I am not Irish, and I haven’t celebrated St. Patrick’s Day since high school when we were told we’d get extra credit in a class for wearing green. (It didn’t normally happen…but I digress.) But I decided, in the spirit of it all I’d give a list of my top 3 favorite Irish characters on television. (With one that isn’t currently on TV to date.)
Show: Family Guy
Irish Relations: His father, Francis, who Peter discovers is really his adoptive father. Peter’s real dad, Mickey, lives in Ireland.
Reason Why He’s Great: I believe Peter Griffin is America’s favorite (adult) comedic father. He is raunchy, dirty, ridiculous, and does outwardly dumb things. Which is why his show is a success and he himself is a household name.
When Peter finds out his Irish father, Francis, was really his adoptive father, Peter goes on the search for his real dad. He finds his father in a bar in Ireland, and realizes that he really does have more in common with his dad than he did with Francis.
Check out the video below that father and son share together to celebrate their Irishness.
Role: A brooding vampire with a soul who starts a forbidden romance with vampire slayer Buffy Summers, then moves to Los Angeles (and has his own show) where he starts his own mystical detective agency
Irish Relations: Not know he’s Irish until episode at the end of Buffy season 2, when we see that he was actually a drunken fool named Liam in Ireland before he became a vampire. Also gives Buffy a Claddagh ring for her birthday.
Reason Why He’s Great: Angel comes onto the Buffy scene as a gorgeous, mysterious man who shows up to help Buffy at just the right time. He ends up forming a relationship with her (even though he’s immortal and 200+ years, while she is 16 and mortal) and in season 2, loses his soul when he experiences “true happiness” – i.e. sex with Buffy.
He becomes his former demon self and Buffy realizes she has to kill him in order to save the world. Then, as luck would have it, at the last minute he gets his soul back (thanks to Buffy’s wicca friend Willow who performs the spell needed to do so). Buffy still kills him – she must save the world after all! – but in the third season he comes back from hell, and lives on to start up again with Buffy before leaving her and heading to L.A. to start his own demon-fighting detective agency. Yeah, totally normal. (But insanely gorgeous and too fantastic of a..well..vampire.)
Show: Burn Notice
Role: On and off girlfriend of burned spy Michael Westen; ex-IRA agent
Irish Relations: Originally from Ireland, Fiona became a member of the IRA (Irish Republican Army); has one sister, Claire (deceased) and one brother Sean that we know of; was going to return to Ireland in season 3, but troubles with a Irish madmen prevent her from possibly ever going back; since moving to Miami has dropped the Irish accent she had in the first episode in order to fit in.
In one episode in season 3, we find out that Fiona had a sister, Claire, who was killed when she was young. Due to this, Fiona dedicated her life to revenge and joined the IRA. In this episode – entitled “Long Way Back” – her brother, Sean, comes to Miami to warn his sister that the man who killed Claire is on the hunt for Fiona. Fiona ends up getting kidnapped by this man, named Thomas O’Neill, but gets rescued by Michael and Sam Axe – but not before she gets shot in the arm and Sean suffers a gunshot wound himself. It gives some insight into Fiona’s Irish background.