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8 Northern Irishmen who aren’t quite as famous as their namesakes

George Best, Alex Higgins, Van Morrison, Eamonn Holmes – Northern Ireland has produced a host of stars who are legends in their chosen fields.

However not all greatness gets the recognition it deserves,  May McFettridge being a prime example, so we thought it would be nice to pay tribute to some of the local heroes that have somehow slipped under the radar.

We did think of more than eight, but got fed up making pictures….

 

 

1. Daniel Craigavon

1. Daniel Craigavon

Unlike his more famous near-namesake, Daniel Craigavon does not have a Licence to Kill. However he does have a licence to carry out MOTs at his local test centre, where he is a notorious hard-ass when it comes to dodgy tail-lights and tyre treads. He also shares a fondness for fast women and strong drink, although he prefers a well chilled glass of Buckfast to Vodka Martini, "shuck, nat sturred".

2. Omagh Sharif

2. Omagh Sharif

Camel farmer and amateur actor Omagh Sharif has never quite made it to the big leagues. Despite this he was much praised in the local papers for his "show stopping" roles in Lawrencetown of Arabia and Veterinarian Zhivago, both directed by his good friend and mentor, David Larne. He later became Bridge correspondent for the Tyrone Herald, a difficult job considering the number of river crossings that pack the county town.

3. Abraham Lisburn

3. Abraham Lisburn

The 16th President of Lisburn Borough Council, Abraham Lisburn was the leader who brought city status to the town - despite everyone finding the concept of Lisburn being a city ridiculous. He stayed in power throughout the civil war with Dundonald over the ownership of the International Ice Bowl, but was accidentally assassinated during a trip to Sprucefield Marks and Spencer. His legacy remains intact as he was able to preserve the union of Lisburn and Castlereagh, although this is now under threat with the rise of the Dundonald Liberation Army.

4. Sir Isaac Newtownbreda

4. Sir Isaac Newtownbreda

One of Northern Ireland's greatest scientists, young Isaac Newtownbreda left school with no qualifications in 1971. He later got a job at the big Tesco in his home town, where he thought he'd discovered gravity after an apple rolled off the fruit and veg section. Sadly his supervisor told him that he wasn't on a break and he didn't have time to record his findings - to be fair gravity had already been discovered and there was a rush on in the freezer section. He was knighted by the Queen in 2008 for his discovery of the origins of the unexpected item in the bagging area.

5. John Wean

5. John Wean

Little known outlaw John Wean was a boy with a price on his head in 19th century Strabane. At the time his exploits were legendary and he spent two years raiding piggy banks, knocking doors and pulling the emergency stop cord on trains. His exploits came to an end in September 1875 when he was gunned down in a duel with fellow outlaw, Billy the Adult.

6. William Sheughspeare

6. William Sheughspeare

Known as "the Bard of the Braid", William Sheughspeare was Co. Antrim farmer turned playwright who mainly wrote stuff about muck. His best known works included "Much Ado About Slurry", "A Midsummer's Shite Dream" and "MacBoke" - plays which were performed as far afield as Ballymena and Ballymoney. His career went into a downward spiral after he ventured into politics with an attempted "prequel" to Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", set the evening before at a bonfire in Rathcoole.

7. Prod Marley

7. Prod Marley

Reggae singer and leading Loyalist Prod Marley was a well known figure on the Co. Armagh parades scene in the 1990s. He rose to prominence during the Drumcree crisis as he attempted to broker a peace deal involving everyone smoking lots of weed, but this was rejected out of hand by both sides in the dispute. Disillusioned, he left the area and focussed his attentions on writing Loyalist versions of Reggae songs, with "No Woman, No Flag" probably his best known effort.

8. Ballyhalbert Einstein

8. Ballyhalbert Einstein

Based on the Ards Peninsula, scientist Ballyhalbert Einstein's career never quite reached the heights of his more famous cousin. His best known work is probably the Theory of Relativity - in which he proved that everyone has some kind of really embarrassing Aunt, Uncle or Cousin who will show them up at inappropriate moments. At the time his attempts to apply this theory to world of space travel were met with derision, but he was eventually proved correct in 2005 when the Russians sent an astronaut's Granny to join in him in the International Space Station, and she proceeded to tell stories about how he used to shit himself at Primary School.

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