Our story begins in 1691 when Patrick Sarsfield and his followers left Ireland, hoping and believing that they would one day return. Since then countless ‘Wild Geese’ have left Ireland, their extraordinary stories being interwoven with the Legend of The Wild Geese.
Recently Hollywood (that’s Hollywood Co. Wicklow) mega-star Tom Cruise discovered his Wild Geese story when he was presented with a ‘Certificate of Irish Heritage’ during his visit to Dublin for the Irish premiere of Oblivion.
‘It was incredible. As a gift they went and researched my family. They traced my family back to the ninth century in Ireland
‘I had no idea it went back that far. I found our my ancestors were the rulers on north Ireland and they owned a town called Hollywood [in Co. Wicklow]‘
As it turns out, one of Cruise’s ancestors, Patrick Russell Cruise, was most definitely a ‘Man of Action’:
‘He was in New York and this guy who helped with running the family estates wanted to throw the tenants off the farm and he got on a boat, went all the way back, reinstated the tenants on the farm, fired the lawyer and they had this big dinner for him’
His family owned most of Dublin and genealogists showed Cruise the location of the family castle on a map, which he is keen to visit one day.
‘To learn about the history of my family – it was incredible. It’s a great honour for me and my whole family – I can’t wait to bring it back to them and enlighten them on their history… I’m very proud to be Irish’