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    Barak Obama’s heritage challenges myths

    By Noreen Bowden | November 24, 2008

    A Queen’s University Belfast professor uses the election of Barack Obama as the launching pad for a discussion of Irish-American myths in an article in this weekend’s Irish Times.

    Brian Walker points out that formerly held notions of Irish-American identity have been greatly challenged in recent decades, as studies have revealed the extent to which the Irish American community is Protestant. He points out that it had been assumed that the slight majority of Irish-Americans who are Protestant were thought to have been Scots-Irish, but the 1990 US census only showed about 5 million people calling themselves Scots-Irish, or 12% of the Irish-American community.

    While there are several reasons for this, Walker highlights Barack Obama’s Irish ancestor, Fulmouth Kearney, who was a member of the Church of Ireland in Moneygall, Co. Offaly. Walker notes that the presence of Church of Ireland members among the Irish diaspora is too often overlooked.

    Read the entire article on the Irish Times website:

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