Notable Irish

Canadian Historical Figures of Irish Origin

Irish immigrants and descendants of Irish immigrants have played an important role in Montreal and wider North-American history over the last two hundred years.

Here are some notable Irish you may have heard of.

To find out more about them, hover your mouse over the photographs and portraits below.

 

Guy Carleton – Lord Dorchester - Governor of Quebec

Guy Carleton – Lord Dorchester - Governor of Quebec

Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester KB (3 September 1724 – 10 November 1808), known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and administrator.

He twice served as Governor of the Province of Quebec, from 1768 to 1778, concurrently serving as Governor General of British North America in that time, and again from 1785 to 1795.

Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan - Politician and Patriote

Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan - Politician and Patriote

Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, (probably 27 February 1797 – 29 May 1880) was a doctor and journalist, member of provicial parliament and secretary-archivist.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee - Canadian Politician

Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Thomas D'Arcy McGee (13 April 1825 – 7 April 1868) was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, poet, and a Father of Canadian Confederation. The young McGee was an Irish Catholic who opposed British rule in Ireland, and was part of the Young Ireland attempts to overthrow British rule and create an independent Irish Republic.

He escaped arrest and fled to the United States in 1848, where he reversed his political beliefs. He became disgusted with American republicanism, Anti-Catholicism, and Classical Liberalism. McGee became intensely conservative in his political beliefs and in his religious support for the embattled Pope Pius IX. He moved to the Province of Canada in 1857 and worked hard to convince the Irish Catholics to cooperate with the Protestant British (members of the church) in forming a Confederation that would make for a self-governing Canada within the British Empire.

William Workman - Canadian Politician

William Workman - Canadian Politician

William Workman (May 1807 – 23 February 1878), of Mount Prospect House, Montreal, was an Irish-born Canadian entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist. He was a partner in Canada's largest wholesale hardware house of Frothingham & Workman, and President of Montreal's City Bank. He was Mayor of Montreal and invested in railways, shipping, real estate and charity.

Politician; Lawyer; President of St. Patrick Society & more

Politician; Lawyer; President of St. Patrick Society & more

Bernard Devlin, QC (December 15, 1824 – February 7, 1880) was an Irish-born lawyer, counsel to the Abraham Lincoln administration of the United States Government during the most northerly engagement of the United States Civil War, Quebec-based political figure and Canadian parliamentarian, and peer and political competitor of Thomas D'Arcy McGee.

A champion of many causes, generally of a liberal persuasion, his abilities as a criminal advocate and oratorical skill established for him a wide reputation throughout the then-Dominion of Canada, and his motto: "justice and equality to all classes and creeds, undue favor to none" was far in advance of the tenor of the times.

La Bolduc – Mary Travers – Entertainer

La Bolduc – Mary Travers - Entertainer

Mary Rose-Anne Bolduc, born Travers, (June 4, 1894 – February 20, 1941) was a musician and singer of French Canadian music. She was known as Madame Bolduc or La Bolduc.

During the peak of her popularity in the 1930s, she was known as the Queen of Canadian Folk Singers. Bolduc is often considered to be Quebec's first singer-songwriter. Her style combined the traditional folk music of Ireland and Quebec, usually in upbeat, comedic songs.

Edmund Flynn - Premier of Québec

Edmund Flynn - Premier of Québec

Edmund James Flynn (November 16, 1847 – June 7, 1927) was a Canadian politician and the tenth premier of Quebec, from 1896 to 1897.

Daniel Johnson Sr. - Premier of Québec

Daniel Johnson Sr. - Premier of Québec

Francis Daniel Johnson Sr., PC, (April 9, 1915 – September 26, 1968) was a Quebec politician and the 20th premier of Quebec from 1966 to his death in 1968.

Joe Beef - Social Activist

Joe Beef - Social Activist

Charles McKiernan (4 December 1835 County Cavan, Ireland – 15 January 1889, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) was a well-known Irish-Canadian Montreal tavern owner, innkeeper and philanthropist.

Émile Nelligan - Poet

Émile Nelligan - Poet

Émile Nelligan (December 24, 1879 – November 18, 1941) was a Canadian Symbolist poet from Montreal who wrote in French.

Even though he stopped writing poetry after being institutionalized at the age of 19, Nelligan remains an iconic figure in Quebec culture and was considered by Edmund Wilson to be the greatest Canadian poet in any language.

Daniel Tracey - Newspaper Editor & Patriote

Daniel Tracey - Newspaper Editor & Patriote

Daniel Tracey (probably 1794 – July 18, 1832) born in Roscrea, Tipperary County, Ireland, was a doctor, journalist and Canadian politician.

Louis St. Laurent - Prime Minister of Canada

Louis St. Laurent - Prime Minister of Canada

Louis Stephen St. Laurent PC CC QC (Saint-Laurent or St-Laurent in French, baptized Louis-Étienne St-Laurent; February 1, 1882 – July 25, 1973) was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the 12th prime minister of Canada from 1948 to 1957.

Norma Shearer - Hollywood Actress

Norma Shearer - Hollywood Actress

Edith Norma Shearer (August 10, 1902 – June 12, 1983)[2][3] was a Canadian-American actress who was active on film from 1919 through 1942.

Shearer often played spunky, sexually liberated ingénues. She appeared in adaptations of Noël Coward, Eugene O'Neill, and William Shakespeare, and was the first five-time Academy Award acting nominee, winning Best Actress for The Divorcee (1930)

Kevin Tierney - Canadian Film Producer

Kevin Tierney - Canadian Film Producer

Kevin Tierney (August 27, 1950 – May 12, 2018) was a Canadian film producer from Montreal who co-wrote and produced the most popular Canadian film of all time at the domestic box office, Bon Cop, Bad Cop, for which he earned a Golden Reel, the Genie Award for Best Motion Picture in 2007.

He is a former vice-chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and former chair of the board of Cinémathèque québécoise.

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