IF BARRACK OBAMA is planning on visiting Kilkenny, his handlers should pencil in a courtesy visit to Kilkenny College where no less than nine of his relatives are currently studying.
President Obama’s cousins discovered that they were related to him during the presidential elections and since then they have been keeping close eye on his political success. “You would take more of an interest in what he’s doing because he is related to you” said Kate Condell one of the students related to him through Moneygall. Alex Condell another of Obama’s cousins had much more selfish motives in wanting to meet the 44th president of the United states of America. “I want to shake his hand and get a shot of it for my facebook profile,” he said. However, not all of Obama’s cousins are in awe of his office. Craig Bradley confidently believes that he will be the high point of President Obama’s visit to Ireland. “The high point of Obama’s visit will be when he meets me,” he said.
Eight of the Kilkenny College students trace their connection to Mr Obama through his third great-grandfather on his mother’s side, Fulmouth Kearney, a farmhand from Moneygall Co Offaly who emigrated to America in 1850.
Fulmouth’s great-grandfather, Joseph Kearney, (Obama’s sixth great grandfather) married a Moneygall woman named Sarah Healy in 1760. The Kilkenny College students are related to Obama through Sarah Healy. Their Grandmother was a Healy descended from this line.
On March 20, 1850, 19 year old Fulmouth arrived in New York Harbour and soon moved to Ohio to live with relatives.
Fulmouth married and had eight children. Three of his daughters married brothers of the Dunham family. One of these gave birth to a girl named Ann Dunham. Ann grew up in Hawaii where she married a Kenyan student named Barrack Obama. The couple gave birth to a son Barrack Obama Jr in 1961.
A church of Ireland rector, Stephen Neill researched the Obama family tree and found confirmed the Bradley, Condell and Farrer link through church documents as well as census, immigration and other government records tracked down by American genealogists.
Luke Sutherland’s connection to Obama is on a different limb of the presidential family tree. He traces his connection through his grandmother, Jane de Montmorency-Wright, who is a direct descendent of Bishop Kearney, the sixth generation grand uncle of Mr Obama.
Despite the close connections to one of the worlds highest political offices, not all of Obama’s cousins are planning on following his footsteps into politics, Craig Bradley’s priorities are much closer to the land. “I’d have no time for politics when the cows are calving,” he said.