Writers Famous Writers from Ireland

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List of famous writers from Ireland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Ireland is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Irish writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Ireland and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

This list has a variety of writers, like George William Russell and David Keating, in it.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Irish writers?" and "Which writers are from Ireland?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Ireland in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Ireland, but they're all of Ireland descent.

1
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 46 (1854-1900) Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish author, playwright and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the ...more

2
Samuel Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 83 (1906-1989) Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work ...more

3
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 59 (1882-1941) James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known ...more

4
Seamus Heaney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 74 (1939-2013) Seamus Justin Heaney, MRIA was an Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, and the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. In the early 1960s, he became a lecturer in Belfast ...more

5
George Bernard Shaw is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died 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

6
John Connolly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 50 John Connolly is an Irish writer who is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker.

7
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 65 (1847-1912) Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish author known today for his 1897 Gothic novel, Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and ...more

8
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died 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

9
Roddy Doyle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 60 Roddy Doyle is an Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter. He is the author of ten novels for adults, seven books for children, seven plays and screenplays, and dozens of short stories. ...more

10
Maeve Binchy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died 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

11
Frank McCourt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 79 (1930-2009) Francis "Frank" McCourt was an Irish-American teacher and writer. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel Angela's Ashes, a tragicomic memoir of the misery and squalor of his childhood.

12
Martin McDonagh is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 48 Martin McDonagh is a playwright, screenwriter and film director, born in London with both British and Irish citizenship. He has been described as one of the most important living Irish

13
Brendan Behan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died 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

14
Eoin Colfer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 53 Eoin Colfer is an Irish author of children's books. He worked as a primary school teacher before he became a full-time writer. He is best known for being the author of the Artemis Fowl series. ...more

15
Cecelia Ahern is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 37 Cecelia Ahern is an Irish novelist since 2004. She has published several novels and contributed a number of short stories to various anthologies. Ahern also created and produced the ABC comedy ...more

16
Marian Keyes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 55 Marian Keyes is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women's literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold ...more

17
Declan Hughes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 55 Declan Hughes is an Irish novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He has been Writer-in-Association with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He has written a series of crime novels featuring the ...more

18
Neil Jordan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 68 Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish film director, screenwriter and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game. He also won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International ...more

19
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 78 (1667-1745) Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's ...more

20
Mel Gibson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 62 Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson AO is an American actor and filmmaker. He is most well known as an action hero, for roles such as Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon buddy cop film series and Max ...more

21
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers 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

22
John Huston is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 81 (1906-1987) John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: ...more

23
Colm Tóibín is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers 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

24
Emma Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers 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

25
George Moore is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died 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

26
Sebastian Barry is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 63 Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland's finest writers. Barry's literary career began in ...more

27
Anne Enright is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 56 Anne Teresa Enright FRSL is an Irish author. She graduated from the University of East Anglia's Creative Writing Course. She lives in Bray, County Wicklow, with her husband and children. She has ...more

28
Edna O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 88 Edna O'Brien is a writer.

29
Brian O'Nolan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 55 (1911-1966) Brian O'Nolan was an Irish novelist, playwright and satirist, considered a major figure in twentieth century Irish literature. Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, he is regarded as a key figure in ...more

30
Adrian McKinty is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 50 Adrian McKinty is an Irish novelist. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1968 and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He read law at the University of ...more

31
Sheridan Le Fanu is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 59 (1814-1873) Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the ...more

32
Patrick Kavanagh is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 63 (1904-1967) Patrick Kavanagh was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, his best known works include the novel Tarry Flynn and the poems "On Raglan ...more

33
Ethel Lilian Voynich is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 96 (1864-1960) Ethel Lilian Voynich, née Boole was an Anglo-Irish novelist and musician, and a supporter of several revolutionary causes. She was born in Cork, but grew up in England. Voynich was a ...more

34
Joseph O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 55 Joseph Victor O'Connor is an Irish novelist. He is known for his 2002 historical novel Star of the Sea. Before success as an author he was a journalist with the Sunday Tribune newspaper and ...more

35
Gabriel Byrne is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 68 Gabriel James Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London's ...more

36
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 81 (1932-2013) Peter Seamus O'Toole was a British-Irish stage and film actor. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at ...more

37
Denis Leary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 61 Denis Colin Leary is an actor and comedian. He was the star and co-creator of Rescue Me, which ended its seventh and final season on September 7, 2011. Leary has starred in many motion pictures, ...more

38
Michael Nugent is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 57 Michael Nugent is an Irish writer and activist. He has written three books, co-written two and was one of the three writers of comedy musical play I, Keano. He has campaigned on many political ...more

39
Cyril Cusack is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 83 (1910-1993) Cyril Cusack was an actor.

40
Bono is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 58 Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best recognized as the frontman of the ...more

41
Richard Harris is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 72 (1930-2002) Richard St John Harris was an Irish actor, singer, theatrical producer, film director and writer. He appeared on stage and in many films, appearing as Frank Machin in This Sporting Life, and ...more

42
Spike Milligan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 84 (1918-2002) Sir Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE was a comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor of Irish and English parentage and Irish nationality. His early life was ...more

43
Graham Linehan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 50 Graham Linehan is an Irish television comedy writer and director who, often in partnership with Arthur Mathews, has written or co-written a number of popular television comedies. He is most ...more

44
John Boorman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 85 John Boorman is an English filmmaker who is a longtime resident of Ireland and is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Zardoz, Excalibur, The ...more

45
Jim Sheridan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 69 Jim Sheridan is an Irish film director. A six-time Academy Award nominee, Sheridan is perhaps best known for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Field and In America.

46
Dylan Moran is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 47 Dylan Moran is an Irish comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker. He is best known for his sardonic observational comedy, the UK television sitcom Black Books, and his work with Simon Pegg in Shaun ...more

47
Lafcadio Hearn is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 54 (1850-1904) Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo, was an international writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ...more

48
Malachy McCourt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 87 Malachy Gerard McCourt is an Irish-American actor, writer, and politician. He was the 2006 Green Party candidate for governor in New York State, losing to the Democratic candidate Eliot Spitzer. ...more

49
Herbert Brenon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
Died at 78 (1880-1958) Herbert Brenon was an Irish film director during the era of silent movies through the 1930s. He was born in Dublin and was educated at St Paul's School and at King's College London. Before ...more

50
Graham Norton is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Writers from Ireland
age 55 Graham William Walker, better known by the stage name Graham Norton, is an Irish television and radio presenter, comedian, and actor. He is the host of comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. ...more