Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Great-Great George Clooney Tale

To all George Clooney fans, consider this: had a certain Nicholas Clooney not been forced to leave Ireland for the United States in 1847, because he was worth a mere two pounds and two shillings, there might not be a George Clooney. Or, perhaps a variation of the dapper leading man would have risen through the BBC ranks rather than those of NBC.

There have long been local and often disputed rumors of Clooney's Irish ancestry, but now, thanks to an upcoming documentary by Kilkenny historian Gabriel Murray, it will all soon be laid out in confirmed, explicit detail. According to a recent report in Ireland's The Independent, Murray will be traveling to Kentucky in February to interview Clooney's father, Nicholas, and is aiming to have the documentary completed in time for a scheduled motorcycling excursion by the famous son to Ireland later this year. With much added local color:

Limerick band The Corrigan Brothers, who penned the hit “There's No One as Irish as Barack Obama,” have also jumped on the bandwagon. They released a song at the weekend dedicated to the Hollywood actor's looming visit to Ireland called “Welcome Home George Clooney.” "Oh the girls are feeling swooney; As they welcome home George Clooney; back to Ireland and Kilkenny on his great big motorbike," the chorus goes...

Meanwhile, a George and Rosemary Clooney look-a-like competition is being held in Kilkenny on January 20th. "The entire party will be filmed for the documentary," added Murray.

Incidentally, that look-a-like competition--held at Dylan's Whiskey Bar on John Street in Kilkenny--was organized by Murray himself. The winner, who will be flown out to the Oscars next month and filmed, is 27-year-old actor David James Glendon. Judging from the photo in this article, a couple of drinks may be required for anyone to mistake Glendon for Clooney. But that's just part of the charm of this whole enterprise.

The documentary will be narrated by RTE personality Mike Murphy. Also to be featured will be some of the still-in-Ireland relatives of the Hollywood actor's great-great-grandfather, currently to be found in not just Kilkenny but also Laois and Clonmel.

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