Irish American actor George Clooney, his wife human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, and their two children spent the Easter holiday in Co. Laois with his Irish cousins.
Clooney’s parents, renowned broadcaster Nicholas and his wife Nina, organized the family reunion, which was held at the five-star award-winning luxury hotel Ballyfin.
According to BreakingNew.ie, the trip marked the 57-year-old actor’s first visit to Ireland.
Andy Ring, the owner of irishheritagetowns.com, met his Hollywood A-lister cousin for the first time at Ballyfin. "The first thing he said when he arrived at Ballyfin House was, 'The Irish Clooneys are doing okay,’ he’s an absolute gentleman.’”
Another relative of the Clooneys 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.”
While in Ireland, Clooney also met up with U2’s Bono and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Clooney has Irish heritage on both sides of his family.
An American genealogist researched Clooney’s family history in 2005. The famous actor has roots in Windgap, Co Kilkenny, and Abbyleix, Co Laois.
A film made six years ago, titled “George Clooney’s Irish Roots.” traced the emigration of his Irish ancestor Nicholas Clooney (George’s father’s great-great-grandfather) from Kilkenny to Kentucky during the Great Famine of 1847.
Narrated by Irish television presenter Mike Murphy, the documentary also involved an intensive search for the actor’s Irish links in Laois and Kilkenny.
Clooney has previously said: “I am of Irish descent and in America a hundred years ago we were refugees, my family. Irish people were treated terribly for a period of time and were not treated well.”
“Clooney” is an anglicized version of the Gaelic O’Cluanaigh, which translates to “a descendant of Clugnach,” meaning a rogue or a flatterer.
The actor and his family left Ireland by private jet on Sunday.