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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# the gathering
The head of the CIA is bringing this piece of Kilteevan turf back to the White House
John Brennan attended an event at the church his Irish father was baptised in, in the small Roscommon village on Friday night.

CIA director John Brennan with Kilteevan businessman John Gilooly at the Gathering event on Friday night.

JOHN BRENNAN, THE head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will be returning to the US with a piece of turf cut from a bog in Kilteevan, Co Roscommon, after attending a Gathering event on Friday night.

Brennan made an appearance at the Kilteevan Community Centre, which was originally the church that his Irish father, Owen, was baptised in.

Local man John Gillooly told that the night was “so emotional”.

“The man is 94 years of age and he did a couple of speeches and waved to everyone – people broke down,” he said. “It’s just amazing to have the head of the CIA coming over to our little place, I mean we’re only a small community with less than 500 people, so to have one of the top men in the world, Obama’s righthand man, here, is unbelievable.”

Gillooly was showcasing some turf craft products from his business ‘LuckySods’ at the event and gave a piece shaped like an Irish harp to Brennan as a gift.

“He couldn’t believe that it was an actual piece of Ireland and that it came from Kilteevan, where his dad was from,” he said. “He wanted to pay me for it but I said it was a gift and I could tell it meant a lot to him. He’s heading back to the White House now with a little piece of Kilteevan.”

The local businessman also had a framed piece of turf shaped like President Barack Obama’s head (pictured above), which he said “went down well” with the CIA director.

Related: The head of the CIA is going to a gathering in Roscommon tonight>

Read: Boost for tourism with visitor numbers up 5.4 per cent in first six months>

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