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Comedy star Jimmy Carr speaks about his Irish heritage and dual British and Irish citizenship

Top UK comedian Jimmy Carr has spoken about his Irish heritage and how being from an Irish family would sometimes cause problems for him growing up.

Carr has been one of the UK’s most successful comedians over the last two decades and his aloof but easy-going style has made him one of the most recognisable faces on TV.

He has dual British and Irish citizenship and travels on an Irish passport.

Jimmy Carr

Carr said that he witnessed anti-Irish prejudice while he was growing up in the 1970s in Slough, near London.

His parents Jim and Nora moved to the UK from Limerick, during a period of great tension between the British and Irish.

Carr said: “I really clearly remember an incident of someone saying something racist to my mum in a newsagent’s when there was some IRA bombing or something. Someone said something very negative to my mum. [I remember] feeling like, ‘Oh, are we not like everyone else?’.

“On the one hand, that’s a negative thing. And on the other hand, it makes you feel very special.”

The funnyman is proud of his Irish heritage and enjoys visiting Ireland both in a personal and professional capacity.

He said: “I go back to Ireland a lot and play a lot of gigs over there. I’m quite proud. I’ve got an Irish passport. When I was growing up I was very aware of being in an immigrant family.

In 2013 he was presented with a certificate of Irish Heritage as he prepared for a performance in his parent’s home city of Limerick.

The certificate recognises the contribution made by members of the Diaspora worldwide and was signed by the Taoiseach.

It was presented to Carr by the Mayor of Limerick, Councillor Kathleen Leddin.

Councillor Leddin said: “Jimmy is very proud of his parental connections with Limerick and certainly has an emotional attachment to the city and Ireland. He was very honoured to receive this certificate, which I think is a wonderful initiative to recognise and celebrate Ireland’s Diaspora.

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About Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty You can follow him on

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