Traces along the Wild Atlantic Way From Kerry to California: Michael Fassbender

He has played a psychologist and an IRA hunger-striker, a superhero and a slave owner: Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender is a bright star in the Hollywood sky.


Fame did not come quickly or easily for Fassbender. He had already turned 30 when he made his breakthrough in Steve McQueen‘s film Hunger, playing Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger-striker who died in 1981. Before that, Fassbender had mainly appeared in TV productions. Born in Heidelberg on 2 April 1977, his father, Josef, is German; his mother, Adele, is from the port town of Larne in Northern Ireland. According to Fassbender, his mother is a great-grand-niece of Michael Collins, the driving force behind the Irish Republican Army during Ireland’s War of Independence. His parents moved to the south-west of Ireland when Fassbender was 2, opening a restaurant in Killarney, County Kerry.

Although he always spent the summer holidays in Germany, Fassbender claims his German is rather rusty, so he is generally dubbed in the German releases of his films. Hollywood was his dream even as a teenager; he once rounded up a few friends and staged Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in a local disco. Twenty years later, Tarantino cast him in Inglourious Basterds as the German-speaking Englishman Lt. Archie Hicox.

Visitor Information: 
The parents of Michael Fassbender welcomed over many years their guests in the “West End House” Restaurant, New Street, Killarney. Today, the restaurant is under new management, not linked to the Fassbender family.