Patrick Duffy, the star of TV classics such as Dallas and The Man From Atlantis visited Ireland recently to trace his Mayo roots. Maxi caught up with the popular actor who was born on Saint Patrick’s Day


Patrick Duffy is describing the moment he and his partner, the actress and singer, Linda Purl, embraced whilst standing in the Mayo homestead vacated by his grandfather. Over one hundred years had elapsed between the time Patrick Senior walked out that door, and Patrick and Linda walked in.

“Thirty-five years ago I went to Ireland for the first time,” recalls Patrick. “I stepped off the plane in Shannon and, as my feet landed on the soil, I said ‘something is going on here’. There was this feeling and I had to investigate it.

“All these years later once we arrived in Kilmovee, we went to my grandfather’s homestead and I got the same feeling when I walked in as I got thirty-five years ago.

“Then, it was a small stone three-roomed house, but it has since been expanded. The bones are still there.”
Patrick and his sister, Joanne, discovered that their grandfather, Patrick, had left the townland of Kilmovee in 1920.
Patrick was a miner and knew that with a growing family, he needed to find lucrative work. Word got to him that America was the land of great opportunity. They went to Ellis Island and New York.

Colleagues in The Big Apple brought the news that companies were recruiting for miners in Philadelphia. When they moved there, they learned that there were better long-term opportunities elsewhere.

The high demand for newly arrived electricity meant copper wiring had become a much sought after commodity.
Patrick and his family took the road to the copper mines of Montana. It was their final stop. At last, there was permanent employment.

Terence, their youngest son – Patrick’s father – was born. Patrick, the world-famous actor, was born there in 1949.
That was the twentieth century.

Now, let’s go forward to the twenty-first. It’s 2022 and Patrick, now seventy-three, still vividly remembers the feeling he got when he first stepped on Irish soil.
He takes a DNA test. It reveals that he has the second oldest genetic traceable line of Irish heritage. He and Linda decided to do more research.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own