 19th Centiry


And many more

Reverting to the Arts again

Stephen Foster: America’s finest nineteenth century popular song composer.

George M. Cohan: Grandson of Michael Keohane from County Cork. Give My

Regards To Broadway, Yankee Doodle Boy, and You’re a Grand Old Flag are

tunes that George M. Cohan left as part of the American Musical tradition.

John and Lionel Barrymore

In the 1920’s the American stage belonged to the Barrymore’s. It was said

that when Shakespeare wrote “Hamlet,” he had John Barrymore in mind for the


Nellie Bly (born Elizabeth Cochrane).First made America conscious of the

woman reporter by making a trip around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, and 11

minutes.   Many different occupations -actor/directors/performers/senators,

surgeons; doctors; architects, industrialists, journalists, sports figures,

writers, boxers, and attorneys right up to the Supreme Court .

IRISH on this side of the pond……

Peter O’Toole,

Richard Harris

Liam Neeson

Daniel Day-Lewis(perhaps or not but qv Sligo/his father)

Pierce Brosnan

Colin Farrell

Neil Jordan, author, film director


Milo O’Shea

Barry Fitzgerald

Stephen Rea

Gabriel Byrne

Patrick Bergin

Colm Meaney

By the way, comic actor; writer and world traveller Michael Palin has talked

about his Kilkenny roots(but sadly like Des Lynam et al) he did so quietly

and discreetly on Irish media outlets only.

Kenny Everett (on his mother’s side presumably).


Fiona Shaw(Shakepearian classicist and film/tv actress)

Sinead Cusack(ditto)

Niamh Cusack (ditto)

Sorcha Cusack(ditto)


and the following 5 British –almost reluctant Irish, to a greater or lesser extent, jumping on board when it was safe.

Michael Gambon

Spike Milligan

Billy Connolly

Des Lynam

Des O’Connor


Elvis Costello .

The Beatles –<-check the ancestry> viz Mc Cartney/ Harrison/ Lennon.

(the latest to say he had Irish roots was in fact Ringo)

Eddie Cochrane

Bill Haley

Elvis (had Irish/Ulster roots)

Van Morrison

Jim Morrisson of the Doors(part Irish ancestry)

Morrissey of the Smiths.


More locally

The late genius Rory Gallagher (had he being

British, Eric Clapton would be just another session player).

Thin Lizzy  (until 21st century revival, were underated)

The Undertones.



Hot House Flowers.

The Chieftains,

The Dubliners.



 They all had something

that is lacking

    with this


 the Mary and Brian Coalition of Gravy Train Riding.



About Maurice O'Sullivan Aherne

As to the Gravatar inquiry which asks 'About Me' ? There is a life sustaining atmosphere. If they meant ...a description; there is more than the fraction shared online.
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