The Truth Behind George Clooney’s Irish Roots

The Irish ancestors of Hollywood star George Clooney were victims of grotesque human rights abuses that drove them out of their small cottage on the Kilkenny Tipperary border, the Sunday Independent has revealed.

George Clooney’s ancestor, Nicholas Clooney, and his siblings were driven out of post-Famine Ireland by the land-owning Irish around Windgap, Co Kilkenny. These wealthy Irish were involved in the “cleansing” of the Clooneys and their kith from their homesteads in the three years after the Great Famine ended in 1852.

After the Famine, during which a million died from starvation and disease and another million emigrated, there was a “survival of the fittest” battle among the natives as land ownership was consolidated. In the eyes of big farmers, their odious “middlemen” and the landlords, cottiers like the Clooneys had no rights and were effectively disposable.

And they used crooked law to get rid of the Clooneys and their neighbours.

George Clooney is married to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. It seems ironic that her husband’s ancestors had their human rights so badly abused.

The research into Clooney’s ancestry was conducted by Irish genealogy expert Fiona Fitzsimons, Director and General Manager at Eneclann, the Irish research firm. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

You can read much more in an article by Jerome Reilly in the Sunday Independent at with further information available in the Eneclann Blog at

The findings were also featured in the July/August edition of Irish Lives Remembered genealogy e-magazine. The 8 page article can be downloaded for free at ​


“…had no rights and were effectively disposable.And they used crooked law to get rid of…” These words could serve as a template for many forms of ethnic cleansing all over the world, including what was done to many native American families in the USA in violation of many different treaties, &/or after they bought what was once their own land with their own money.
Consider the Black Hills case, from Wikipedia:

Today, the Black Hills land claim case is still an ongoing issue. Native American lawyer Wanda L. Howey-Fox statements in April 2009 explain the modern issues regarding the Black Hills. She states, “There is no selling to be done because the court determined it was an improper taking and all the court can give {actually is willing to even consider} as far as remedy is money.” In the present day, the government has recognized that the seizure of land in 1877 was illegal but is still unwilling to return the Black Hills {to their rightful owners}.


Despite what the article in the Independent states, you can and should blame English government for the consolidation of land holdings and dispossession of the peasantry. It was stated policy to bring about ‘modern farming methods’ to Ireland, that is, large holdings with few tenants. It was also a result of changes in the Poor Laws and the rate structure designed to make the Irish landlords responsible for the Irish poor. This was the beginning of the end of the Anglo-Irish landlord class which would eventually lead to southern Irish independence.


    That would be the ‘British’ government (not English). I also think it is more fair to blame the so-called “1%” for creating laws to their own advantage (some things never change…).


David Paul Davenport January 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm

It should be noted that the “Great Famine” was not experienced by the wealthy Irish landlords. They had plenty to eat because they raised “corn” which in European parlance meant grains of all sorts, wheat, rye, and barley, and while at least two million people starved from lack of potatoes, they had no money to buy “corn” and this “corn” was exported to Great Britain. President Polk then convinced the British government to repeal the “Corn Laws” and the US congress allocated a $1/2 million in food aid in 1846 to Ireland, but it was too little and too late. Ireland has never recovered demographically from the Great Famine, its population today is still less than it was in 1841.


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