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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 16 January 2022

Kerry made it onto the cover of a National Geographic magazine

Hollywood actor Andrew McCarthy traced his Irish roots back to Lacca West where he met with distant relatives and basked in their warm hospitality.

Source: National Geographic

COUNTY KERRY WAS clearly ready for its closeup when Hollywood actor Andrew McCarthy stopped by, returning to his Irish roots.

A stunning image of Killarney’s Ross Castle made it onto the cover of the latest issue of National Geographic Traveler with a very flattering 11-page write-up inside. McCarthy traced his genealogy back to Lacca West in North Kerry and, before meeting with distant relatives still living there, he decided to climb Carrauntoohil and take in some of the county’s wonders.

“I had assumed the trek to the top would be little more than a stroll, but local knowledge warned otherwise,” he said.

Everyone from the store clerk to my father-in-law (“People die up there, Andrew. Are you sure you’re fit enough?”) warned of the perils of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks. I dismissed this notion as mere Kerry braggadocio. After all, if I knew just one thing about Kerry folk, it was that in a land of prodigious talkers, they were among the absolute mightiest.

As he worked his way through Kerry, he was treated to stunning views of “grand blue lakes” and “jacked mountains”, impromptu singing at rural pubs and some warm Irish family hospitality when he finally reached his ancestral home.

Tea, sandwiches and fairy cakes were served up along with some family history and the actor writes he was deeply touched by their generosity.

Later, as I finally drive away, I see two dozen family members, strangers no more, waving in my rearview mirror.

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