For a guy who once had trouble talking his way into Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Obama was certainly welcomed to Ireland like a favorite son. An estimated 25,000 people braved off-and-on rain to fill the College Green in Dublin on Monday evening for his outdoor speech.
The president introduced himself, even though the crowd was already chanting his name. “My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way,” he said.
Moneygall is the tiny town in County Offaly that gave birth to the president’s Irish ancestor, Falmouth Kearney, the grandfather of his maternal grandfather. Obama paid a visit to Moneygall on Monday, and even though the population of the village is fewer than 300, it seemed as if 10 times that many people were lining the main street to greet him. (Scott Horsley, NPR)
The Queen is to pay a state visit to Ireland - the first official tour of the republic by a British monarch.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Queen has been pleased to accept an invitation from the President of Ireland to pay a state visit to Ireland this year. The Queen will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.”
A date for the visit has not been released but it is widely expected to be in May.