Tourism Ireland today unveiled details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s Irish family connections, at an event in the House of Commons in London, which was attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD.
Research carried out by genealogists shows that the Duchess of Cambridge has connections – through the Lupton family from Yorkshire – with the Fitzmaurices, a noble family from Co Kerry, who in turn had links back to Brian Ború, the first High King of Ireland. Over the coming weeks, Tourism Ireland will roll out a special initiative, inviting members of the British House of Commons and House of Lords to explore their Irish family connections. 2013 has been announced as Irelands’ Family History Year and Tourism Ireland is encouraging the Irish Diaspora, and people with a connection to Ireland, around the world to visit Ireland this year, as part of The Gathering Ireland, and to find out more about their heritage.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “From Brian Ború to the Earls of Kerry, to the Duchess of Cambridge, there is a whole world of heritage and ancestry to discover. The history, culture and family links between Ireland and Great Britain stretch back generations. 2013 has been announced as Ireland’s Family History Year, in a bid to encourage people in Britain, and elsewhere around the world, to explore their Irish ancestry as part of the The Gathering Ireland. With one in six British people claiming an Irish grandparent, we are encouraging them to visit the island of Ireland, to learn more about their heritage. Hundreds of clan gatherings, as well as genealogy and local history events are planned in Ireland this year, as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. Our message to the Irish Diaspora in GB, and throughout the world, is that there has never been a better year to visit Ireland, to trace their ancestry and learn more about their Irish roots.”
Kicking off a week-long programme of St Patrick’s celebrations in London, and elsewhere around the globe, An Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister attended a reception sponsored by Tourism Ireland in the House of Commons today. The event, celebrating British-Irish relations, was attended by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as leaders of the Irish community living in London, influential travel trade, business tourism and media contacts. The event marks the start of a packed week of promotional activity for Tourism Ireland around the globe. Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s 2013 programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China and South Africa.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister David Cameron, with Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland (left), and Brian Ambrose, Chairman of Tourism Ireland (right), in the House of Commons in front of a 'greened' London Eye.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
The Irish Family Connections of the Duchess of Cambridge
The Fitzmaurices were a noble family in Co Kerry with connections to Brian Ború, the first High King of Ireland in the 11th century. The first Baron Kerry was Thomas Fitzmaurice, who died around 1260. His descendant, Thomas Fitzmaurice, became the first Earl of Kerry in 1737; famous members of his family included William Petty Fitzmaurice, who was born in Dublin in 1737 and who went on to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Ireland. William’s brother, the Honourable Thomas Fitzmaurice was a Member of Parliament and was the great, great, great grandfather of Christopher Bullock who married into the Lupton family of Yorkshire. The Duchess of Cambridge is the great grand-daughter of Olive Christiana Lupton.