Monday, May 23, 2011

Irish Welcome for President Obama

President Barack Obama paid a joyful visit Monday to the small Irish village where his great-great-great grandfather once lived and worked as a shoemaker, an improbable and memorable pilgrimage for America's first black president into his Irish past. The President is pictured above with Irish President Mary McAleese.

Along with first lady Michelle Obama, the president walked the thronged Main Street of quaint Moneygall, where his ancestor on his Kansas-born mother's side, Falmouth Kearney, lived until leaving for the United States in 1850 at the height of Ireland's Great Famine. Obama's roots in the town were discovered during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The president raised a pint of Guinness in Ollie's Bar, held up a baby and shook innumerable hands. He took a look at Kearney's baptism records — the documents that established his connection to the town — and even got to meet, hug and drink with a distant family member: Henry Healy, a 26-year-old accountant for a plumbing firm.

For the president, it was a quick detour from Dublin on day one of a six-day, four-country European tour that will involve working with allies on knotty problems of war, peace and economic growth.

Source: Associated Press
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