Get your green on, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!
While Ireland is well known for its gorgeous greenery, friendly people and hospitable pubs, we couldn’t help but notice the plethora of sexy papas with Irish roots! Read about our 5 favorite Irish celebrity dads who are sure to be celebrating today’s date with a green beer (or two!).
Bono, born Paul Hewson to a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, was raised in Dublin, Ireland where he met his wife Ali and the future members of U2. Bono grew up in the Northside suburb of Glasnevin.
The sexy U2 frontman is no stranger to the links between economic depression, bigotry and terrorism. The Sandinistas and the troubles in Ireland were Bono’s main concerns when the band came on the scene in 1978. Five years later, Bono was married to his high school sweetheart, Ali Stewart, and both became involved in Bob Geldof’s Live Aid work.
After 29 years of marriage, Bono and Ali have four children: daughters Jordan, 22, Memphis, 20, and sons Elijah, 12 and John, 10. The biggest rockstar on the planet opened up to Oprah how his Irish upbringing affects his philanthropic efforts.
Growing up in Ireland was part of it—the simple, practical life of Irish people. Wherever you go in Africa, you find an Irish priest or a young nun,” Bono said. “My people have been supportive. The Irish can be annoying—and I’m one of them—but they really are good,” the 49-year-old rocker said about his people. “Irish women are very informed and very vocal,” Bono said with a laugh. “And I should know, because I’m living with one, and it’s hard to keep up.”
Colin Farrell is one of the most recognizable Irish actors. Born in Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland, this 35-year-old Golden Globe-winning actor has hit the big screen in such films as Alexander, Daredevil, Miami Vice and Phone Booth. Colin and ex-girlfriend, model Kim Bordenave, welcomed their son James six years ago. Notorious for his way with the ladies, Farrell also recently split with actress and singer, Alicja Bachleda-Curuś. The couple welcomed a son, Henry Tadeusz in October 2009.
The sexy father-of-two has proudly spoken of his Irish roots:
Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me.” Colin has also stated, “I’m just a true Irish boy at heart. I’m just myself, I stick by my guns and I treat people the way I think they should be treated, regardless of their status. And I just have a laugh.”
Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith are parents to sons Dylan, 15, and Paris, 11. The 58-year-old Mrs. Doubtfire star also has three children with his former wife – actress Cassandra Harris – who died of ovarian cancer: Charlotte, 39, Christopher, 38, and Sean, 27.
Best known for portraying the sexy and sophisticated James Bond, Pierce was born in Navan, County Meath. Raised in the Catholic school system in Ireland, Brosnan’s mother moved to London to work as a nurse after his father abandoned the family.
Pierce said he came from humble beginnings.
Childhood was fairly solitary. I grew up in a very small town in southern Ireland. I never knew my father. He left when I was an infant and I was left in the care of my mother and my grandparents. To be Catholic in the ’50s, and to be Irish Catholic in the ’50s, and have a marriage which was not there, a father who was not there, consequently, the mother, the wife suffered greatly. My mother was very courageous. She took the bold steps to go away and be a nurse in England. Basically wanting a better life for her and myself. My mother came home once a year, twice a year.”
Pierce went on to talk about being taught by the Christian brothers:
I grew up being taught by the Christian brothers, who were dreadful, dreadful human beings. Just the whole hypocrisy. And the cruelness of their ways toward children. They were very sexually repressed. Bitter. Cowards, really. I have nothing good to say about them and will have nothing good to say about them. It was ugly. Very ugly. Dreadful. I learnt nothing from the Christian brothers–except shame.”
After each of his grandparents died, Pierce went to live with an aunt. Then an uncle. Then a young Pierce was taken in by a woman named Eileen who had a place in a poor part of town. She had her own children and she also had lodgers.
Eileen was great to live with. I was surrounded by kids and out in the streets. And yet it was kind of strange, a bit like David Lynch in a way. Eileen was a big-bosomed woman, baking bread with the apron wrapped around her. A big, warm momma. And those were my last three years in Ireland.”
And although his childhood seems so bleak, Pierce said his upbringing brought him to where he is today.
Being Irish, being Catholic, that has something to do with who I am. A sense of aloneness as a young man, a fractured home life. Then the great clarity of a new beginning with my mother and my Scottish stepfather in London — but then, too, being an Irish lad in a big English metropolis, being an outsider, having to play the game to get along. All those things went to make me who I am.”
Liam Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Schindler’s List actor went to an all-boys Catholic school.
But let’s just say, I’m Irish. I grew up in the 1950s. Religion had a very tight iron fist,” Liam said.
Liam was married to fellow actor, Natasha Richardson, until her untimely death (the day after St. Patrick’s Day) in 2009. The couple have two sons together, Micheál, 16, and Daniel, 15. Neeson has stayed true to his faith and has raised his children as Catholics.
While he was born in America, Ed Burns is well known for his Irish roots. The muti-talented father-of two directed, wrote, produced and starred in his breakthrough film, The Brothers McMullen, the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island, New York.
Raised in an Irish-American family, Ed said he made The Brothers McMullen to represent his heritage:
I don’t remember ever seeing a film that looked at the Irish-American experience today, and that’s what I wanted to do,” said Burns, who made the film with no budget and over the course of eight months.
Ed and his model wife, Christy Turlington, have two children, Grace, 8, and Finn, 6.
Who’s your fav Irish hunk? What are your St. Paddy’s Day plans?