Hollywood superstar George Clooney took an emotional trip to Ireland to meet some of his distant relatives for the first time.
The Ocean’s Eleven star is the great-great-grandson of Nicholas Clooney, who was from Co Kilkenny.
Nicholas left Ireland to start a new life in the US in Kentucky during the years of the Great Hunger.
George has always been proud of his Irish heritage, and has spoken previously about the hardships his ancestors faced when arriving in the US.
This trip to Ireland included a family re-union organised by George’s parents.
The couple hosted the party at the five-star award winning hotel Ballyfin House in Co Laois.
George Clooney and his wife Amal, and two children met with numerous members of his family from Ireland.
One of Clooney’s cousin is Andy Ring, creator and owner of the website irishheritagetowns.com.
After meeting with George, Andy said: “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.
Clooney’s heritage was the subject of a documentary titled: ‘George Clooney’s Irish Roots’.
It was narrated by Irish television presenter Mike Murphy, and includes interviews from historians Professor Walter Walsh, Joseph Kennedy, Mary Egan and Ned Egan, as well as Clooney himself.
The name Clooney has various origins from all across Ireland, and also from Scotland too.
You can find out more about the history of the name by visiting Irish Names – Clooney.