"A country full of genius but with absolutely no talent"- Hugh Leonard
These statements are typical of the Irish talent for self-mockery that masks a very proper pride both in self and in nation. In this parade of Ireland's greatest men and women, each reader can make a personal judgement of what is undoubtedly as varied a gallery of heroes and heroines, saints and sinners as any country can muster.
Some of the people profiled are little known outside Ireland, like Sir Boyle Roche, to whom is attributed the phrase "What has posterity ever done for us?" and J.P. Mahaffy, who said "In Ireland the inevitable never happens." But the majority are famous names not only in Ireland but far beyond.
Beginning with Saint Patrick, and coming right up to date with outstanding Irish figures of the present day, this book celebrates the diversity of Irish genius and its contribution, not only to the life and politics of Ireland, but to the world.