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Famous Playwrights from Ireland

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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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 41 (1923-1964)
Brendan Francis Aidan Behan was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish ...more
2
Colm Byrne is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 53
Colm Byrne is an Irish playwright. He was born in Limerick and lives in Galway. His plays have been noted as political, lively and poetic. He is a recipient of a Bay Area Critics Circle award ...more
3
Colm Tóibín is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 63
Colm Tóibín is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet. Tóibín is currently Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor ...more
4
Conor McPherson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 47
Conor McPherson is an Irish playwright and director.
5
Declan Lynch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 58
Declan Lynch is an Irish journalist, writer and playwright. Lynch was born in Athlone, Ireland, and now works for the Sunday Independent. Lynch graduated from Marist College secondary school in ...more
6
Dion Boucicault is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 70 (1820-1890)
Dionysius Lardner Boursiquot, commonly known as Dion Boucicault, was an Irish actor and playwright famed for his melodramas. By the later part of the 19th century, Boucicault had become known on ...more
7
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 79 (1878-1957)
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books ...more
8
Emma Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 49
Emma Donoghue is an Irish-born playwright, literary historian and novelist now living in Canada. Her 2010 novel Room was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and an international best-seller. ...more
9
Enda Walsh is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 52
Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright.
10
Frank McGuinness is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 65
Professor Frank McGuinness is an Irish playwright, poet, novelist, short story writer, and opera libretist. As well as his own works, which include The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster ...more
11
Frank McMahon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 65 (1919-1984)
Frank McMahon Born in New York in 1919, to Irish parents, his mother from Mayo and his father from Roscommon. After graduating from Fordham University, McMahon served as an officer in the United ...more
12
Gary Duggan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 39
Gary Duggan is an Irish playwright. Born in Dublin in 1979, Duggan was raised in the North Dublin suburb of Donaghmede. He studied Media Production at Dublin Institute of Technology. Duggan ...more
13
George Bernard Shaw is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 94 (1856-1950)
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote ...more
14
George Moore is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 81 (1852-1933)
George Augustus Moore was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, ...more
15
Hamilton Deane is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 78 (1880-1958)
Hamilton Deane was an Irish actor, playwright and director. He played a key role in popularising Bram Stoker's Dracula as a stage play and, later, a film.
16
Hugh Leonard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 83 (1926-2009)
Hugh Leonard was an Irish dramatist, television writer and essayist. In a career that spanned 50 years, Leonard wrote nearly 30 full-length plays, 10 one-act plays, three volumes of essays, two ...more
17
Isaac Bickerstaffe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 79 (1733-1812)
Isaac Bickerstaffe or Bickerstaff was an Irish playwright and Librettist.
18
James Cousins is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 83 (1873-1956)
James Henry Cousins was an Irish writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín and the Hindu name Jayaram. Cousins was born ...more
19
James Plunkett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 83 (1920-2003)
James Plunkett Kelly, or James Plunkett, was an Irish writer. He was educated at Synge Street CBS. Plunkett grew up among the Dublin working class and they, along with the petty bourgeoisie and ...more
20
Jimmy Murphy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 57
Jimmy Murphy is an Irish playwright living in Dublin. He is a former writer in residence at NUI Maynooth, a member of the Abbey Theatre’s Honorary Advisory Council, a recipient of three ...more
21
John B. Keane is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 74 (1928-2002)
John Brendan Keane was an Irish playwright, novelist and essayist from Listowel, County Kerry.
22
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 73
William John Banville, who writes as John Banville and sometimes as Benjamin Black, is an Irish novelist, adapter of dramas, and screenwriter. Recognised for his precise, cold, forensic prose ...more
23
Liam Mac Uistin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 81
Liam Mac Uistin is a writer.
24
Maeve Binchy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
Dec. at 72 (1940-2012)
Maeve Binchy Snell, known as Maeve Binchy, was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her sympathetic and often humorous portrayal of small-town ...more
25
Marina Carr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Playwrights from Ireland
age 54
Marina Carr is an Irish playwright. Born in Tullamore, County Offaly, Carr grew up in a household filled with literature. Both of her parents were writers: her father was a novelist and a ...more