independent

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Duo's Cruise mission possible through Fexco

killorglin women meet hollywood star

Kevin Hughes

Published 10/04/2013 | 05:36

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Tom Cruise with the late Páidi Ó Sé and his mother Beatrice when the Hollywood star was shooting Far And Away in West Kerry in August 1991.

HOLLYWOOD superstar Tom Cruise was in Dublin last week plugging his latest movie whilst brushing up on his Irish roots and the actor's links with the Emerald Isle have been rubber stamped thanks to a presentation made by two Killorglin women.

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Fexco employees Kay Woods and Grainne Gallen travelled at 'speed' to the capital last Wednesday for a top secret meeting with the actor and it was no 'mission impossible' as they got to present Cruise with his very own 'Certificate of Irish Heritage'.

Administered by Fexco on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs, it's a special edition of the certificate to mark The Gathering and helping to present the document, Kay revealed it was 'far and away' a day to remember.

"We knew from the time the certificate was ordered on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs, around two weeks in advance, but we were sworn to secrecy," Kay revealed. "We went up the night before but couldn't say where we were going and the following morning we met him before he went on to film for The Late Late Show. I was very surprised at the amount of security behind it all."

Kay said she was also surprised at how interested the 50-year-old actor was in his history.

"He knew he had Irish roots but was amazed he could trace it back that far. He was so keen to dig into it but he couldn't possibly take it all in in half an hour," she stated.

Kay and Grainne met the star after he had been speaking with the Tanaiste and had been informed of his connections by heritage company Eneclann - the actor's Irish ancestors have been identified as knights, rebels and heroes in a family history that stretches back 800 years.

And to celebrate those links, Cruise was one of 2,000 to receive a 'Certificate of Irish Heritage' from the Killorglin company, a special edition for 'The Gathering' which has a personal message from An Taoiseach. Almost 70 certificates are currently presented weekly.

Aside from the history, though, just what did Kay think of the actor himself.

"He got speaking to us once the formalities were over, he was so laid back and relaxed and took it all in his stride. He was very natural and down to earth.

"I was a fan before meeting him but I suppose I was a fan of Nicole Kidman moreso! He certainly doesn't look 50 though, he's so trim. It's all natural, you'd know he has good genes."

Of course Kay, sure isn't he Irish!

Kerryman

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