Painting signifies ancestral voyage

AMONG some of the carefully selected gifts to be given to President Barack Obama on his first official visit to Ireland will be an oil painting by artist and former Miss Ireland Nuala Holloway.

The painting, titled Famine Ship — Jeanie Johnston, was accepted by the American Embassy in Dublin, to be presented to Mr Obama on his visit to Ireland this week.

Nuala Holloway is currently researching family connections to Mr Obama as his great, great, great-grandmother was Charlotte Holloway. Nuala is a native of Co Westmeath and her family name goes back to the late-1700s.

Nuala created the painting of an 1850s Famine ship, which is an example of a ship that would have brought Mr Obama’s ancestor, Falmouth Kearney to the New World.

Falmouth married Charlotte Holloway after arriving in the US.

The oil painting on canvas was accepted by Jill Purvis from the American Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

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