THEYâ€™RE bigger than Bono and even Barack Obama.
Seven Limerick born people have been listed among the top 100 of Irelandâ€™s most influential people â€“ with three in the top 10 â€“ according to political magazine Village.
The compendium was compiled by noted journalists and politicians, and has been extended to include international overseers who are likely to play a large, if often unseen, part in the countryâ€™s future.
After Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the third spot is claimed TV3 current affairs presenter Vincent Browne, who hails from Broadford in west Limerick. It lists the breadth of his media influence, stretching from columns in The Irish Times and Sunday Business Post, as well as his former editorship of the Sunday Tribune newspaper, as Magill and Village magazines.
Following three places behind Mr Browne in sixth place is the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, a minister in every Fine Gael cabinet since 1982, former party leader, former health minister and teacher in the Crescent College in Limerick.
John Moran, the new secretary general in the Department of Finance, is described as the countryâ€™s most powerful civil servant. The Mungret man, a former lawyer and banker, is 10th on the list.
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who was born in Limerick but grew up in Clare, is listed in 12th place. Irish rugby captain Paul Oâ€™Connell, from Drombanna and who is due to be a Freeman of the city, is in 86th place, along with John Herlihy, from Monaleen, the head of Google Ireland, in 84th place. Josephine Fehilly, chairwoman of the Revenue Commissioners, from Clarina, is in 88th place. Others placed in the top 20 include Angela Merkel, Michael Oâ€™Leary, Denis Oâ€™Brien, Joe Duffy, Mary Robinson, Fintan Oâ€™Toole, and Miriam Oâ€™Callaghan. Bono is at number 30 on the list, followed by US President Barack Obama, claims the 35th most influential spot. The judges had to list people whose influence extends beyond politics.