California dreamin' to move family to the ancestral home in Limerick

The Russell family are looking to purchase a derelict house and need your help!

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

California dreamin' to move family to the ancestral home in Limerick

The Russells, from California, wish to purchase a row of derelict houses at Verdant Place, but are struggling to find the owner

A CALIFORNIAN family with strong Limerick roots are looking to purchase and renovate a row of derelict houses on King’s Island, where their late mother grew up and where they hope to relocate.

Michael Russell, 53, and his family have been visiting Limerick for the past four years to discover their family heritage. His mother, Mary Gleeson, was born in 1920 and lived in a small bungalow at Verdant Place, before moving to the United States in the late 1930s.

However, there is a question mark over the ownership of the derelict properties, and they are seeking assistance from the public. According to their solicitor, there are no records.

Ms Gleeson, who died in 2010, was the daughter of Margaret Gleeson and Thomas Gleeson, who were from the city.

The father-of-six first visited Ireland with his mother in 1998.

He said that the house has “huge sentimental value”.

“ I want to move to Ireland. We are citizens and we are very proud of our Irish citizenship.”

His wife Ashli is particularly interested in the prospects of renovating the home, as she works in real estate in Fresno.

If successful in purchasing the property, they face the challenge of renovation.

“How do you make it livable without changing the historical aspect of it? I definitely would sacrifice comfort over the maintaining of the cultural and architectural character of the building.”

Michael has asked the public to e-mail, should someone have any information on the property.