Celeb stories

US rock legend Bruce Springsteen discovers his Irish heritage

American rock legend Bruce Springsteen famously sang about how he was ‘Born in the USA’ but genealogists have revealed his family originated in Ireland.

‘The Boss’ was the subject of a study carried out by genealogists at Tourism Ireland.

They discovered that Springsteen’s great-great-great-grandfather was from Co Kildare.

His name was Christy Gerrity, and it was revealed that he was somewhat off a hellraiser himself.

Using local records, the study found that Gerrity was arrested and imprisoned in 1823 under the Insurrection Act.

This Act targeted and punished people protesting against the social injustice of excessive tithes, rent payments and related evictions of the time.

Springsteen’s ancestor was released from prison and married in 1827, to a woman named Catherine Kelly. The couple had eight children.

During this time, the people of Ireland were suffering the worst famine in the country’s history.

Millions starved to death, and millions more left to seek new opportunities elsewhere.

Gerrity worked as a carrier, meaning he was responsible for transporting people, goods and livestock.

The historians at Tourism Ireland found that despite the hard times, Gerrity still sent his children to school to give them the best chance of a good life themselves.

Eventually, conditions in Ireland worsened so much that Gerrity had no choice but to take his family and leave for America.

They landed in New Jersey in 1853.

The family settled and made lives for themselves in America and a less than a century later Bruce Springsteen was born.

Tourism Ireland carried out the study to coincide with Springsteen’s sell-out gig at Dublin’s Croke Park.

There are hundreds of millions of people around the world that have Irish heritage.

Tourism Ireland want to celebrate this fact and encourage people to come and visit the land of their ancestors.

A spokesperson said: “Our message to the Irish diaspora everywhere is that there has never been a better time to visit, to trace their ancestry and learn more about their Irish roots.”

Like so many proud Americans, Springsteen was delighted to learn more about his Irish roots.

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