Ireland is famous for many things! For example, the world-popular Guinness beer, Leprechauns, and breathtaking coasts and castles. Not only that, but Ireland is also known for producing amazing athletes in many different sports.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular Irish athletes in recent times.
1. Conor McGregor
Born on the 14th of July 1988, Connor Anthony McGregor is a professional mixed martial artist. He currently has a net worth of approximately $120 million due to his recent bouts, numerous endorsements, and business ventures. His nickname, “Notorious,” was given to him by his coach as he was giving him problems.
McGregor is known to have two UFC titles simultaneously, the Lightweight and Featherweight titles. He also holds the fastest knockout in UFC history, having only 13 seconds to defeat Jose Aldo in 2015. Connor is currently sixth in UFC’s lightweight ranking and ranks fifteen for men’s pound-for-pound.
Before he was an MMA fighter, he was doing an apprenticeship as a plumber at age 17. He also played football and did boxing during his childhood. Conor McGregor is the one MMA fighter that has generated some of the biggest bets on popular MMA betting sites. Some would say, McGregor is to mixed martial arts what Floyd Mayweather is to boxing.
2. Rory McIlroy
Born on the 4th of May 1989, Rory McIlroy is a professional golfer with a net worth of $150 million. McIlroy is both part of the PGA and European tours.
He was ordained a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2012. Tucked under his belt, he has a 68.091 scoring average and a career-low round of 61.
He also has:
- Nine international victories
- 18 PGA tour victories
- Four major victories
Rory is one of the three professional golfers to win four majors before the age of 25. Aside from his professional career, he made a name for himself during his amateur run. He topped the World Amateur Golf Ranking when he was 17, a year before he went professional.
3. Eddie Irvine
Born on the 10th of November 1965, Edmund “Eddie” Irvine Jr. is a former racecar driver. He began his racing career when he was 17, joining the Formula Ford championship.
He debuted in Formula One when he joined Eddie Jordan’s Jordan Grand Prix in 1993. He was nicknamed “Irv the Swerve” and “Fast Eddie” during his career. Initially, he wanted to race on motorcycles, but his father suggested Formula Ford. Moreover, his father financed his hobby in racing while working in his father’s scrapyard.
After retiring, he ventured into media in Great Britain. He also dips into real estate, especially in the Caribbean, Dublin, Florida, Ibiza, and Milan. Other businesses he ventured into are printing, a sports complex, and a shipping company. At present, he has a total net worth of $120 million.
4. Roy Keane
Born on the 10th of August 1971, Roy Maurice Keane is a former professional football player as a midfielder. He currently has a net worth of $60 million. During his childhood, he picked up boxing and won four matches in the novice league.
Although they share the same name, he and Robbie Keane are not related. However, they both became team managers after retiring. He became the manager and assistant manager for various teams.
He was also a studio analyst for ITV’s and Sky Sports, British channels, to cover football matches. The Times placed him on the 11th spot on their list of 50 “hardest” footballers in history. Roy played for Ireland’s national football team for 14 years, mainly as a captain.
5. John Magnier
Born on the 10th of February 1948, John Magnier is the top thoroughbred racehorse breeder. In the horse breeding industry, he is known as “The Boss” for his prolific career. His net worth as of 2018 is about €2.42 billion.
He currently owns the Coolmore Stud, the global thoroughbred racehorses breeding operation. He first got in Coolmore through his father-in-law Vincent O’Brien, a champion racehorse trainer.
Besides being a magnate in the horse breeding industry, he is also a productive investor. He has stakes in Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados, the M&B pub chain, and Barchester. Lastly, he has also been a Senator of the Seanad Éireann, the Irish parliament’s upper house.
6. Eddie Jordan
Born on the 30th of March 1948, Edmund Patrick Jordan, better known as EJ, dabbles in motorsport. In 2020, Edmund had a net worth of $475 million from his numerous ventures. He was Jordan Grand Prix’s former team boss and a Formula One chief analyst. On top of motorsport, he is a businessman and has made few investments.
Before his motorsport career, he worked at the Irish Sisters of Charity Bank. However, during the 1970 bank strike in Ireland, he worked two jobs to sustain himself. By day, he worked as a clerk at the Electricity Board, and by night, he worked as a barman.
He got hooked with racing and motorsport when he got his hand on a kart at a seaside track. Eventually, EJ won the Irish Kart Championship the following year.
7. Robbie Keane
Born on the 8th of July 1980, Robert David Keane, or known as Robbie, is a professional football coach. Recently, his 1-year contract as the assistant manager of Middlesbrough. He was also an assistant manager of Ireland’s national team’s senior team from 2018 to 2020. Before retiring as a forward, he was playing for ATK Football Club and managed the team.
Robbie also played for the national team of Ireland from 1998 to 2016. He’s part of the “golden generation” of Ireland’s youth football during the late 90s. He was named the most valuable player of the LA Galaxy four years in a row.
There you have it, seven highest-paid Irish athletes. In the middle of juggling contracts, investments, endorsements, and other endeavors, athletes have different ways to bank on their careers. Still, only accountants of these highest-paid Irish athletes know how much they get paid.