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Irish guests visit with painting of Healey family’s ancestral home

A painting of Governor Maura Healey's ancestral home in Kilgarvan, County Kerry, was presented by cousin Patrick Teahan during the Senate session Thursday.State House News Service

Whether it’s in the corner office or her Arlington home, Governor Maura Healey has a new picture to hang on the wall: a painting of her ancestral home in Kilgarvan, County Kerry, in Ireland.

Patrick Teahan, introduced by state Senator Marc Pacheco as a Healey relative, visited Thursday’s Senate session with a large delegation from Kerry and Cork and brought along the painting as a gift for his cousin.

“When we first heard that the governor had Kilgarvan connections, and the Healey name came out, basically there was about 10 Healey families I would have known in the parish,” Teahan told the News Service, “and I said, ‘Which one of those families is it?’”


Various splinters of a family name “might have certain ways of distinguishing them,” he explained, and with the governor’s family, the key was the Irish name Diarmaid — often spelled Jeremiah in English. The governor’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all bore the name Jeremiah, he said, and possibly even her great-great-grandfather.

“We narrowed it down,” said Teahan, adding that the governor’s family were second cousins of his father’s. And while that “sounds like a long ways,” he said, “50 or 100 years ago, it was the same family tree.”

The house — a simple stone house with a red door, depicted in a partially overgrown state —still stands today.

“We took a picture of it, the artist painted it. Her grand-uncle would have lived in that house and died a bachelor farmer. And basically it has been derelict since the early ‘70s. And, you know, it’s not bad for a house derelict. The roof is on it still,” Teahan said.

Pacheco, who presided over Thursday’s emerald-tinted session and joked he should be an “O’Pachec” for the day, promised to pass along the picture to the governor.