Rebel roots: Justin Trudeau’s Irish ancestry from Co Cork revealed
Canadian prime minister is a direct descendant of Bernard family from Bandon
Justin Trudeau at Epic Ireland with Fiona Ross, museum director, where the Canadian prime minister’s Irish roots were revealed Photograph: Julien Behal
The research was presented to the Canadian leader at a visit to the museum and Irish family history centre on George’s Dock, Dublin, on Tuesday afternoon.
In 1661, Francis Bernard married Mary Freake and had six daughters and two sons, the research shows. Mr Trudeau is descended from their younger son, Arthur Bernard, who was High Sheriff of Cork in 1697 and MP for Bandon from 1713-14.
In 1695, Arthur Bernard married Anne Power, of Mount Eglantine, Co Waterford. The Powers and their relatives the Boyles were very involved in the intellectual elite of late 17th and early 18th Century Ireland. Arthur and Anne also had a large family, 10 daughters and four sons, including Trudeau’s six-times great grandfather, Francis Bernard. Francis got his degree from Trinity College in 1729 and moved to England.
Presenting the documents, chairman of Epic, Neville Isdell, told Mr Trudeau his six-times great grandfather took seven years to complete a three-year degree at Trinity.
“That sounds true to the family tradition,” Mr Trudeau responded. He said he was looking forward to reading the research.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who accompanied Mr Trudeau to the museum, said once everyone in Bandon heard where the prime minister was from, it would be all over the local newspaper.
“Better hope I don’t run against you,” Mr Trudeau joked.
“Don’t worry, I’ve already experienced running against somebody you can’t beat,” Mr Coveney replied.
“Well, we’ll both stay on our sides of the Atlantic,” Mr Trudeau answered.