He might be one of the most famous people ever "Born in the USA" but Bruce Springsteen is Irish.
In the book "Land of Hope and Dreams: Springsteen in Ireland" his roots are discussed at length. Springsteen has Irish roots through his paternal grandmother Martha O'Hagan. She married Springsteen's grandfather, Anthony Springsteen, who was of Dutch ancestry, in 1899.
And it turns out that Martha's grandmother, Ann Garrity, hailed from County Westmeath.
In fact, Springsteen's great-great-granny hails from Mullingar, the very same town as the late, lamented Joe Dolan.
Garrity left Ireland in 1852, five years after the famine devastated much of Ireland.
She settled in the town of Freehold, New Jersey, where Bruce himself was born 60 years ago.
Springsteen went to the Catholic St Rose of Lima School, where he was taught by nuns, presumably some Irish!
The book, "Land of Hope and Dreams: Springsteen in Ireland" was released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Springsteen's concert at Slane Castle in 1985. (25 years? Seems like only yesterday that myself and a friend from Belfast had to hoof the 10 miles back to Drogheda after the concert ended.)
Derry woman Moira Sharkey, who wrote the book along with Greg Lewis says the story makes sense when you consider how popular Springsteen is in Ireland.
"Springsteen has an incredible connection with Irish audiences, selling out show after show down the years. Perhaps this family history reveals why that connection is so strong," she says.
And the book reports that Springsteen can actually claim Irish heritage through a number of ancestors including the Farrells, McNicholases, Sullivans, O’Hagans and McCanns.
In fact, says Sharkey, with all his connections, Springsteen "could call any corner of Ireland his home."
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