The newly appointed head of the CIA, John Brennan, plans to retire to his parents’ homeland of Ireland once his term ends, his family claim.
John Brennan, whose father Owen hails from Kilteevan, Co. Roscommon, was nominated by President Obama on Monday to be the new director of the CIA.
His father, a blacksmith, emigrated to the U.S. along with his mother, also a Roscommon native. They are both still hale and hearty.
If Brennan’s nomination is confirmed, he will replace former director General David Petraeus, who stepped down after details of his affair with his biographer were exposed last November.
The 57-year-old delivered an address at the Institute of Institutional and European Affairs last October. During another one of his trips last fall he made his way across the Shannon to visit his family in Roscommon.
Read More: Obama nominates Irish American John Brennan to be next CIA director - VIDEO
"He has visited Roscommon over the years and always calls in to see us when he's here," his first cousin Patrick Diffley told the Belfast Telegraph.
Diffley added: "He said to us that he wanted to retire here. He told us that if he got this post he'd do his term and then hopefully like to come home and settle here.”
Brennan’s cousin who lives in Lecarrow, Co Roscommon, says the CIA adviser doesn’t usually give advance notice of his trips.
"My mother Bridie is his father's sister and he always pays a visit. The trip in November was a flying visit. He had been in Paris and came over to see us all. We didn't know he was coming at all. That's the way he is."
Brennan’s cousin did try to probe the CIA director about his work, but the Irish American remained tight lipped.
"We were trying to get it out of him about the Bin Laden raid but he wasn't saying a word. He joked that we were like the Irish mafia," recalled Diffley.
The close family member said his cousin is like any average joe.
Read More: Obama terrorism chief John Brennan woos the Irish vote while in Dublin
"He's a very normal person to talk to but he doesn't discuss his work at all. He dresses very normally and if he was walking down the street you wouldn't have a clue what he does. He seems different when he’s on TV.”
Diffley said he hopes to visit Brennan this summer and hopes to meet his family.
Food & Drink
An Irish recipe repertoire essential - simple delicious colcannon