Hollywood star Tom Cruise discovers Irish heritage as he visits Dublin

 

Actor Tom Cruise has said proof of his Irish roots is a great honour for him and his family.

In Dublin for the premiere of his latest blockbuster Oblivion, the Hollywood star was shown research that traces his heritage back to 12th century Norman knights.

Researchers also described one of his ancestors as a "hero landlord" after records showed he restored evicted tenants to lands just before the famine in Ireland.

Cruise said he had been taken aback by the depth of his family history.

"To learn about the history of my family - it was incredible," he said.

"I knew I was Irish but I had no idea where it went and the depth of it. It goes all the way back to the 12th century."

The star added: "It's a great honour for me and for my whole family - I can't wait to bring it back to them and enlighten them on their history.

"I'm very proud to be Irish. There's a pride in America of being Irish. I can't wait to come back and I want to visit the land of my ancestors and the castle that they had."

Cruise also had engagements with the Irish Film Board, a pre-recorded Late Late Show interview and a visit to the Guinness brewery during his whistlestop visit which began when Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore presented the star with a framed certificate of his Irishness at Iveagh House.

Genealogists, commissioned by Tourism Ireland on behalf of The Gathering - an initiative to attract the Irish diaspora to visit Ireland through 2013 - revealed the extent of the stars' Irish links.

The Hollwood A-lister, remembered for a cringing Irish accent in the 1992 film Far And Away, was a direct descendant of landlord Patrick Russell Cruise.

His great-great-great grandfather returned from America to Ireland after his land agent forced families from farms in Co Westmeath in 1843.

The landlord restored tenants to 500 acres around the townlands in Paristown and Dardistown in the years before the Great Famine when potato crops repeatedly failed.

Cruise was born Tom Cruise Mapathor IV in 1962.

The research showed that the Cruise and Mapathor families had settled in Ireland, with roots going back 800 years while a third family, the Russells, were also prominent in Cruise's ancestry.

The Cruises can trace their presence in Ireland back to the Anglo-Normans and Strongbow, Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke and lord of Leinster.

In 1176 Augustino de Cruce, one of Strongbow's knights, acted as a legal witness to a grant by Strongbow of lands in Dublin.

The Cruises and the Russells were old English families who refused to conform to the Protestant faith and lost their lands in Ireland when they rebelled against Oliver Cromwell.

The families were united by marriage in 1766 and all subsequent relations including Patrick Russell Cruise had the double-barrelled surname.

The landlord was himself honoured publicly for his compassion for farmers on his land when a dinner was held in the town of Clonmellon in November 1844.

He died in Dublin in March 1849 without returning to America and was buried in Donabate, north Dublin. Other ancestors include Cruise's paternal great-great-grandmother Mary Pauline Russell-Cruise and his great-great grandfather Dillon Henry Mapother whose family were from Kilteevan, Co Roscommon.

The Mapothers were Elizabethan settlers originally from Dorset, England. Dillon Henry Mapother moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and on his death Mary Pauline married an Irishman called Thomas O'Mara and the couple had a son called Thomas O'Mara Junior.

On the death of Thomas Senior, his son took the name of his mother Cruise and his half-brother, Cruise Mapother, becoming Thomas Cruise Mapother I.

A-lister Tom Cruise is his great-grandson and the fourth member of the family to carry the name.

Later, Cruise - who is renowned for his dedication to his fans - lived up to his reputation at the Oblivion premiere.

The star spent more than an hour on the red carpet outside the Savoy Cinema on Dublin's O'Connell Street, signing autographs and posing for pictures with his adoring public.

Thousands of fans had braved the cold and lined the busy city centre street for hours waiting to catch a glimpse of the actor, now an honorary Irishman.

Cruise said he was fascinated to learn of his heritage, which had come as a huge surprise.

He even tried his hand at speaking some Irish.

"After I got my heritage I had to go pull myself a pint of Guinness, it was a lot of fun," he added.

The star said he was looking forward to audiences seeing his new movie, saying he was really pleased with it.

He added that he would also consider shooting a film in Ireland in the future.

"I don't have any production here but I'd like to shoot something here, it would be lovely," Cruise said.

"We don't have the film script, we don't have locations yet, but we shot here for Far and Away and it was such a great experience."

The star also paid tribute to Ireland's large talent pool of actors, film makers, directors and writers.

"I like how this country really supports their artists, its important. It makes this place very special," he said.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas