THE newly crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seamus O’Shaughnessy, has strong Clare ties.
A native of Cabra in Dublin, O’Shaughnessy, whose real name is Stephen Farrelly, is a regular visitor to Miltown Malbay where his grandmother, Mary Skerritt, wife of the late Tommy, lives. A number of his aunts, uncles and cousins also reside in Miltown Malbay, where the new world champion spent much of his youth. The Skerritts are well known in the world of golf.
Speaking after his world-title win, the new champion said that he went to the US to be the top wrestler in the world.
“That was the goal and the goal has been achieved. It’s the start of the new year as the Celtic Warrier,” he said. O’Shaughnessy caused a surprise by beating the champion and favourite John Cena. He added that he was particularly pleased to be the first Irish WWE champion.
Having once worked as a security guard with Bono, the WWE champion admitted that it was hard to achieve this success as WWE doesn’t come to Ireland very much and there are no wrestling schools in the country.
Ironically, his grandmother Mary lives beside the church in Miltown where Andrea Corr was married last year with Bono attending as a guest.
The new champion made his professional debut in 2002 and is a fluent Irish speaker, having attended Scoil Caoimhin primary and secondary schools. He sang in the Palestrina Choir until he was 13 and appeared on the Christmas Late Late Show and Live at Three. He appeared on the Podge & Rodge St Patrick’s Day special in 2005 alongside George McFly. The two dressed in fake beards and green suits and took part in a spot of live leprechaun wrestling
He played Gaelic football for Erin’s Isle and rugby for the National College of Ireland.
He picked up his nickname, The Irish Curse, while wrestling in the USA in 2002.
As his Clare-based relations celebrate O’Shaughnessy’s title win, they are counting the days to his next visit to Miltown Malbay.