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Famous Playwrights from Ireland

Updated June 14, 2019 15.8k views40 items

List of notable or famous playwrights from Ireland, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Ireland and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Ireland. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Irish playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Ireland is included when available.

Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats are included on this list.

This historic playwrights from Ireland list can help answer the questions "Who are some Irish playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Ireland?" These prominent playwrights of Ireland may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Irish playwrights.

Use this list of renowned Irish playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 
  • 1
    Brendan Behan

    Brendan Behan

    Dec. at 41 (1923-1964)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Brendan Francis Aidan Behan (christened Francis Behan) ( BEE-ən; Irish: Breandán Ó Beacháin; 9... more on Wikipedia
  • 2

    Colm Byrne

    Age: 54

    BirthplaceLimerick, Republic of Ireland

    Colm Byrne (born 1966) is an Irish playwright. He was born in Limerick and lives in Galway.... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Colm Tóibín

    BirthplaceEnniscorthy, Republic of Ireland

    Colm Tóibín (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkɔl̪ˠəmˠ t̪ˠoːˈbʲiːnʲ]; born 30 May 1955) is an Irish... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Conor McPherson

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Conor McPherson (born 6 August 1971) is an Irish playwright, screenwriter and director of... more on Wikipedia
  • 5

    BirthplaceAthlone, Republic of Ireland

    Declan Lynch (born 1961) is an Irish journalist, writer and playwright. Lynch was born in... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Dion Boucicault

    Dion Boucicault

    Dec. at 70 (1820-1890)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Dionysius Lardner "Dion" Boucicault (né Boursiquot; 26 December 1820 – 18 September 1890) was... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany

    BirthplaceEurope, Eurasia, United Kingdom, London, England

    Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (; 24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957),... more on Wikipedia

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    #143 of 171 The Best Short Story Writers of All Time#98 of 182 The Best Fantasy Authors

  • 8
    Emma Donoghue

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Emma Donoghue (born 24 October 1969) is an Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian,... more on Wikipedia

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    #1161 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time#25 of 33 The Best Irish Authors

  • 9
    Enda Walsh

    Enda Walsh

    Age: 53

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Enda Walsh (born 1967) is an Irish playwright.
  • 10

    BirthplaceBuncrana, Republic of Ireland

    Professor Frank McGuinness (born 1953) is an Irish writer. As well as his own plays, which... more on Wikipedia
  • 11

    Frank McMahon

    Dec. at 65 (1919-1984)

    BirthplaceNew York

    Frank McMahon (September 20, 1919 – December 22, 1984) was an American-Irish playwright and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Gary Duggan (born 14 March 1979) is an Irish playwright. Born in Dublin in 1979, Duggan was... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    George Bernard Shaw

    George Bernard Shaw

    Dec. at 94 (1856-1950)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of... more on Wikipedia

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    The Best George Bernard Shaw Quotes#448 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 14
    George Moore

    George Moore

    Dec. at 81 (1852-1933)

    BirthplaceCounty Mayo, Republic of Ireland

    George Augustus Moore (24 February 1852 – 21 January 1933) was an Irish novelist, short-story... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Hamilton Deane

    Hamilton Deane

    Dec. at 78 (1880-1958)

    BirthplaceRepublic of Ireland, New Ross

    Hamilton Deane (1880–1958) was an Irish actor, playwright and director. He played a key role... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Hugh Leonard

    Hugh Leonard

    Dec. at 83 (1926-2009)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Hugh Leonard (9 November 1926 – 12 February 2009) was an Irish dramatist, television writer... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Isaac Bickerstaffe

    Isaac Bickerstaffe

    Dec. at 79 (1733-1812)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Isaac Bickerstaffe or Bickerstaff (26 September 1733 – 1812?) was an Irish playwright and... more on Wikipedia
  • 18

    James Cousins

    Dec. at 83 (1873-1956)

    BirthplaceBelfast, United Kingdom

    James Henry Cousins (22 July 1873 – 20 February 1956) was an Irish writer, playwright, actor,... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    James Plunkett

    James Plunkett

    Dec. at 83 (1920-2003)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    James Plunkett Kelly, or James Plunkett (21 May 1920 – 28 May 2003), was an Irish writer. He... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Jimmy Murphy is an Irish playwright living in Dublin. He is a former writer in residence at... more on Wikipedia
  • 21

    John B. Keane

    Dec. at 74 (1928-2002)


    John Brendan Keane (21 July 1928 – 30 May 2002) was an Irish playwright, novelist and essayist... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    John Banville

    BirthplaceWexford, Republic of Ireland

    William John Banville (born 8 December 1945) is an Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Liam Mac Uistin

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Liam Mac Uistin is a writer.
  • 24
    Maeve Binchy

    Maeve Binchy

    Dec. at 72 (1940-2012)

    BirthplaceDalkey, Republic of Ireland

    Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939 – 30 July 2012) was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Marina Carr

    BirthplaceCounty Offaly, Republic of Ireland

    Marina Carr born November 17,1964 is a prolific Irish playwright. She has written almost... more on Wikipedia