The former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, has made yet another return visit to Kilteevan, Roscommon, where his late father was born.
Mr. Brennan was Head of the CIA for four years under the Barack Obama administration, vacating the role earlier this year.
Mr. Brennan, who has made a number of private visits to Roscommon over the years, came to Kilteevan with his father, Owen, and his brother, Tom, for The Gathering celebrations in 2013. His father has since passed away.
It has emerged that Mr. Brennan called to Kilteevan Community Centre this week to see the tree which was planted there by his father in 2013.
Mr. Brennan was presented with a book of photographs which recorded Kilteevan Gathering events.
Mr. Brennan expressed his delight for the welcome he had received for The Gathering and said he looks forward to visiting Kilteevan again in the near future. He stressed the importance of the visit for The Gathering to his family and especially to his father, who died in December 2016.
A delighted Eileen Fahey, Chairperson of Kilteevan Tidy Towns, says the long-term vision around community development in Kilteevan is becoming a reality.”
Commenting that “Kilteevan is definitely on the map!” Ms. Fahey noted that in the past week, eight visitors from the United States have called to the village.
Last week as the Kilteevan Tidy Towns group went about their weekly tasks in preparation for adjudication, five members of the American branch of the Mapother family arrived to chat to locals. The Mapother family played a significant role in the history of the Kilteevan area.
The visiting family expressed delight in following the Kilteevan Heritage Trail and discovering research that had been carried out on their ancestors in 2004 by Kilteevan Community Development Group.
The visiting family, who reside in Georgia in the USA, indicated that they and other relatives of the Mapother family intend returning to Kilteevan in the near future.
Other visitors from the USA came in search of a relative that was married in Kilteevan Church in 1843. The visitors were very impressed to find the building (now the Community Centre) was still standing and playing a significant role in the social life of the Kilteevan community.
These welcome visitors to Kilteevan highlights the importance of the funding and support given to community and Tidy Towns groups. The supports continue to develop attractions into rural areas and plays an important role in promoting local tourism.