Central Intelligence Agency boss John Brennan has attended a Gathering event in his Roscommon ancestral homeland with his father Owen. The head of the CIA was accompanied by his 93-year-old dad and his brother Tom.
He accepted an invitation from the village of Kilteevan to attend their Gathering ceremony on Friday night for people from the village and those who had left it to go elsewhere.
Kilteevan Community Development Group chairperson Eileen Fahey told the Irish Times that they first wrote to Brennan in January.
They assumed he wasn’t coming until they heard from his office on July 24th that he had accepted the invitation.
Fahey said: “We couldn’t believe it. Everybody thought it wasn’t possible.
“Isn’t a father coming home with his two sons the essence of what the Gathering is about.”
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Brennan, who has stated previously that he plans to retire to Ireland, was one of several hundred guests in the Kilteevan community centre, previously the local Catholic church.
His dad Owen Brennan was baptised there on April 9th, 1920, according to the parish records.
Brennan Senior emigrated to the United States in 1948 and married an American woman. John Brennan was born in northern New Jersey.
Speaking in Kilteevan, Brennan said: “My family and I are part of the great Irish Diaspora.
“My father passed down to his family the strong values of family, community, love of nation and love of God.”
Brennan was appointed director of the CIA in March by President Barack Obama.