Church in Shinrone, County Offaly

Second Irish village claims President Obama as their own


Church in Shinrone, County Offaly



A second Irish village is now claiming President Barack Obama as one of its own ahead of his arrival in Ireland later this month.

The US leader is to visit his ancestral homeland in Moneygall, County Offaly, as the centrepiece of his first Irish visit on May 23rd.

Now another village in the same county is laying claim to the President after church records revealed links to his ancestors.

The parish records in Shinrone, not far from Moneygall, contain details of more than 40 members of the Kearney family, directly related to President Obama.

Children from Shinrone have now written to President Obama inviting him to visit their national school during his Irish tour.

The President’s third great grandfather Falmouth Kearney emigrated from Moneygall to America in 1850 after his family lost much of their wealth.

Now genealogists have discovered links between Obama and his seventh great-grandfather, Joseph Kearney, who was born around 1698 and was buried in Shinrone in January 1791.

Fifth and sixth class pupils at the local National School have researched the links to Obama and have even written to his children Malia and Sasha inviting them to visit.

School principal Joe Cleary told the Irish Independent that at least 15 members of the Kearney family,  including eight children, were buried in unmarked graves in the Shinrone Church of Ireland graveyard.
“Joseph and Cicely Kearney, the seventh great-grandparents of President Obama, had four sons, Thomas born 1725, Joseph born 1730, and John and Patrick, who were baptised in Shinrone in 1741. One of the sons, Joseph, married Sarah Healy from Moneygall in Shinrone Church.”

A headstone was erected in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Shinrone earlier this month in memory of President Obama’s ancestors.


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