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Famous Playwrights from Ireland

Updated June 14, 2019 19.2k 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. 
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  • 1

    Brendan Behan

    Dec. at 41 (1923-1964)
    Brendan Francis Aidan Behan (christened Francis Behan) ( BEE-ən; Irish: Breandán Ó Beacháin; 9...  more
  • 2

    Colm Byrne

    Age: 54
    Colm Byrne (born 1966) is an Irish playwright. He was born in Limerick and lives in Galway....  more
  • 3
    Colm Tóibín (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkɔl̪ˠəmˠ t̪ˠoːˈbʲiːnʲ]; born 30 May 1955) is an Irish...  more
  • 4
    Conor McPherson (born 6 August 1971) is an Irish playwright, screenwriter and director of...  more
  • 5
    Declan Lynch (born 1961) is an Irish journalist, writer and playwright. Lynch was born in...  more
  • 6

    Dion Boucicault

    Dec. at 70 (1820-1890)
    Dionysius Lardner "Dion" Boucicault (né Boursiquot; 26 December 1820 – 18 September 1890) was...  more
  • 7
    Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (; 24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957),...  more

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  • 8
    Emma Donoghue (born 24 October 1969) is an Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian,...  more

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  • 9

    Enda Walsh

    Age: 53
    Enda Walsh (born 1967) is an Irish playwright....  more
  • 10
    Professor Frank McGuinness (born 1953) is an Irish writer. As well as his own plays, which...  more
  • 11

    Frank McMahon

    Dec. at 65 (1919-1984)
    Frank McMahon (September 20, 1919 – December 22, 1984) was an American-Irish playwright and...  more
  • 12
    Gary Duggan (born 14 March 1979) is an Irish playwright. Born in Dublin in 1979, Duggan was...  more
  • 13

    George Bernard Shaw

    Dec. at 94 (1856-1950)
    George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of...  more

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  • 14

    George Moore

    Dec. at 81 (1852-1933)
    George Augustus Moore (24 February 1852 – 21 January 1933) was an Irish novelist, short-story...  more
  • 15

    Hamilton Deane

    Dec. at 78 (1880-1958)
    Hamilton Deane (1880–1958) was an Irish actor, playwright and director. He played a key role...  more
  • 16

    Hugh Leonard

    Dec. at 83 (1926-2009)
    Hugh Leonard (9 November 1926 – 12 February 2009) was an Irish dramatist, television writer...  more
  • 17

    Isaac Bickerstaffe

    Dec. at 79 (1733-1812)
    Isaac Bickerstaffe or Bickerstaff (26 September 1733 – 1812?) was an Irish playwright and...  more
  • 18

    James Cousins

    Dec. at 83 (1873-1956)
    James Henry Cousins (22 July 1873 – 20 February 1956) was an Irish writer, playwright, actor,...  more
  • 19

    James Plunkett

    Dec. at 83 (1920-2003)
    James Plunkett Kelly, or James Plunkett (21 May 1920 – 28 May 2003), was an Irish writer. He...  more
  • 20
    Jimmy Murphy is an Irish playwright living in Dublin. He is a former writer in residence at...  more
  • 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
  • 22
    William John Banville (born 8 December 1945) is an Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter...  more
  • 23
    Liam Mac Uistin is a writer....  more
  • 24

    Maeve Binchy

    Dec. at 72 (1940-2012)
    Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939 – 30 July 2012) was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story...  more

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  • 25
    Marina Carr born November 17,1964 is a prolific Irish playwright. She has written almost...  more