Writers Famous Writers from Northern Ireland

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

List includes Adrian Dunbar, Malachi O'Doherty, more.

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

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

1
Kenneth Branagh is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 58 Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has directed or starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's ...more

2
Gary Moore is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 59 (1952-2011) Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer and virtuoso guitarist. In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with musicians including ...more

3
Benjamin Glazer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 69 (1887-1956) Benjamin Glazer was a screenwriter, producer, foley artist, and director of American films from the 1920s through the 1950s. He made the first translation of Ferenc Molnár's play Liliom ...more

4
John Lynch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 57 John Lynch is an Irish actor and novelist.

5
Adrian Dunbar is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 60 Adrian Dunbar is an actor from Northern Ireland, best known for his television and theatre work. Dunbar co-wrote and starred in the 1991 film, Hear My Song, nominated for Best Original ...more

6
Ian McElhinney is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 70 Ian McElhinney is a Northern Irish actor and director. He has appeared in many television series in a career spanning more than thirty years, notable appearances include Taggart, Hornblower, ...more

7
Michael Dibdin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 60 (1947-2007) Michael Dibdin was a British crime writer.

8
Gilbert Ralston is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 87 (1912-1999) Gilbert Alexander Ralston was an American screenwriter, journalist and author. He was a television producer in the 1950s and a screenwriter in the 1960s. He created the television series The ...more

9
Garth Ennis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 48 Garth Ennis is a Northern Irish comics writer, best known for the Vertigo series Preacher with artist Steve Dillon and his successful nine-year run on Marvel Comics' Punisher franchise. He has ...more

10
Frederick G. Donnan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 86 (1870-1956) Frederick George Donnan CBE FRS was an Irish physical chemist who is known for his work on membrane equilibria, and commemorated in the Donnan equilibrium describing ionic transport in cells. He ...more

11
Lynne Graham is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Lynne Graham age 62 Lynne Graham is a popular Northern Irish author of over 60 romance novels. She published her novels in Mills & Boon since 1987.

12
Derek Mahon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 77 Derek Mahon is a Northern Irish poet. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

13
Joseph Tomelty is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 84 (1911-1995) Joseph Tomelty was a Northern Irish character actor and playwright. He worked in film, television, radio and on the stage, starring in Sam Thompson's 1960 play Over the Bridge.

14
Cathy Kelly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 52 Cathy Kelly is an Irish former journalist and writer of women's fiction since 1997. She has gained international recognition with her popular fiction novels, which are published globally in many ...more

15
George Best is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 59 (1946-2005) George Best was a Northern Irish footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968 he won the European Cup with United, and was named the ...more

16
Ian Paisley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 88 (1926-2014) Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC was a unionist politician and Protestant religious leader from Northern Ireland. He became a Protestant evangelical minister in 1946 and would remain ...more

17
James Burke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 82 James Burke is a British broadcaster, science historian, author, and television producer, who is known, among other things, for his documentary television series Connections, and for its more ...more

18
Marie Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 67 Sarah Marie Jones OBE is a Belfast-based actress and playwright. Born into a working-class Protestant family, Jones was an actress for several years before turning her hand to writing. Her plays ...more

19
Amy Wilson Carmichael is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 84 (1867-1951) Amy Wilson Carmichael was a Protestant Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many ...more

20
Glenn Patterson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 57 Glenn Patterson is a screenwriter.

21
Margo Harkin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 67 Margo Harkin is a film producer, director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker.

22
Ed Dobson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 69 Edward G. Dobson is a Northern Irish-American pastor who was formerly an executive at the Moral Majority. After becoming disillusioned with the Christian Right he went on to become pastor of a ...more

23
Nell McCafferty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 74 Nell McCafferty is an Irish journalist, playwright, civil rights campaigner and feminist. In her journalistic work she has written for The Irish Press, The Irish Times, Sunday Tribune, Hot Press ...more

24
Barry McEvoy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 51 Barry McEvoy is an Irish film actor/writer best known for writing and playing the lead in An Everlasting Piece, directed by Barry Levinson. McEvoy's first screen appearance of note was in the ...more

25
Nick Laird is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 43 Nicholas "Nick" Laird is a Northern Irish novelist and poet.

26
Brian Keenan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Brian Keenan age 68 Brian Keenan CBE is an Irish writer whose work includes the book An Evil Cradling, an account of the four and a half years he spent as a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon from 11 April 1986 to 24 ...more

27
Desmond Fennell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Desmond Fennell age 89 Desmond Fennell is an Irish writer, cultural philosopher and linguist, whose most frequent form of writing is the essay. Throughout his career Fennell has repeatedly departed from prevailing ...more

28
Neil Hannon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 48 Edward Neil Anthony Hannon is a Northern Irish singer and songwriter. He is the creator and front man of the chamber pop group The Divine Comedy, and is the band's sole constant member. Hannon ...more

29
William C Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Died at 90 (1902-1992) William Christopher Atkinson, Hispanic scholar, born Belfast 9 August 1902, Lecturer in Spanish Armstrong College Newcastle upon Tyne 1926-32, Stevenson Professor of Hispanic Studies Glasgow ...more

30
Don Mullan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 62 Don Mullan is an Irish best-selling author/humanitarian and media producer. His book Eyewitness Bloody Sunday is officially recognised as a primary catalyst for a new Bloody Sunday Inquiry which ...more

31
Gerald Dawe is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 66 Gerald Dawe is an Irish poet.

32
Gary McKendry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Gary McKendry Gary McKendry is a Northern Irish film and television commercial director. His short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005. McKendry was born and raised ...more

33
Sinéad Morrissey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 46 Sinéad Morrissey is an Irish poet. In January 2014 she won the T. S. Eliot Prize for her fifth collection Parallax.

34
Terry Cafolla is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Terry Cafolla age 49 Terry Cafolla is an award-winning Northern Irish screenwriter.

35
Graham Reid is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Graham Reid age 73 J. Graham Reid is a playwright from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

36
Rhonda Paisley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 58 Rhonda Paisley is an author, and former politician from Northern Ireland. She is the daughter of the late DUP leader and Northern Ireland's former First Minister Ian Paisley, is unmarried, and ...more

37
Brian King is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Brian King Died at 68 (1938-2006) Brian Franklin Vernon King was an assistant bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. King was educated at Sydney Boys' High School and the University of New South Wales. After studying at Moore ...more

38
Sharon Owens is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 50

39
Gary Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 53 Gary Mitchell is a Northern Irish playwright. By the 2000s, he had become "one of the most talked about voices in European theatre ... whose political thrillers have arguably made him ...more

40
Martin McGartland is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Martin McGartland Died at 21 (1970-1991) Martin "Marty" McGartland is a former British agent who infiltrated the Provisional Irish Republican Army in 1989 to pass information to Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch. When ...more

41
Barry Devlin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 72 Barry Devlin is an Irish musician, screen writer and director.

42
Blanaid Irvine is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Blanaid Irvine Died at 88 (1922-2010) Blanaid Irvine was an actress and screenwriter.

43
Mairead Corrigan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 74 Mairead Maguire, also known as Mairead Corrigan Maguire and formerly as Mairéad Corrigan, is a peace activist from Northern Ireland. She co-founded, with Betty Williams and Ciaran ...more

44
Malachi O'Doherty is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Malachi O'Doherty age 67 Malachi O'Doherty is a journalist, author and broadcaster in Northern Ireland. He is the producer and presenter of the audio blog Arts Talk. He was, perhaps, the longest running ...more

45
Jenny Bristow is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Jennifer Ann Bristow BEM is a Northern Irish cook and cookery writer. She is best known for her cookery television series produced by UTV.

46
Lucy Caldwell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
age 37 Lucy Caldwell is a Northern Irish playwright and novelist.

47
Robert McLiam Wilson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Robert McLiam Wilson age 52 Robert McLiam Wilson is a Northern Irish novelist. He attended St Malachy's College and studied English at St Catharine's College, Cambridge; however, he dropped out and, for a short time, was ...more

48
Maureen Boyle is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Maureen Boyle age 57 Maureen Boyle is an award-winning Northern Irish poet.

49
Mik Duffy is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Mik Duffy is a writer from Armagh, Northern Ireland, currently resided in Belfast, he writes mainly for and about film.

50
Patrick McWilliams is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Writers from Northern Ireland
Patrick McWilliams age 55 Patrick McWilliams is an Irish author, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Amongst his main publications is the 40-volume OS Memoirs of Ireland series and subsequent index. He is a former pupil of ...more