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George Clooney speaks about his Irish ancestors at humanitarian conference

George Clooney has spoken about his Irish heritage in a passionate speech about the need to show compassion to refugees.

The Oscar winning actor said that his family had been refugees, after heading to America to escape the horrors of the Great Famine.

He said that we simply cannot look away from people fleeing horrors in countries such as Syria, South Sudan or the Congo.

George Clooney - Hollywood star speaks about his Irish ancestors at humanitarian conference in Armenia

Clooney was speaking at a humanitarian conference in Yerevan, Armenia. The star presented a €980,000 ($1.1m) prize to a Burundian humanitarian worker, Marguerite Barankitse, who saved thousands of orphans’ lives in the middle of a civil war.

Clooney said: “The simple truth is that all of us here tonight are the result of someone’s act of kindness.

“The Clooney family fled a potato famine in Ireland to come to the United States where their very survival required a room, a meal, a helping hand.

“We all stand on the shoulders of good people who didn’t look away when we were in need.

“We call them refugees – but they’re people just like you and me. And if you stand right in front of them and take a look deep into their eyes, you might just see an Irish farmer fleeing a famine. If we are to survive as a people, we simply can’t look away. Not from the people of Syria or South Sudan or the Congo.”

Ms Barankitse was forced to flee her home in Burundi last year after the country descended into civil war. She has helped to save the lives of 30,000 children.

She set up Maison Shalom – house of peace – during the war to provide a place of safety for orphans. She has vowed to use her prize money to help other groups who work with orphans and child refugees.

Clooney said that her work was a ‘reminder of the impact that one person can have even when encountering seemingly insurmountable persecution and injustice’.

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3 thoughts on “George Clooney speaks about his Irish ancestors at humanitarian conference

  1. Regina

    I think George Clooney’s ancestors were Armenian. His aunt Rosemary Clooney needed a different name to make it in Hollywood, so the name stayed with the family.

    01/05/2016 at 3:38 am
  2. Catherine mcgrath

    Clooney has asparations for future president of the U.S.. Typical traits of a politician telling people what they want to hear at others expense.. Truth is, he is wrong. the United States was growingThey needed people to build roads, railroad tracks, bridges, houses commercial buildings etc. In order to come to the US immigrants had to apply, get approved and submit a legal document signed by a sponsor promising to provide financial aid, shelter, and guaranteering they would be no burden to the US Govt . They worked 8-10-12 hours by the sweat of their brow.Ignored signs “No Irish Need Apply”. Irish focused on their pride, dignity and self respect. They worked twice as hard and hours longer to prove it. Some got smart – ” if you can’t lick them-join them. That’s why we had people like the great people like McCarther, mckinley, harrison,Kennedy’s, Clintons, etc in the White House. As for Hollywood’s stars, through their unions they make demands for higher and higher wages, spend our hard earned money that pay their salaries, then they.spend that money with lavish weddings, castles, chateaus, outrageous properties, foreign made yachts, wining and dining in foreign countries, adopt foreign children while our American children are starving for love and affection in foster homes. That’s Hollywood. That’s people like George Clooney. A washed up movie star looking to rob the American people in a different ways and catering to foreign companies rather than spend their money here in the u.S. where they earned it. They betrayed our children,our businesses and our economy. Never bite the hand that feeds you.
    Catherine mcgrath

    26/04/2016 at 5:43 am
  3. Tom

    I do NOT trust any ally of Obama which includes Clooney. The immigrants that came from Ireland weren’t intermixed with terrorists and people only posing as someone looking for a better life. All immigrants – forget about the illegal aliens – need to be heavily screened and vetted.

    26/04/2016 at 3:30 am

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