Barack Obama may be the most famous Offaly man in America – but there could be another name in contention for that title of America’s most famous Offaly man since the debut on Monday night of the Piers Morgan Show on CNN.
A little-known fact about Piers Morgan – whose show replaces that of the legendary talkshow host Larry King – is that he has strong Offaly roots.
“My father was Vincent Eamonn O’Mara from County Offaly,” Piers himself revealed in 2009 to the Daily Mail, and he showed clearly how strong his affinity with Ireland is in the wake of the controversial Thierry Henry incident which kept Ireland out of the last World Cup.
Piers is the second son of Vincent Eamon and Gabrielle O’Meara (nee Oliver), and was born on March 30 1965 at Newick in East Sussex.
When he was just one year old and his brother Jeremy was three, their father, a dentist, died in a road accident.
It is claimed his father was a native of Banagher, although locally, it is difficult to find confirmation that Banagher town itself is where Morgan’s roots lie.
His mother’s “Oliver” ancestry is rooted in Co. Monaghan, although she herself was born in Sussex.
When his mother, an artist, later married Glynn Pughe-Morgan, the family decided Piers should adopt that surname.
Piers Morgan is already well-known on US tv through his role as a judge on American’s Got Talent, but taking over from Larry King puts him right at the pinnacle of US media focus.
It is a hugely prestigious show, and his debut interview was with Oprah Winfrey; his second with the noted “shock-jock” Howard Stern.
Piers Morgan is a past editor of the Daily Mirror, sacked over the faked pictures alleged falsely to have depicted British troops torturing Iraqi prisoners. He was also business editor at The Sun.
Since his parting of ways with the Daily Mirror, Morgan has become a tv personality, appearing as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, and presenting the series “Piers Morgan On....”, a set of shows in which he visited cities where the wealthy hang out.