Saturday 27 December 2014

Irish and proud!

U2 named as highest-earning band in the world. Photo: Getty Images
U2 named as highest-earning band in the world. Photo: Getty Images

Cheer up! It's not all doom and gloom, you know. We are good at lots of things and here are just 10 of them

1 Golf

This island creates more top golfers per head of population than anywhere else in the world.

Graeme McDowell's victory at the US Open catapulted him up to 13th in the world rankings, just ahead of Padraig Harrington and four places behind Rory McIlroy, who, at just 21, is also indisputably the best young golfer in the world.

2 Boxing

We punch way above our weight in boxing.

Ireland scooped five medals at the recent European championships, second only to host nation Russia, which has a population 23 times bigger than ours. Two medals in the last Olympics wasn't a bad haul either.

3 Literature

Ireland's four Nobel prizes for Literature is still the most impressive record in the world for our size.

Our winners are Seamus Heany (1995), Samuel Beckett (1969), George Bernard Shaw (1925) and WB Yeats (1923).

4 Music

U2 seem to have been around forever but they still remain the 'Sweetest Thing' for rock fans.

They raked in $108m last year -- more than any other act and as much as Bruce Springsteen (2nd) and Madonna (3rd) combined. They were also the world's top touring act selling 1.3 million tickets.

If you add U2's album sales to those of Enya, Van Morrison, the Cranberries and the Corrs and you have collective total of 400 million for just five Irish acts.

Many well-known inventions reflect this Irish spirit of innovation. Irishmen invented the tank, submarine, ejector seat, guided missile and a hand-held howitzer cannon.

The modern tractor is the brainchild of 'The Mad Mechanic', Harry Ferguson, who also dreamt up his own motorcycle, plane (becoming the first Irishman to fly), and the first Formula-One car.

Joe 'Spud' Murphy, founder of Tayto, not only invented cheese and onion crisps, his new method for seasoning led the way for all the flavours we enjoy today.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Also in this Section

Promoted articles

Top Stories

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News