CROOM welcomed a man by the same name during the week when Marcus Croom Cooke paid a visit to build on links established between his North Carolina hometown and the Limerick village.
As part of his four day visit to the county, Mr Cooke who is an international business executive, visited the offices of Limerick County Council in Dooradoyle where he was welcomed by Cathaoirleach Mary Harty and local representatives.
Mr Cooke also met members of the County Enterprise Board and Shannon Development during his trip.
“He is very interested in building up links,” said local councillor Pat Fitzgerald.
“The Shannon Airport situation is one he expressed interest in again and again. He said Shannon should be the hub for Europe. It would build tourism enormously if it was cultivated,” he added.
During his visit, Mr Cooke who is from Croom, Sandy Bottom, North Carolina also paid a visit to a number of landmark buildings in Croom including Croom Castle and the Old Mill.
“Croom would have a special place in his heart,” continued Cllr Fitzgerald.
During his visit to Croom National School, Mr Cooke met sixth class students and the principal Mary McDonnell as well as school teachers.
The students played Irish music and Croom’s anthem, Slan le Maigh which delighted the visiting dignitary.
Mr Cooke who stayed at Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel in Adare during his stay presented the school with a family history book from the Crooms of North Carolina.
“We have many links with North Carolina. There are thousands of Crooms in America but the North Carolina Crooms have fully identified the links. They have a monument in Sandy Bottom,” continued Mr Fitzgerald.
It is believed that many of the Limerick emigrants who came to live in North Carolina adopted Croom as their surname.
There was also a visit by Mr Cooke to Croom Castle to see the old historic building in ruins.
Mr Cooke was also entertained at the Old Mill where he was presented with old photos of Croom by Plunkett Hayes and was also presented with a jersey, a hurley and a sliother.
Cllr Fitzgerald has been invited to North Carolina by Mr Croom Cooke and the Croom gathering and he hopes to make the trip in August to build on the links established on both sides of the Atlantic. “I would be encouraging a twinning with the Kinston District of North Carolina,” said the Croom-based councillor.