How did the Irish independence movement lead directly to the invention of the modern submarine? Who was the Irish 'Queen' of Paraguay whose delusions of grandeur caused the destruction of her adopted country? Who escaped execution for participating in the Easter Rising of 1916, only to go on and be elected to the UK Parliament in London? Whose belief in reform through non-violent means became the inspiration for Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? The answers to these questions and more can be found in the pages of Great Irish Heroes, covering over a thousand years of Irish history and encompassing outstanding leaders in a broad range of pursuits, including literature, mathematics, sport, religion, entertainment and politics. Ireland has for centuries produced a great number of exceptional, heroic men and women far out of proportion to the island's small population and geographical size. It is also true to say that few nations have been so shaped by their history, a history with which the country still resonates today. In this companion volume to his Great Scottish Heroes, Stuart Pearson examines the lives and careers of fifty of the greatest Irishmen and women from St Columba to Brian O'Driscoll, Brian Boru to Pierce Brosnan. In doing so, he shows how this remarkable island race has contributed so much to our world, and continues to do so to this day.