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The Irish men and women who made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list

It will come as no surprise that Conor McGregor made the list… but in the ‘entertainment’ category?

Image: John Locher/PA Images

THE 2017 FORBES list of the most ambitious, smart, and productive people of the year is out – and there are a few familiar Irish faces on the list.

The list is actually 600 people long – compiled of impressive young adults across every sector of the working world that you can think of.

The long list of winners are available to view on Forbes’ lovely website and searchable by category. Meanwhile, we’ve compiled them here in order of their age, and included the reasons why Forbes were so impressed by them.

Sam Blanckensee (aged 22) – Law & Policy

The Wicklow native first got a taste for politics through his role as the LGBT coordinator at UCD. Sam told TheJournal.ie in an interview from 2015 that he wants to ”amplify the voices of marginalised communities and to represent young people and give them a voice“.

Forbes lists his description as the following:

Activist and lobbyist, Sam Blanckensee, is the National Development Officer of TENI (the Transgender Equality Network Ireland). An outspoken voice for the trans community across Irish media and politics, Blanckensee helped get gender recognition legislation passed in Ireland that let people self-declare their gender and receive new birth certificates.

Mark Moriarty (aged 25) - The Arts

The young chef continues to impress on a global scale, and impressed to such a level that he was included in the ‘arts’ category.

Since his first job in a kitchen when he was just 15 years old, Irish chef Mark Moriarty has been crowned the 2015 San Pellegrino UK & Ireland Young chef of the Year and the San Pellegrino World Young Chef of the Year. Cooking pop-up dinners all over the world, Moriarty exhibits his adeptness in working in unfamiliar environments and tailoring menus for world-renowned guest lists.

Iseult Ward (aged 26) - Social Entrepreneurs

Ward has been a prominent speaker on the subject of food wastage and her app, which connects surplus food with charities in need, offered a practical solution.

In an interview with TheJournal.ie from June last year, Ward said that “pointing the blame at any one area is ineffective if we are going to really address the issue”.

Iseult created an mobile and web platform, FoodCloud, that connects businesses with surplus foods to local charities. Iseult previously won the Marie Claire UK Future Shapers Award and funding in Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 Competition, judged by Richard Branson, Sarah Blakely and Tyra Banks.

Colin Keogh (aged 28) –  Science & Healthcare

Engineering PhD candidate Keogh has long been interested in using low-cost disruptive technologies to help improve the world.

He founded The Rapid Foundation to put technology such as 3D printers and low-cost electronics in the hands of people who need it most in developing countries.

And he’s understandably delighted to be included in the list of Forbes’ finalists.

Niall Mimnagh (aged 28) – Industry

The Longford man is the CEO of energy company Mimergy, and if you haven’t heard of it before, you will in the future:

Mimnagh wants to revert tires into their origins. Over 1 billion waste tires are generated globally every year. Ireland, for example, exports over 50% of them to be incinerated abroad. So Mimergy recycles the tires into precious resources such as fuel and other high value chemicals.

Conor McGregor (aged 28) – Entertainment

The man who needs no introduction unsurprisingly made the list. What was surprising, is he was put under the ‘entertainment’ rather than sport category.

Known for his aggressive fighting style, this versatile mixed martial arts fighter has both lightweight and featherweight championships under his belt. And The Notorious, as he’s known, is making money with every punch: A single fight in August earned him a $3 million purse.

Read: 20 Under 20: Ireland’s brightest and most inspirational rising stars

Read: The 30 hottest young politicos in Ireland right now

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