CNN pundit John King planning visit to ancestral home in Connemara
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CNN pundit John King planning visit to ancestral home in Connemara

IRELAND’S FAVOURITE new CNN anchor John King is planning a trip around his family’s ancestral home of Connemara - and there's a well-deserved pint waiting for him Keogh’s pub in Ballyconneely.

The Boston-born broadcaster became an overnight sensation in Ireland thanks to his mastery of the CNN “magic wall” interactive election map and his insightful coverage of the unfolding drama of the US election.

King sent Irish social media into meltdown after he responded to Lisa McGee, creator of hit comedy Derry Girls who asked whether he was Irish yet.

“Always,” the CNN anchor replied in a tweet before later tweeting out a four-leaf clover emoji.

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Asked to divulge more on his Irish roots, King subsequently posted the cryptic tweet: “It begins in Doonloughan, and a visit is long overdue.”

With his work on the US election now done and dusted, the TV host is looking to make good on that promise – once the current Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted, of course.

And one person who is looking forward to seeing him almost as much as the rest of Ireland is his Irish cousin Jacqueline Kenny, who was full of pride following his impressive display.

““He was so calm. He wasn’t just relaying information – he wanted people to stay calm and let the process work,” she told the Irish Times.

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“I think he did a great job. I have told him many times since this all broke.”

Kenny and King’s family originated out of Doonloughan near Ballyconneely in Co Galway and she is one of the CNN host’s many, many Irish cousins.

King and Kenny share a great-grandmother, Kate Little King or Granny King, who lived in Doonloughan as one of 24 children.

Granny King went on to have 10 children including Christy or Festy King, John’s grandfather, who emigrated to Boston in 1911.

Born just before the famine, she live to the ripe old age of 98, having lost her husband in her 50s, and was by all accounts a formidable woman and matriarch of the family.

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The CNN host grew up in the Dorchester area of Boston but would regularly visit his Irish grandfather and will no doubt be relishing a chance to visit Ireland where he is likely to enjoy newfound celebrity status.

Kenny told the Irish Times she plans on guiding King around the best parts of Connemara, taking in “the beauty of Doonloughan” and “the best beaches in Ireland.”

Best of all, she said there is a pint with his name on it waiting for him at Keogh’s pub in nearby Ballyconneely. He must be counting down the days.