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27 May 2016

Born in the USA – but The Boss has roots that extend all the way back to Ireland

Tourism Ireland unveils Irish ancestry of Bruce Springsteen

As thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans get ready to head to Croke Park this weekend for his long-awaited gigs, Tourism Ireland today unveiled details of the Irish ancestry of The Boss.

Research carried out by genealogists at the Irish Family History Centre confirms that before the Springsteens, Ireland had the Gerritys. Christy Gerrity, from the parish of Rathangan in Co Kildare, was something of a hell-raiser as a young man – and he was the great-great-great-grandfather of none other than Bruce Springsteen himself. He left Ireland for New Jersey in 1853 – and the rest is history!

Tourism Ireland is encouraging those with Irish connections around the world to follow in Bruce’s footsteps and visit Ireland in 2016, to learn more about their heritage and explore the places their ancestors came from. The organisation’s latest promotion is highlighting Bruce’s Irish roots and includes:
  • a specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, which attracted about 16.6 million visitors last year;
  • extensive social activity, with posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has about 3.6 million fans worldwide) and Twitter (346,000 followers); and
  • a PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s international media contacts.
Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “Bruce Springsteen may have been ‘Born in the USA’ – but his ancestors emigrated from Ireland in 1853 and we are delighted to share the details of his Irish ancestry. We are encouraging people around the world to visit the island of Ireland in 2016 and learn more about their heritage. Our message to the Irish Diaspora everywhere is that there has never been a better time to visit, to trace their ancestry and learn more about their Irish roots.”

Tourism Ireland recently launched a new online film, ‘Tracing my Irish Ancestry – my journey home to Ireland’, specially created to encourage people around the world to visit Ireland in 2016 and find out more about their Irish ancestry. Tourism Ireland’s dedicated Ireland Family History page on Facebook – which now has more than 377,000 fans worldwide – was set up for people to share stories and learn more about their Irish roots.


Notes To Editors

  • Research into Bruce Springsteen’s Irish family connections was carried out by genealogists at the Irish Family History Centre (, located in EPIC Ireland.
  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.