President Barack Obama’s Irish links to Moneygall, Co. Offaly came to light in 2007 following research conducted by Megan Smolenyak.
In 2008, Eneclann researchers, Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss, researched President Obama’s Irish ancestry back from Falmouth Kearney, Obama’s 2nd great-grandfather to Obama’s 7th great-grandfather, Joseph Kearney born ca. 1698. They also traced close kinship – probably a brother – with the family of Michael Kearney, peruke maker, in Dublin. Read more about the Kearney Family.
In May 2011, Eneclann’s researchers announced that they had identified President Obama’s closest living Irish relatives in Ballygurteen, Co. Tipperary – Dick Benn and Tom Donovan. The story of the discovery was broadcast on RTE 1′s Nationwide programme on 20th May – watch the Nationwide programme on the Benn Family now.
You can also find out more about the research, led by Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss, in their account of the Benn Family History.
On 17 June 2013 Michelle Obama and her two daughters, Malia Ann and Sasha, took part in a private genealogy event about the President’s Irish ancestors at a special exhibit at the Long Room in the Old Library in Trinity College Dublin. This very personal event was co-ordinated and presented by Fiona Fitzsimons with Helen Moss of Eneclann. View our image gallery from the event. Read about: