Chance meeting puts Galbally on international map

Jim Fitzgerald pictured with American television talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien when he visited Galbally last week. The visit has gained international exposure for the South Limerick village.

A chance meeting between local historian Jim Fitzgerald and American television talk show host, Conan O’Brien, has put Galbally on the map internationally, writes John Barrett.
The former long-time chairman of Galbally Community Council and a man well-versed in local history was on his daily shopping trip to Cummins’ Daybreak in the village on Wednesday last week when he came on O’Brien who was in the area to trace his roots for part of a new series to be transmitted in the United States come spring of 2025.
Complete chance
“It was just chance that I happened to be there at the same time as Conan O’Brien,” Jim told The Vale Star. Some locals thought that the whole thing had been pre-arranged but it was a complete chance. I know him from watching the show on television and asked Conan if he might stand in for a selfie to be featured on the Galbally Community social media page. There was no problem whatsoever, he was more than happy to oblige and, between the hopping and the trotting, I ended up being filmed for possible inclusion in that particular programme, which is due to be aired next year. It was a kind of a surreal experience but I’m just happy that Galbally has been given so much national and inter-national coverage as a result. It even made last Friday night’s Late Late Show when the talk show host and comedian was one of the guests,” he added.
Local ancestors
It is believed that Conan O’Brien’s great grandfather, Jeremiah, emigrated from Lissard, Galbally, to Massachusetts in 1871.
The plot of land where his dwelling stood on the road to Tipperary has been identified and was, in fact, visited by Conan O’Brien as part of the filming for the planned new American series entitled ‘Conan O’Brien Must Go’, which will be transmitted on the HBO Max subscription TV streaming service.