Rathangan Community Association hoping to hold a Bruce Springsteen concert in the village

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Rathangan Community Association hoping to hold a Bruce Springsteen concert in the village
10:15 Sunday 14th of February 2016

The Rathangan Community Association are hoping for a visit from 'The Boss' when he comes to Ireland this summer following revelations that the American singing icon's ancestors may be from the area.

The head of the association says that they are preparing an invitation for Bruce Springsteen to visit the village when he arrives in Dublin at the end of May for two concerts, and they are confident that they can attract the Born in the USA singer to Kildare.

"Whether he wants to come down quietly or have a bit of razmatazz about it, we will be more than happy to accommodate our most famous son," said Paddy O'Loughlin, chairman of the association.

"We never expected to find out that his ancestors hailed from our town so, of course, we would like to capitalise on his visit in May. It would be massive for the area if he took interest."

"If he wanted to play, there are plenty of places in Rathangan where we could host him. We have the football field, the community centre, the school gym, pubs- there are plenty of options," he told the Irish Independent.

All of this came about when it was discovered that Springsteen's ancestors may be from Rathangan, rather than Rathowen in Westmeath. Research shows that a woman named Ann Garrity from Rathangan left Ireland in 1852 and travelled to the rocker's town of birth, New Jersey.

The research was carried out by American genealogist Megan Smolenyak, who has also done work on Hillary Clinton's family tree. "I methodically followed the family's trail back to Rathangan, and it all fits snugly- family members, names, ages, sequence and time of emigration," she said.

"The Garrity family that began in Rathangan is the one that emigrated to the Freehold, New Jersey. It would take a lot of luck, but anyone from Rathangan sporting the name Garrity or Kelly has a chance."

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