Tuesday 21 May 2019

George Clooney jets in to Ireland to see his cousins - and dine with Leo and Bono

Family photo: George meets his Abbeyleix cousins Seamus and Agnes Clooney
Family photo: George meets his Abbeyleix cousins Seamus and Agnes Clooney

Sarah Slater and Sorcha O'Connor

Hollywood A-lister George Clooney, his wife Amal and their two-year-old twins Alexander and Ella spent several days over the Easter break in Ireland getting to know his Irish cousins.

He also squeezed in dinner dates with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and U2 frontman Bono.

The family get-together was organised by his parents, renowned broadcaster Nicholas (85) and writer Nina (80), who arrived from the US last week.

The couple hosted the family reunion at the luxury hotel Ballyfin House in Co Laois, chosen as it is remote and far from prying eyes.

Andy Ring, a cousin of Clooney, met the actor at Ballyfin and described him as an "absolute gentleman".

"The first thing he said when he arrived at Ballyfin House was 'the Irish Clooneys are doing OK'. He's an absolute gentleman," he said.

Another relative said: "The family have been talking about this get together and I know some of the Irish cousins have been excited about it. They all had a great time."

They said Clooney also said he loved the ballad group Abbeyfolk, who penned the song 'Here's to you George Clooney'.

The actor said he hopes to bring them to the US in the future.

Clooney met the Taoiseach for dinner on Friday night.

"He also got on well with Leo and said that we [the country] were lucky to have such a caring leader," added the relative.

Clooney and human rights lawyer Amal were also spotted enjoying dinner with Bono in Dublin's Coppinger Row on Saturday night.

They were joined for the meal by Bono's good friend, artist Guggi.

The four didn't look for any special treatment as, according to sources, they were not sitting in a private room but took a table near the back of the restaurant.

After their whistlestop Irish break, George, Amal and their children left the country by private jet yesterday.

In 2005 a genealogist traced Clooney's Irish roots back to Windgap, Co Kilkenny, and to Abbeyleix, Co Laois.

Irish Independent

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