Most people don’t realize that Disney himself was of Irish ancestry. His forebears came from County Kilkenny. Walt’s Great Grandfather, Arundel Disney, moved to Canada in the 1830’s. Walt’s Grandfather, Kepple, was actually born in Ireland just before the move. Later, the Disney clan would move to the Midwestern U.S. to seek their fortune.
It was there that Walt was raised with a keen appreciation for his Irish background, which would continue throughout his life. (Take a good look at any photos of Walt, you’ll notice that he only wore two pieces of jewlery, his wedding ring on one hand and an Irish Claddagh ring on the other. The “Partners” statue in the Disney parks also feature Walt wearing this tribute to his heritage.)