Monday, December 04, 2006


100 Greatest Irish People - The vote cont'd

OK folks I have recorded the results from last week's two polls. For those curious, the three figures who received the most votes in Poll 1 were Michael Collins, Roger Casement and C.S. Lewis. Those who received the most votes in Poll 2 were Wolfe Tone, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. This week I have posted three polls, each one featuring ten Irish figures.

To reiterate how this works, these are multiple choice polls meaning you tick the box of the figures you feel are most deserving of a HIGH ranking. The Irish figures with the most votes will obviously feature higher in the eventual list and obviously those with little support will be at the tail end of the list. You can select as many boxes as you like.

For example, one of the polls this week features W.B. Yeats and John Hume so if you think Yeats is a great Irish figure but don't feel the same way about Hume, then tick the box of Yeats only.

Now then here are some details on the figures featured in this week's polls...

Poll #1

Sir Ernest Shackleton - Famed polar explorer born in Dublin, best known for rescuing all the crew of his stranded ship Endurance.

Thomas Russell - Cork-born co-founder and leader of the United Irishmen executed for his involvement in Robert Emmet's rebellion of 1803.

Hugh O'Neill - Chieftain from Tyrone, best known for leading the resistance against English authority during the Nine Years War.

Edward Carson - Ulster Unionist leader, born in Dublin, successful in his goal of preventing the island of Ireland from attaining Home Rule.

Thomas Ashe - Kerry-born IRB member and founding member of the Irish Volunteers, famous for his leading role in defeating a much larger force of British troops during the Easter Rising.

Oliver Plunkett - Meath-born Archbishop of Armagh who maintained his duties in spite of English persecution and who went on to become the last Catholic martyr to die in England. He was canonised in 1975.

John Philip Holland - Developed the US Navy's first submarine. Born in County Clare.

Maude Gonne - English-born Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress who was won over to nationalism by the plight of evicted tenants in the Land Wars.

Sean O'Casey - Dramatist, memoirist, socialist and nationalist. Plays include Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars. Born in Dublin.

Ernest Walton - Waterford-born physicist, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics. The only Irishman to win a Nobel Prize for science.

Poll #2

Eamon de Valera - New York-born Irish revolutionary, Taoiseach and President of Ireland. Successfully protected Irish neutrality during World War 2.

Brendan Behan - Dublin-born poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright and former IRA member.

Jonathan Swift - Irish priest, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer and poet most famous for writing Gulliver's Travels. Born in Dublin.

Eoghan Rua O'Neill - Anglicised as Owen Roe O'Neill, the Ulsterman fought in the 1641 rebellion and sought Irish independence and for the Plantation of Ireland to be overturned. Also noted for condemning the murder of Protestants.

Patrick Pearse - Teacher, poet, writer and one of the most famous leaders of the 1916 Rising who was executed for his involvement. Born in Dublin.

Charles Parsons - Engineer best known for inventing the steam turbine. From Offaly.

Douglas Hyde - Roscommon-born scholar, founder of the Gaelic League and first President of Ireland who aimed to use the language to build bridges in the island.

William Parsons - Cork-born father of Charles Parsons who built a telescope in Offaly which for many decades was the largest in the world. Carried out pioneering astronomical research.

Harry Clarke - Dublin-born stained glass artist and illustrator known for producing many magnificent stained-glass works in the country.

Patrick Sarsfield - Born in Lucan, best known for his role in the Siege of Limerick where he played a key role in stopping the English from taking the city. He remains popular in Limerick to this day as a result.

Poll #3

Brian Boru - High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. Born near Killaloe (modern County Clare).

Thomas Francis Meagher - Waterford-born Irish revolutionary who also served as Brigadier-General in the US Army during the US Civil War.

Anne Devlin - Wicklow-born housekeeper to Robert Emmet, famous for refusing to inform on Emmet despite torture which included half-hanging. She also refused bribes and was imprisoned along with her family (including her 9 year old brother who died in jail due to the conditions). She died in poverty in 1851.

George Berkeley - Philosopher from Kilkenny, noted for his dictum "Esse est percipi". ("To be is to be perceived")

Francis Bacon - Figurative painter, born in Dublin to English parents. His artwork is known for its grotesque and nightmarish imagery.

John Hume - Born in Derry, former SDLP leader respected by friend and foe alike for his role in the peace process. Co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.

William Rowan Hamilton - Brilliant mathematician, physicist and astronomer. Born in Dublin.

Blessed Edmund Rice - Catholic missionary from Kilkenny who devoted his life to the education and service of the poor. Beatified in 1996.

James Connolly - Born in Edinburgh to Irish immigrant parents, went on to promote the cause of the working class and founded the Irish Citizen army. He was carried in to Kilmainham Gaol on a stretcher by the British, propped up in a chair and shot for his role in the 1916 Rising.

W.B. Yeats - Dublin-born poet and later Senator who was a driving force in the Irish Literary Revivival and who co-founded the Abbey Theatre. Received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Was featured more than any other poet in the Irish Times' top 100 Irish poems.


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