CNN’s John King maps his Irish ancestry

CNN’s John King maps his Irish ancestry
CNN’s John King maps his Irish ancestry

Ballina and Carlingford can claim Joe Biden and Doonbeg Donald as their own, but Doonloughan in Connemara can join an illustrious list of famous Irish ancestral homes related to the US presidential election.

CNN newscaster John King, one of the media stars of US election coverage, revealed his Irish roots in an early Sunday morning tweet thanks to his interactive voting card “Magic Wall”, which fascinated Irish viewers.

“It starts in Doonloughan and a visit is long overdue,” he replied to Sunday World journalist Kevin Palmer, who tweeted him, “In time we got your Irish story out in print, John.”

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons was one of the people who responded to King’s tweet.

“We’ll have the green carpet ready for you,” Gibbons replied.

King, a proud Irish American who grew up in the Irish neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts, left little doubt about his ancestry during the long and traumatizing election count after Lisa McGee, the screenwriter of hit comedy Derry Girls, tweeted : “Is @JohnKingCNN still Irish? ? “

“Always,” replied the 59-year-old radio journalist.

King helped write his Irish history and provided the Irish Times with details of his family’s Irish relationship with Connemara.

He had an Irish cap and always had a bowl of oranges on the table.

The American journalist said his grandfather, Christopher King was born in Ballyconneely in 1891 and later lived in Doonloughan in the early 1900s. He arrived in Boston in 1911 and settled in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

“He died when I was five years old; I have faint but good memories of visiting him at the soldier’s home where he lived, ”said King.

“He had an Irish cap and always had a bowl of oranges on the table. He would come to our home for the holidays. I don’t remember much except how depressed my father was when he died.

“My father’s name was Richard, but everyone called him Chris because he looked so much like his father.”

King said that his grandmother Bridget King (née Joyce) was also from Connemara. She was born in Cashel, Co Galway, in 1891 and immigrated to Boston in 1909.

“I never met my grandmother,” he said. “She died in 1960 – three years before I was born.”

There are also Littles and Keenans in the family tree in Ireland, he said.

King, as even people with a temporary knowledge of Connemara know, is a family name in and around the region called King, which is associated with local shops, pubs and restaurants – and one of the most famous mussel exporters in the country.

Doonloughan, a 25-minute drive south of Clifden along the Wild Atlantic Way past Mannin Bay, is known for its picturesque and secluded sandy beach.

It’s not far from the site of another major news event in 2020 (which King probably hasn’t heard of): the infamous meeting of the Oireachtas Golf Society at Connemara Golf Course in Ballyconneely, followed by a well-attended dinner at the Station House Hotel in Clifden.

The 1911 census lists two families of 10 people named King living in Doonloughan at the time – farmer Mark King and his wife Annie and their two young children Mary and John, and 20-year-old fisherman Festus “Festy” King, the widowed mother Kate and four siblings lived with him.

Ten years earlier, the 1901 census shows 16 kings in the area, with Kate’s husband Patrick still alive and three older children, Mary, Mark, Patrick and John still living in the household.

There is a long tradition of immigration from Connemara to Boston with the parents of another famous Connemara political son, the Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who was from Ros Muc and Callowfeenish near Carna in Co Galway.

Ship manifest records on Ellis Island in New York, the entry point through which many Irish emigrants passed, show dozens of Connemara kings walking through their doors in the early years of the 20th century.

Perhaps this magical wall could be used by CNN to devise a family tree and Irish emigration story in lieu of winning the presidential election.

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