March 14, 2010

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with vintage photos of famous Irish people

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day this coming Wednesday, I thought it would be oodles of fun to depart for a change from the usual weekend edition of “Saturday Snapshots” (which is geared towards featuring vintage photos of everyday people), and instead bring you a selection (ten to be exact, the same number of images I always include with Saturday Snapshots) of photos of famous Irish faces.

Some of these people were born on Irish soil, others carried Irish blood in their veins, but all are widely known to have (genealogical) ties to Éire.

To accompany each vintage photograph, I’ve paired an engaging quote said by the respective person in the picture, which I hope helps to provide a window into the minds of these well-known, and much loved, illustrious sons and daughters of Ireland.

{“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.”
~ William Butler Yeats}

{“Above all else, deep in my soul, I'm a tough Irishwoman.”
~ Maureen O’Hara}

{“If the American family has seemed in danger of disintegration, I believe and hope it will survive, and I think America will return to old values.” ~ James Cagney}

{“Other women looked on me as a rival. And it pained me a great deal.” ~ Grace Kelly.}

{“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” ~ James Joyce}

{“It's nice to be immortal. Film has given us immortality. Now my children are going to appreciate Tarzan.” ~ Maureen O’Sullivan}

{“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw}

{“I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe}

{“I got started dancing because I knew it was one way to meet girls.”
~ Gene Kelly.}

{“After all, tomorrow is another day.” ~ Margaret Mitchell}

{The images above are from are from Wikipedia and IMDB, please click on a specific photograph to be it to be taken to its respective page (and to learn more about each of these fascinating Irish figures).}

Though I am a complete and utter Heinz 57 of European nationalities, to date I have not yet found a drop Irish ancestry in my past. Nevertheless, I like to think I’ve made up for this in part by the two years (between 2004 and 2006) that my husband and I lived in the Emerald Aisle.

While there it was fascinating to see what famous names are held in the highest regard (and/or which garner the most notoriety). Though modern day celebs like Colin Farrell, Liam Nesson, Pierce Brosnan, Sinéad O'Connor, Bono, Enya, and Michael Flatley are certainly popular, I found that Ireland did a very good job of keeping past figures of note (such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, and Bram Stoker) squarely in the present day limelight, too.

The selection of photographs above includes a selection of my favourite Irish stars of stage, writers, and artists, each of whom has left an indelible mark on the world. As St. Paddy’s Day approaches, I would love to hear who some of your most beloved Irish celebrities (past or present) are – who knows, they may appear in a future post centered around celebrating March 17th! :)


  1. What a fantastic post! I had no idea Gene Kelly or Grace Kelly were Irish! I especially love the quotes you've chosen to accompany the photos...dancing to meet girls, oh Gene Kelly, you little clever fox.

  2. Fantastic post as always Jessica! I've missed you darling! Hope you are doing well! Kori xoxo

  3. Gorgeous post, Jessica! Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

    Besr wishes,

  4. Great post! Some very inspiring quotes.

    I, like you, have no Irish blood. But that won't stop me from enjoying some green beer on Wednesday.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  5. Some of those you highlighted I didn't know were Irish. I have to say my favorite Irish celebrity is Graham Norton, lol!

  6. Great post - but what about Oscar Wilde? ;]
    -Andi x

  7. I am a huge Gene Kelly fan. He was just amazing.

    Great post and pics, and quotes! Hope your St. Paddy's day is fun!