Look back on US TV legend Conan O’Brien’s emotional trip to Limerick

Conan O'Brien and Graham Norton
Conan O'Brien and Graham Norton - Image - X: Conan O'Brien

The iconic comedian and chat show host traced his heritage back to a rural village in County Limerick

American comedian Conan O’Brien has concluded his meaningful visit to Ireland, where he found the exact spot in Limerick that his ancestors came from before they emigrated to America.

The former SNL and Simpsons writer shared a video to X in the early days of his visit to Ireland from Galbally, the village that his great-grandfather once lived in.

“It’s cool to be back,” Conan told his 27m followers.

The former late-night host did a lot more than just pop over to Limerick while he was in Ireland – the star was filming a new series for HBO Max called ‘Conan O’Brien Must Go’ which will premier in the coming months.

The Boston native has been all over the country, visiting Whelan’s Pub in Dublin to sing with the Irish Tenors, appearing as a guest on The Late Late show, talking to fans on the streets of Galway, featuring in an episode of TG4’s Ros na Rún, visiting the Barack Obama plaza and most notably tracking down his Irish roots in Galbally.

Whilst appearing on The Late Late Show, O’Brien shared a story of how a genealogist once told him that he was 100% Irish. He has said that he always wanted to visit his Irish roots and he delved into this with Patrick Kielty last Friday night.

“I’ve always heard from my father that we’re from Dungarvan, Waterford and we wanted to go back to the O’Brien line all the way and we found out that we’re from Galbally in Limerick. That’s where we found out that my grandfather Jeremiah O’Brien was working a very small plot of land before leaving for Massachusetts in 1871”, he said.

We worked with a genealogist who was able to find the plot of land that my people were living on and it is kind of emotional when you do that, you do feel something”, he added.

Ireland seemed to leave quite the impression on the former Simpsons writer giving the country a glowing review before finishing up his interview.

“What I love about this country, one of the things I admire most about it is the way people support their own culture because no one comes close to beating us in the arts I think. I think Irish people have the greatest literature, poetry, play-writing and now dominating acting worldwide, it’s incredible”, he said.

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