Saturday 1 October 2016

It's official - we can claim Bruce Springsteen as Irish

Published 27/05/2016 | 13:52

Bruce Springsteen in a sell-out gig at the RDS in Dublin eight years ago. He will play Croke Park in May. Photo: PA wire
Bruce Springsteen in a sell-out gig at the RDS in Dublin eight years ago. He will play Croke Park in May. Photo: PA wire

Yes, he was born in the USA but that has never stopped us claiming people as our own and now we can officially say Bruce Springsteen is Irish (or at least of Irish descent).

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Research carried out by genealogists at the Irish Family History Centre confirms that before the Springsteens came the Gerritys.

Christy Gerrity from the parish of Rathangan in Co Kildare has been described as "something of a hellraiser as a young man" and he was the great-great-great-grandfather of The Boss himself.

Christy left Ireland New Jersey in 1853.

Last year, US genealogist Megan Smolenyak, who had previously discovered Barack Obama's links to Moneygall, traced his ancestors to Kildare, but had the name as 'Garrity' rather than 'Gerrity'.  It's occasionally spelled 'Geraghty' too as they were not so pedantic about spelling in the late 1800s.

Prior to that it had been reported that his family hailed from Rathowen, a village near Mulliingar, Co Westmeath.

However, it seems he really is a Lilywhite.

“Bruce Springsteen may have been Born in the USA – but his ancestors emigrated from Ireland in 1853 and we are delighted to share the details of his Irish ancestry," said Mark Henry of Tourism Ireland.

"We are encouraging people around the world to visit the island of Ireland in 2016 and learn more about their heritage.

"Our message to the Irish Diaspora everywhere is that there has never been a better time to visit, to trace their ancestry and learn more about their Irish roots.”

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