AN Australian radio DJ has spoken of his joy after being reunited with his long-lost Irish relatives.
Chris Smith, host of the 2GB Sydney afternoon show, is in Co. Kilkenny this week in a long-awaited quest to find his family.
Smith's great-grandfather Kyran Coogan emigrated to Australia with his sister all the way back in 1875.
Kyran left his parents and four other siblings behind in Kilkenny to make a life for himself Down Under.
With the help of Oak Ancestry, Chris traced the lineage of Kyran’s brother James Coogan and has managed to track down his third cousins – Canice and John Paul Coogan.
Finally, the time came for them to meet earlier today.
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“I didn’t think I’d be this nervous,” Chris said. "Kilkenny has 26,500 Coogan so this hasn't been easy.
"Sadly mum passed away in December of last year so she wasn't a recipient of this news.
"But this is terrific. I'm so glad".
Over a cuppa, the newly-reunited cousins rifled through some family photos to help fill in the gaps lost to time.
They then overcame gale-force winds and bitterly cold weather to visit the grave of Chris' great-great-uncle James Coogan.
For Chris, the moment was truly special.
“This has been… it’s hard to describe what it’s like," he said.
"It’s filled in so many gaps for me and it’s been a wonderful experience.”