O'Bama's Got His, Clinton And Tom Cruise Too -- Official Irish Heritage Certificates For One And All

O'Bama's Got His, Clinton And Tom Cruise Too -- Official Irish Heritage Certificates For One And All

What does Barrack Obama have in common with England’s Sebastian Coe and Canada’s former premier Jean Charest, and for that matter New York’s former police commissioner Ray Kelly and Tom Cruise? Answer:  they’re now certified and suitable-for-framing  Irish — and so can  you be for forty euros and almost no evidence to support a perfect plaque for the den.
In one of a series of initiatives to get people of even marginal Irish descent around the globe to reconnect with the Ould Sod,  the beleaguered Irish government has been offering “Certificates of Irish Heritage” to well…  a potential pool of perhaps  70 million. The economically struggling country has been trying a variety of initiatives to get the so-called offspring of the Diaspora to think and hopefully spend Irish again, including a novel program called Connect Ireland  that offers $2000 per head for every job transplanted from afar to the green isle. Interested?  Try www.connectireland.com.
Though at first often derided as tacky, the Certificate of Irish Heritage program was considered a sure bet as it would cost the government nothing, the follow through and any potential returns being farmed out to a Killorglin, Kerry Company called Fexco. The problem is that only about 80 people a month bothered to sign up for a certified Irish plaque (100 euros when framing and shipping included) in the scheme’s first thirteen months, which is not great market share when you’re dealing with 70 million.
The enterprise then was retooled  to no longer require any hoary old family birth certificates for qualification, but merely positive on-line answers to 2 of 7 questions such as “What town or parish in Ireland did your Irish ancestor originate from?” Further celebrity Irish certificates hand outs were also hoped to increase the scheme’s profile – Daniel Day-Lewis (who lives in County Wicklow) getting his in January.

In Dublin in early April to promote his new sci-film Oblivion, Tom Cruise got his certificate hand delivered by Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore. It came with more lore than Cruise had bargained on, though he is a descendant of Patrick Russell Cruise (b. 1799) of County Dublin. Genealogists who run a for-profit Irish roots business called www.findmypast.ie  claimed they had evidence that the mega-star’s Irish ancestors included the earliest Norman invaders of 840 years ago; the family holdings of barons near Dublin called de Cruise were even said to eventually encompass a County Wicklow village called, what else, Hollywood.
On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmell Live! Program, Cruise expanded his ancestral fiefdom even further, claiming “I found out my ancestors were the rulers of ‘north Ireland’ [sic].”
Even for  those with no Hollywood in their past,  an official Certificate of Irish Heritage costs next to nothing and in some cases less. The Irish hotel chain Moran’s is offering free certificates to anybody with the same name, period.
See www.heritagecertificate.com.

Posted by Maryna Warren on 21/06/2013 11:58:29 |

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment Subscribe

 Security code