Barack Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather, Falmouth Kearney was born and reared in Moneygall, Co. Offaly, Ireland. His father, Joseph was a shoemaker but Falmouth left Ireland at the tender age of nineteen, sailing on the SS Marmion and arriving in New York on 20 March, 1850. It was a time when droves upon droves of migrants were flooding out of the country, fleeing the terrible famine that was wracking Ireland at that time.
Falmouth moved out west, settling in Ohio, were he married and had eight children and eventually moved to Indiana. In a curious twist of fate, three of Falmouth’s daughters married three brothers named Dunham. Barack Obama’s mother, Ann Durham is descended from one of these couples. Ann Durham married a Kenyan, also named Barack Obama, who she met while he was studying in Hawaii and in 1961 they had a son named Barack Obama, now the President of the United States.
Obama joins a long list of US presidents with Irish ancestry. Ronald Reagan’s great-grandfather, Michael O’Reagan hailed from Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary. John F Kennedy’s great-grandfather Partrick Kennedy, came from Dunganstown, Co. Wexford, while Bill Clinton’s roots can be traced back to Co. Fermanagh. Obama’s hometown of Moneygall is located on the N7 route between Dublin and Limerick on the Co. Tipperary/Co. Offaly border. It has a population of approximately 300 people, a Catholic church, five shops, a post office, a primary school and a police station and of course two pubs. The people of Moneygall welcome Barack to drop in on his ancestral home in the coming years.