Blue-blood Tom Cruise rules the red carpet
HALF an hour with the genealogists and an armful of official documentation was not enough for Tom Cruise.
He has now arranged to come back to the team who worked on his aristocratic Catholic Irish roots with more questions, saying it was "a lot to take in".
In a strange twist of fate, it has emerged that Cruise's poor attempt at an Irish accent in 'Far and Away' was a bit of a red herring.
In fact, he has turned out to be "more Irish than the Irish themselves".
The Hollywood A-lister's trip to Dublin for the premiere of his new film 'Oblivion' turned out to be a homecoming that he will remember forever when he received the shock news that he is descended from benevolent Irish Catholic landlords in north Co Dublin and can trace his aristocratic line back to the era of Strongbow.
"He is one of the Cruises of Naul," said genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann, who worked on Cruise's file for two months alongside Helen Moss.
"He doesn't just have a flimsy connection to Ireland – this is a very deep-rooted connection," said Ms Fitzsimons.
The genealogists' findings showed that fact is stranger than fiction.
Cruise's great-great-great-grandfather, Patrick Russell Cruise – far from being a tenant farmer – was in fact a landlord who emigrated to America but returned to Ireland to restore the rights of his tenants, who had been evicted by an unscrupulous land agent.
And in a development far beyond the dreams of the average US tourist seeking their Irish roots, Cruise found out that he even has his own ancestral "castle", albeit one which is now part of somebody else's private home – Seatown Castle on the outskirts of Swords.
Cruise arrived precisely on time for the hush-hush ceremony where Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore bestowed on him his Certificate of Irish Heritage at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Iveagh House on St Stephen's Green in Dublin.
The 50-year-old actor had the appearance of a man half his years, with his skin buffed, gleaming and rendered the hue of a premium hazelnut.
He was dressed in understated, though clearly expensive, navy – and he commented on the sunshine and the "lovely day in Dublin".
An hour later, he emerged looking visibly elated. "It was extraordinary," he said, adding with a laugh that he had "always been into it".
Asked if he would be investigating his Irish links further, he promised: "Not today but I will."
After that, Cruise was off to RTE to pre-record an interview for 'The Late Late Show' with his self-proclaimed "cousin" Ryan Tubridy and then on to the Guinness Storehouse to prove his Irishness beyond all doubt when he sank a pint of the black stuff down to the last drop.
All the while, fans queued patiently outside the Savoy Cinema, arriving at 8am in the hope of an autograph, a photograph or just a glimpse of the silver screen star.
Sisters Rachel Rooney, Vanessa Flood and Aoife Flood from Tallaght were downcast when security guards told them they had been queuing all day "for nothing" because they weren't going to get near him. "We're just hoping to see him," said Rachel.