Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

George Clooney's link to Titanic carpets revealed

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler arrive at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
A shipyard worker's ticket to the launch of the RMS Titanic. Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
The Titanic Building will immortalise one of history's most enduring tales

Hollywood A-lister George Clooney has an unusual connection to the Titanic.

Sarah Clooney, who worked in a small factory in Co Laois, made carpets that were laid in the famous ship that sank on April 15, 1912.

As the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster approaches this April, George Clooney is set to holiday in Ireland when he is expected to meet his long-lost Irish relatives.

'George Clooney's Irish Roots -- The real Descendants' by Kilkenny documentary maker Gabriel Murray -- explores a Clooney link to the midlands town.

Sarah Clooney worked in the carpet factory in Abbeyleix owned by Ivo de Vesci. She had originally come from Dunamaggin, Co Kilkenny but moved to Abbeyleix after her family were evicted from their land.

Sarah kept in contact with the famous actor's aunt, Rosemary Clooney, and the pair shared correspondence over many years, according to Mr Murray.

He interviewed Sarah's granddaughter, Fiona Clooney, for the new film.

"The documentary will prove how George Clooney has living relatives in counties Laois and Kilkenny," said Mr Murray.

"Fiona Clooney definitely has the movie-star good looks so they run in the family," he said.

Mr Murray has uncovered parish records to substantiate Clooney's Irish roots.

He recently discovered a baptismal certificate which verifies that George's great-great-grandfather, also named Nicholas, was born in Tullahought, about 25 miles south of Kilkenny city.

The feature documentary will be completed in April.

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