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Background / History

In 1850 at the time of the Irish Famine which started in 1846, one Falmouth Kearney emigrated from the small village of MONEYGALL in present day County Offaly , Ireland to the United States of America. He sailed to New York and after many travels he settled in Ohio. Falmouth Kearney is the Great Great Grandfather to Barak Obama from his mother’s side. This has been acknowledged by Mr. Obama, however visit Ireland, which he will soon hopefully.

His father’s side of the family comes from Kenya ,a little village known as Nyanj’oma Kogelo, Siaya District, Nyanza Provience in western Kenya. His Grandmother is still living there in a traditional manner.

The first phase of Irish Immigration to the United States was predominatly the Scott’s Irish who were mainly from Northern Ireland and were either Presbyterian or Protestant. They started to immigrate to the States at the beginning of the 18th Century, circa 1710 and continued to immigrate there for the next 150 years.

The next large migration of immigrants from Ireland began in the 19th Century, circa 1847 at the time of the Irish Famine. In some contrast to their predeccessors , they were mainly from the south of Ireland and were also mainly Catholic..

Whether Protestant or Catholic  the Irish have made a large contribution to the development of the United States which is what we also want to bring out in this song. The first Irish American President was Andrew Jackson who came from Carrickfergus, Northern Irleland.

His family left Ireland in 1765 and Andrew was born in 1767 in Carolina. He had two brothers , both whom were born in Ireland. He was elected President in 1824 and was the 7th President of the United States. From Andrew Jackson to Barak Obama, 22 of the 44 Presidents of the United States have had Irish roots. This is also pointed out in the song.

James Hobin was born in a thached cottage in Kilkenny Ireland in 1758. He emigrated to the USA in 1779 and set up office as an archiect in Philadelphia in 1785. In 1792 he was commissioned to design and build the White House. He was also involved in many other prestigeous buildings in the United States.

In the year 501 it is believed that Saint Brendan of Ireland sailed to the America’s ,apparently there is evidence to prove that this is a fact, this is also referanced in the song.

In 1641 the Irish Chieftain’s, the O’ Carroll’s of Eli were thrown off their lands by Oliver Cromwell. The O’Carrolls territory encompassed what is now South Offaly and North Tipperary, this territory was known as Eli O Carroll. Cromwell employed the system of surrender and grant. In other words if you surrendered your lands to him , without opposition, you would be granted other lands, which was mainly in the West of Ireland. This is where the famous quote of Cromwell’’ To Hell or to Connacht’’ came from. Because the O’Carrolls were a strong force they bargained with Cromwell and were granted a vast estate in Maryland USA. The descendant of the Irish Chieftan who left Ireland in the 1700’s ,one Charles Og O’Carroll was one of the signaturies of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776. They later donated the land that Capitol Hill is built on and were founders of the Democratic party, Barak Obama’s party. Monegall, where Falmouth Kearney hails from is located in Eli O,Carroll, the ancient lands of O’Carroll’s.


TippOff.com commissioned a painting of the country of Eli O Carroll and presented it to Ollie Hayes Bar in Moneygall so that the story of Eli O Carroll can live forever.


This painting was painted by Mary Cullerton, a native of Eli O Carroll and a former employee of Kinnitty Castle, also another O'Carroll castle.


The famous Irish actor Patrick Bergen lives in Emmel Castle, a former O' Carrol castlel located in close proximity to Temple Harry church where Falmouth Kearney was baptised.


TippOff.com have also commissioned a potrait on President Obama which we hope that we can present to him.


The Song
The song aims to tell the story of Barak Obama's Irish roots  while also demonstrating in a light hearted fashion the many contributions that the Irish have made in America and the strong historical links with Notrh Tipperary/South Offaly. We have also composed an Irish Reel in honour of President Obama , titled ‘’The Barak Obama Reel’’….

The music, while being Irish incorporates elements of American Bluegrass music which has its roots in the Irish and Scott’s Irish immigrents. American Country music has also its roots from the same immigrants. We use African drums also to reflect the African roots of Barak Obama. The name of the song is “As Sure As My Name is Kearney” and is to the air of an old light hearted Irish immigration song.


Tipperary & Offaly, Ireland.
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