You won’t find Mary Robinson, Ernest Shackleton or Rory McIlroy in this volume — they are among the unforgettables who have shaped Irish life. Instead, meet some fascinating, Irish people (and animals), who have advanced (or set back) the cause of everything from astronomy to zoology.
There’s the honourable but underappreciated Valentine Greatrakes, a 17th-century witchfinder and healer from Waterford. There’s also the bygone baddie Miler McGrath, possibly the worstbishop in the history of religion who appears to have been a Franciscan monk, a Catholic bishop AND a bishop of the Church of Ireland at more or less the same time. Then there’s Paddy the Pigeon, the WW2 veteran who brought the news of the Allied D-Day success to England.
Be inspired by their stories and maybe one day, you can be forgettable too!
Myles Dungan is a historian and broadcaster who currently presents The History Show on RTÉ Radio 1. He has written several history books including the bestselling Great Irish History Book for children.
Alan Dunne is an Irish visual artist and author. Before becoming an independent artist, he worked for 12 years at RTÉ television.