Unlikely celebrities with Irish roots.

Famous people with Irish origins


The Irish have spread far and wide however some most unlikely celebrities have Irish blood in them.

Marlon Brand, such a powerhouse of an actor traces his Irish roots back to his maternal great-grandfather, Myles Gahan, who immigrated to the US from Ireland. Michael Fassbender, has been wowing cinema goers in recent times, with his powerful uncompromising performances. His mother, Adele, hails from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. As a child, he spent time in Killarney and even served as an altar boy. His Irish credentials couldn’t be stronger, according to family legend, his mom is the great-great niece of famed Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins.

There are some with less pure Irish blood, but none the less a bit of Irish in them. Elvis Presley was of English, Scottish, French, Irish, Dutch and Danish descent. Beyonce Knowles is of African American, African, French, Irish, and Native American descent. Kurt Cobain was of Irish, English, Scottish, and German descent. His ancestors emigrated from Tyrone in Northern Ireland in 1875. Researchers found them to have been shoemakers originally named Cobane from the village of Inishatieve, near Pomeroy. Apparently Cobain himself thought his family came from Cork, though.

I kind of suspected that Jim Morrison had some Irish blood, Jim being of English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Bruce Springsteen, an iconic American rocker, is of Italian, Dutch and Irish descent. “School’s Out” singer Alice Cooper is of French Huguenot, Sioux Native American, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Meryl Streep, such a brilliant all round actress, has a bit of Irish in her. A researcher has claimed to have traced Streep’s great-great grandmother Grace Strain’s departure from Ireland to New York. Streep later named her daughter after the relative. Harrison Ford, known for being India Jones, amongst other things, also has an Irish father. You wouldn’t imagine Ben Stiller as being Irish, but in fact his mother is Irish Catholic. Look into Obama’s ancestry and you will find great-great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant who left for America in 1850.

Perhaps the most significant contributor to entertainment, Walt Disney’s great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, emigrated to the New World from Gowran in Kilkenny, making Walt at Irishman by blood. Muhammed Ali’s great-grandfather was from Ennis in Clare. His name was Abe Grady and he emigrated to Kentucky in the 1860s.

Liverpool has a high intake of Irish immigrants, so it is no surprise The Beatles had Irish blood among them. By 1851 20% of Liverpool’s population was Irish. They’ve kept going there ever since and today 50% of Scousers claim Irish heritage.. McCartney’s maternal grandfather came from Monaghan and his paternal great-grandfather also hailed from Ireland. Lennon’s paternal grandfather was a member of a music group in Dublin. The notoriously private George Harrison came from an Irish Catholic family on his mother’s side, his maternal grandfather hailed from Wexford. Unusually for the time his grandparents never married. While Ringo Starr is often described as the most English Beatle, it is possible to trace one family line going back to County Mayo suggesting all four of The Beatles can be accurately described as having ancestral roots in Ireland (a claim made by Bono). John Lennon was eager to find out more about his family roots and hired genealogists during the height of his fame, in a quest to establish his roots. Unfortunately they failed him and as a result Lennon knew very little about his Irish heritage.

Part of a St Patrick’s Day blog hop, read other articles by writers and bloggers.



Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s