The famous faces of County Mayo
Entertainment

The famous faces of County Mayo

THIS MONTH, we've been looking at the western county of Mayo and everything it has to offer.

From the things you simply have to do on your visit, to the best outdoor activities on offer, to the village which owes so much to The Quiet Man, County Mayo is well worth exploring on your staycation-- or, when things allow, a visit from abroad.

But while it's home to some gorgeous scenery, beaches, islands, towns, mountains, restaurants, pubs and more, there's something even more wonderful about Mayo-- the people.

Here are some of the most famous faces to be born and raised in the western county-- and those who can proudly trace their roots there.

 

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Famous faces born in Mayo

 

Sally Rooney

Author Sally Rooney adapted her best-selling book for the BBC 3 television series which became a worldwide phenomenon

The young author quickly became a household name last year when her second novel, Normal People, was adapted as a BBC drama series which became a worldwide phenomenon. She was born and raised in Castlebar, County Mayo

 

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Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh, centre, with Westlife at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards in 2004 (Image: Showbiz Ireland / Getty Images)

The man who gifted Westlife, Boyzone, Johnny Logan and more to the music world, Louis Walsh has had an incredibly successful career, sitting as a judge on the X Factor when the musical talent show was at its peak. He is from Kiltimagh, County Mayo.

 

William O'Dwyer

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Born in Bohola, County Mayo in 1890, William O'Dwyer arrive din Ellis Island at20 years of age with just a few dollars in his pocket. He became the 100th Mayor of New York City as he found fortune and climbed the political ladder in the United States.

 

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

The first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson shattered glass ceilings during her tenure and continues to fight for civil rights across the globe through her work with the United Nations.

 

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William Joyce Sewell

William Joyce Sewell, an American war hero and native of County Mayo

Born in Castlebar, County Mayo in 1835, William Joyce Sewell moved to the Untied States where he became a decorated US Army hero, fighting on the Union side against the Confederacy. He went on to become a popular US Senator, andhad a township in New Jersey named after him.

 

Gráinne Mhaol / Grace O'Malley

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Gráinne Mhaol was the most feared pirate in the northwest Atlantic in her prime (Picture: History.com)

Easily one of the coolest historical figures ever to come out of Ireland, Gráinne Mhaol, or Grace O'Malley as it is sometimes anglicised, was a fierce pirate queen who struck fear into the hearts of the British. In her prime, O'Malley commanded 3 galleys, 20 ships and over 200 men-- she resided in Westport House, County Mayo.

 

Famous faces with roots in Mayo

Joe Biden

Joe Biden
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Joe Biden is outspoken about his love for Ireland and his roots, which stretch back to Mayo and Louth-- and they're rightly proud of him, too. The town of Ballina in County Mayo was home to Biden's great-great grandfather, Patrick Blewitt.

 

Billy Connolly

(Image: Getty)

The fantastic veteran comedian is proudly Scottish, but can trace his roots back to the western county of Mayo through his father, William Connolly.

 

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Daniel Day-Lewis

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Daniel Day-Lewis attends Arthur Miller - One Night 100 Years Benefit at Lyceum Theatre on January 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Daniel Day-Lewis has roots in Mayo and spent many childhood summers in Old Head, County Mayo when he was growing up. He is one of the most successful actors of all time, winning three Oscars in the Best Actor category-- the only person ever to do so.

 

Michael Flatley

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(Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

The Lord of the Dance became a household name in 1994 when he astonished audiences across the globe with his incredible footwork in Riverdance, aired to millions during Ireland's hosting of the Eurovision. His great grandparents were Pat and Mary Flatley of Sinolane, County Mayo.