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Our Top 30 Under 30 In The Irish Entertainment Industry

We've listed the young stars killing it here and abroad

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Over the last 12 months, we have seen young stars of sport, music, tv, film, radio and more dominate our industry.

From UFC star Conor McGregor landing 4th place in Forbes Richest in Sports list, to Saoirse Ronan landing her third Oscar nomination, it’s been one hell of a year for Ireland’s young, rich and famous.

From stars on the rise, to those who are already the best of the best in their field, take a look at our Top 30 Under 30 In The Irish Entertainment Industry.

1. Conor McGregor

Topping our list is the most successful Irish man to ever compete in the UFC, the fourth richest sports star of 2017, the one and only Notorious Conor McGregor.

It’s been one hell of a year for Conor, who was named fourth richest sportsman of the year by Forbes (raking in €99 million FYI).

Not only has he defied all odds by winning not just one but two divisions in the UFC, he released and starred in his own self-titled movie and he also dropped his own fashion line August McGregor.

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He has property all over the world, a yacht, and multiple sponsorship deals, plus he runs a website all about his life themaclife.com.

He’s now one of the most recognisable, powerful and richest men in the world – and he’s only 29.

Conor turns 30 on July 14th, and we’re sure he’ll prove everyone wrong again next year…

2. Saoirse Ronan

Regina Wagner/Future Image/WENN.com

Another young Irish star leading the way in their field is Saoirse Ronan.

The Carlow native has already received two Oscar nominations, two Golden Globes nominations and two BAFTA nominations – all by the age of 24.

Landing her first Oscar nod at the age of 13 for her role in Atonement, this year saw the actress come back on top thanks to her role in Lady Bird.

She’s been on the cover of Vanity Fair, and has worked with huge stars like Ryan Gosling, starred in Ed Sheeran’s music video for Galway Girl and she just bought a home in Wicklow.

There’s no stopping this lady…

3. Niall Horan

Also 24, Niall Horan is one of the biggest names in music right now.

The Mullingar man was apart of One Direction – arguably one of the most popular boy bands in history, but this year he proved he is just as successful on his own.

His debut album Flicker landed straight in the number one spot, and in 2017 his worth was estimated at €72 million.

He’s been touring the world solo and set up a boutique sports management agency called Modest.

There’s a lot more to come from this guy.

4. Rory McIlroy

It’s hard to believe that Rory McIlroy is only 28-years-old, especially since the former number one is one of the most famous sports stars in the world.

The golfer has had his ups and downs with tournaments this year, but that didn’t stop him from signing a lucrative €100 million deal with Nike for the next ten years.

Now just as recognised as Tiger Woods, Rory is one of the world’s most recognisable stars, and he’s continuing to sign multiple endorsement deals – ensuring he won’t be going anywhere for a long time.

5. Barry Keoghan

From being known as the “cat killer” on Love/Hate to landing a starring role alongside Colin Farrel and Nicole Kidman – Barry Keoghan has really made his dreams come true.

The start of 2018 saw Barry receive an award at JJ Abrams’ Oscar Wilde Oscars party – presented by his former cast mate Colin.

He’s already been tipped as one of the next big stars of Hollywood – and his slick Gucci suits are helping him kill it in the style stakes.

6. Hozier

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It’s hard to believe that Hozier is only 28 with all he has achieved.

The Wicklow crooner hit the spotlight when he released mega-hit Take Me To Church back in 2013.

Since then his career has soared, with one of his career highlights performing with Annie Lennox at the Grammys in 2015.

After taking a hiatus, just this month Hozier announced he is releasing a new album and heading back on tour.

7. Picture This

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Aged just 23 and 25, Ryan Hennessy and Jimmy Rainsford (aka Picture This) have become even more popular in the last year.

The duo hit the big time thanks to their chart hit Take My Hand, and while they quickly proved their huge fan base in Ireland – the band have now gone international.

The Athy band have already sold out the 3 Arena, and have toured America.

In late 2016 the singers signed to huge music label Republic – who have The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Hailee Steinfeld all on their books.

These guys are only just beginning…

8. James Kavanagh

At just 28 year’s old James Kavanagh has accomplished a hell of a lot.

He says he got his first job in PR because he was “on the scene” and impressed his employers without any qualifications, and now he is one of the most well-known people in Ireland.

Leaving the world of PR to go full time into social media, James’s Snapchat and Instagrams are some of the most followed in the country.

James Kavanagh | Brian McEvoy

But instead of just focusing on life as a social media star, James used his business-savy background to start a food business with his partner William Murray – Currabinny.

Not only are the pair releasing their first cookbook, they reached the final of RTE’s Taste of Success and are planning their first cafe.

On top of all of that James landed his first TV gig as the co-host of Ireland’s Got More Talent (alongside Glenda Gilson) this year.

And he’s been working with TV3’s Xpose.

9. James Patrice

James Patrice | Brian McEvoy

At the young age of 29, James Patrice has become one of the most well-known people in Ireland – and his career is only beginning.

He first came onto the scene as a fashion writer, but it was his Snapchat channel that threw him into the spotlight.

Thanks to his hilarious impressions, anecdotes, and of course sharing his life with his mother Fron, James became an overnight personality and he still has some of the most watched social media channels in the country.

But behind-the-scenes James has been building a successful TV career for himself. Firstly he landed the role as online video reporter for RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.

And he became even more well-known when he starred in RTE’s Operation Transformation.

He’s won multiple Gossies as well as a VIP Style Award, and we’re sensing an IFTA will be on the cards next.

There’s a lot more to come from James Patrice…

10. Thalia Heffernan

Arguably Ireland’s top model, Thalia Heffernan has curated a stellar career – all by the age of 22.

The stunning Dublin native was thrown into the limelight in her teens, being hotly tipped as the next big thing – and critics were right.

Not only has Thalia worked with huge fashion houses like Diesel, she recently became the face of Ireland’s top-selling tan Cocoa Brown.

But aside from her killer modelling career Thalia moved into TV last year, starring on the first series of RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.

Since the show ended, Thalia won Best Model at The Gossies 2018, and landed an on-going presenting role with TV3’s Xpose.

11. Kodaline

Top Irish band Kodaline are still making waves around the world, and with the launch of their next album imminent, this will be a huge year.

Lead singer Steve Garrigan is just 29, and has already toured the world, working with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

The Swords natives just played Malahide Castle this month, with the band touring throughout the rest of the year.

They’ve already had a music video directed by Courteney Cox, and have worked with Ed Sheeran.

12. Gavin James

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At the young age of 26, Gavin James has already become an international star.

His career started out in 2013, becoming a household name on the Irish music scene, but the Dublin singer shot to fame in 2015, with the release of his single Bitter Pill.

Backed very publicly by Ed Sheeran, Gavin has gone on to perform all over the world.

13. Doireann Garrihy

The last year has certainly been the year for 26-year-old Doireann Garrihy.

The younger sister of actress Aoibhin Garrihy, Doireann started off her career on radio as an AA Roadwatch reporter, before moving to SPIN 103.8 as an entertainment reporter.

But Doireann became an overnight celebrity at the end of 2016, when her impressions of bloggers and stars went viral.

Soon Doireann won Best Newcomer at The Gossies 2017, and later won Most Stylish Influencer at the VIP Style Awards.

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Doireann then got promoted from reporter to on-air host, presenting the Zoo Crew on Spin 103.8 with Martin Guilfoyle.

But her biggest success so far was when RTE commissioned a once off show called The Doireann Project for the RTE Player.

The episode received rave reviews, so much so, RTE have now commissioned a full series which will air on the player as well as our TV screens.

14. Holly Carpenter

Pic: Brian McEvoy

Top model, jewellery entrepreneur and former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter has achieved so much at such a young age.

At 26 Holly has already launched her own business (jewellery company Love Lift), landed her own weekly newspaper column, and she continues to be one of the country’s top influencers.

The brunette won Miss Ireland in 2011, and is still seen as one of the most successful Miss Ireland’s to date.

Not only does she now work with huge brands like Rimmel, Holly also had a stint on reality TV – starring in Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model back in 2013.

She also had her own mini series on the RTE Player called What Would Holly Do, back in 2016.

15. Aoife Walsh

Picture: Brian McEvoy

Former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh has carved out an extremely successful career for herself – all by the age of 28.

The red-head from Tipperary came on the scene in 2013 when she beat thousands of hopefuls to become Miss Ireland.

Deemed as one of the most-successful Miss Ireland’s to date, Aoife later became the face of the Newbridge Silverware Guinness collaboration – alongside rugby star Rob Kearney.

Pic Brian McEvoy

Since then Aoife has been one of the most in-demand models in Ireland, but lately her focus has been on the US.

Now living part-time in New York City, Aoife achieved one of her biggest dreams this year, and walked in a fashion show for New York Fashion Week.

Although she had to drop out of RTE’s Dancing With The Stars due to a toe injury, we’re sure we’ll see Aoife on our TV screens soon.

16. Erika Fox

Blogger and Entrepreneur Erika Fox has proven that hard work and ambition can work off.

Aged just 27, Erika aka Retro Flame, has carved out an insanely impressive career for herself in New York.

Starting off as a fashion blogger, Erika has gone on to be one of the most in-demand influencers in Ireland, working with some of the country’s biggest brands, including Brown Thomas.

But first and foremost Erika is a businesswoman. After working to support herself in New York for years, Erika left her job to work on her blog and youtube channel full-time, and it’s certainly paid off.

Soon after she hired her sister Kaelin on a full-time basis too, and in 2015 she won Best Young Entrepreneur in Kerry, for which she won €20,000 investment.

17. Stephen Byrne

At the age of just 28 Stephen Byrne is now one of the most prominent broadcasters in the country.

Starting out as a break-out Youtube star in the early 2000s, Stephen later landed a role on RTE 2’s Two Tube.

Working on screen for years, this year Stephen landed his own self-titled show on 2FM.

This year alone Stephen has interviewed the likes of Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Dave Grohl.

He’s been covering The Oscars for 2FM for the last two years, and this year he has gone back to school to re-do his Leaving Cert, all for a special RTE documentary.

18. Roz Purcell

Model turned food blogger Roz Purcell has completely transformed her career in the last year.

The Tipperary beauty came to fame when she won Miss Universe Ireland in 2009, and unlike most pageant queens, she has continued a strong career in the industry.

After being signed to Donald Trump’s modelling agency, Roz then had a brief stint on RTE’s Fade Street (season 2).

Before hanging up her modelling boots for good, Roz was one of the most popular Irish models, working with the country’s biggest brands.

Since then Roz has become a best-selling author (Natural Born Feeder) and one of Ireland’s most in-demand influencers.

19. Rob Lipsett

Rob Lipsett | Brian McEvoy

He was one of Ireland’s first male influencers, and now fitness guru Rob Lipsett is a full blown entrepreneur.

The Dublin native turned his Youtube channel into a full-time career, thanks to his love of exercise.

Since gaining a massive following on social media, Rob has gone on to invest in businesses, including Dublin gym company Raw.

Rob works all around the world in luxury fitness boot camps, and made a name for himself in the UK when he starred on Love Island.

20. Jack Reynor

Wicklow actor Jack Reynor has been laying low, but his career is continuing to sour.

The Irish star rose to fame thanks to his starring role in What Richard Did (2012), before landing a lead role in Transformers 4 (2014).

At just 26 Jack broke into Hollywood, but these days he’s enjoying life with his fiance in Ireland.

He just voiced Brother Wolf in the new Jungle Book movie Mowgli, and recently wrapped filming on new movie The Basis Of Sex – alongside Justin Theroux, Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.

21. Michaela O’Shaughnessy

Aged just 26, Michaela O’Shaughnessy has the job thousands of girls would kill for.

After landing a job in MTV, the Galway girl hit the jackpot when she became the social media coordinator for Teen Vogue.

Now fully apart of the Conde Naste family, Michaela has been to the Met Gala, not once, but TWO times.

In her spare time, Michaela runs her own blog lifeofaleadybear.com.

22. Rob Kenny

Not only is he one of Ireland’s top social media influencers, but Rob Kenny also has an extremely successful career in PR.

Aged just 26, Rob has worked for some of Ireland’s leading agencies, including Notorious PSG and now Publicis.

As well as curating an impressive career at such a young age, Rob has been busy curating content.

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The Dublin native has worked on campaigns with Primark and Visa, with more work in the pipeline.

23. Ryan O’Shaughnessy

At the age of 25, Ryan O’Shaughnessy has already represented his country at the Eurovision, starred in a TV soap and landed on two reality shows.

The Dublin native kicked off his career as Mark Halpin in Fair City (2001-2010) but he really hit the big time when he got to the live stages of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.

He had just been on RTE’s version of The Voice, but when he sang his self-written song No Name on the ITV show, the nation fell in love.

Fast forward to this year when he represented Ireland in the Eurovision – bringing us to the final for the first time since 2013.

24. Chasing Abbey

Tullamore band Chasing Abbey have created a huge following in a short space of time.

All in their early 20s, the trio already have a record deal with Universal Music.

They have already played some of the biggest venues in Ireland, and will play Summer In The City this month alongside The Chainsmokers and Rita Ora.

25. Laura Mullet

Pic: Brian McEvoy

Wexford native Laura Mullett has carved out a hugely successful styling career – all by the age of 28.

The blonde has styled some of the biggest names in the industry working on the IFTAs, TV3’s Ireland AM & Xpose.

The Dublin-based stylist also styled Lucy Kennedy, Jason Byrne & Louis Walsh on Ireland’s Got Talent this year and recently worked with Millie Mackintosh for Magnum.

26. Clementine MacNiece 

At just 29,  Clementine is one of Ireland’s leading fashion stylists.

The Armagh native has blown up on the scene over the last two years, most notably for dressing the stars on RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.

So all those Amanda Byram dresses you loved? That’s thanks to this one.

Clem also won Best Celebrity Stylist at this year’s Gossies.

27. Aine Cahill

Singer Aine Cahill has seriously made her stamp on the music industry this year – and she’s only 23.

The Cavan native has already played Ireland’s top venues like The Academy, Vicar Street, Whelan’s and Cork Opera House.

She’s also played Electric Picnic and Glastonbury, and her career is only starting.

28. Chef Adrian

At just 26-years-old Adrian Martin is one of Ireland’s most recognised chefs.

The Cavan native has hit the big time in the last two years, releasing his own cookbook Fake Away and working long-term with TV3 on The Six O’Clock Show.

Just this month Adrian launched his own mini restaurant at Taste of Dublin, and there’s a lot more to come.

29. Enya Martin

Comedian Enya Martin may have started out on social media – but she’s moved from Facebook to the stage in the last year.

At just 25 Enya has already gigged in Vicar Street and this year will do stand up at the Vodafone Comedy Festival.

Best known for her Irish versions of movies like Titanic, Enya aka Giz A Laugh has proven to be a viral hit.

But she’s quickly proving that her career is much bigger than a few viral videos.

30. Joanna Cooper

Last, but certainly not least, 24-year-old Joanna Cooper has seen her career soar since winning Miss Universe Ireland in 2015.

The Derry model quickly hit headlines for being the one of the shortest models in the competition, but she proved that height is nothing but a number.

After landing on E! News during her time during the competition, Joanna came back to Ireland with a flourishing modelling career.

The blonde has stellar contracts with the likes of Agent Provocateur and is in high demand in London.

But the blonde beauty is spending more time in Ireland now, thanks to her rugby boyfriend Conor Murrary.