Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Disney's Irish links no Mickey Mouse story

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World
Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World

After years of speculation about Walt Disney's Irish roots, it seems to be more than just a Mickey Mouse story.

The cartoonist who brought Donald Duck and Pluto to life on the big screen is now believed to have come from a large, extended family -- which most experts agree has Kilkenny roots.

Genealogy website findmypast.ie has uncovered documents that prove Disney has strong links with Rathbeagh, Co Kilkenny.

Its website has posted 19th Century birth records that clearly show Disney's great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, was born in Kilkenny in 1801.

In 1832, Arundel Elias married Maria Swan, who gave birth to their son, Kepple Disney -- Walt Disney's grandfather.

The family originally descended from Normans and are believed to have come to Ireland in 1691.

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