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Thank the man who won our freedom

RTE has commissioned a series of five programmes under the title Ireland's Greatest. The idea, loosely based on a BBC precedent, is that a poll was conducted among the general public with a view to identifying figures in Irish history who could be considered to be "Ireland's Greatest".

A shortlist was compiled, consisting of Michael Collins, Bono, James Connolly, John Hume and Mary Robinson. This shortlist has attracted some criticism; many people rightly ask: "What about Daniel O'Connell, WB Yeats, Charles Parnell, Michael Davitt, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Eamon de Valera and so on?"