He Died… An Irishman / EU Citizen: John le Carré, Ancestors [Like Mine], From County Cork…

This is. . . new. And gratifying, if I do say so myself. [And I. . . do.]

Though he died last December at the age of 89, his son recently revealed to The Guardian (UK) that he so vehemently opposed Brexit, and all things Boris. . . he quietly renounced his UK citizenship in the last year of his long and fruitful life, to become a right and proper Irish gentleman, once more. Obviously, this means he also died as a citizen of an EU member country.

The Cork archivist welcomed him fondly, as he did me about 12 years ago. . . as I searched, on, and on — through paper baptismal records, then — and later, into the pews themselves, in the parishes where my people long ago knelt, attending Mass.

In this moment, I am very proud of this man — though I never really knew much of him beyond his novels.

And his people are my people, both of us with Cork DNA, verified now — as science marches on — by 23AndMe, definitively — certainly (for mine, in Cork) from about 1620 through 1850, minimum. Mine came to Ellis Island during the Potato Famine; his then apparently migrated on, to. . . Cornwall, and later London — then back to Cornwall. But as I’ve long held. . . and he clearly believed. . . Brexit was an awful idea. Here’s the bit, from The Guardian story:

. . .John le Carré, the great embodiment and chronicler of Englishness, saved his greatest twist not for his thrillers but the twilight of his own life: he died an Irishman.

The creator of the quintessential English spy George Smiley was so opposed to Brexit that in order to remain European, and to reflect his heritage, he took Irish citizenship before his death last December aged 89, his son has revealed.

He was, by the time he died, an Irish citizen,” Nicholas Cornwell, who writes as Nick Harkaway, says in a BBC Radio 4 documentary due to air on Saturday.

“On his last birthday I gave him an Irish flag, and so one of the last photographs I have of him is him sitting wrapped in an Irish flag, grinning his head off. . . .”

Just as I am, now — with green eyes crinkling at the corners. . . and twinkling too — sleep like little round river rocks, one and all. . . .


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