Springsteen, born in the USA but with Irish roots


Tue, Oct 13, 2009

A NEW book has confirmed what his legion of Irish fans has always suspected – Bruce Springsteen is one of our own.

Despite his surname which is of Dutch extraction, Springsteen has Irish ancestry through his paternal grandmother Martha O’Hagan. She married Springsteen’s grandfather Antony Springsteen in 1899.

Her grandmother in turn was Ann Garrity who came from outside Mullingar. She crossed the Atlantic for the Promised Land of the US in 1852.

Further back Springsteen has Farrell, McNicholas, Sullivan, O’Hagan and McCann ancestry.

The claim is included in a new book Land of Hope and Dreams: Springsteen in Ireland which is being released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his landmark concert at Slane Castle in 1985 and his regular visits to Ireland since then.

“This is the first time the full extent of Springsteen’s Irish roots has been uncovered,” said Derry-born Moira Sharkey, who co-authored the book along with Greg Lewis.

“Bruce’s paternal lineage is made up of generation after generation of Irishmen and women and he could call any corner of Ireland his home,” she said.

Springsteen’s connection with Ireland has grown stronger since his first visit in 1985. His by now almost annual concerts are invariably sold out.

© 2009 The Irish Times