May 22, 2011 by USA Post
Obama Ireland, “You discover a lot about yourself when you’re running for president,” said Barack Obama in the election campaign in 2008. “It was brought to my attention last year that my great-great-great-grandfather on my mother came from a small village in County Offaly.”
Two years into his presidency, and Obama has decided to pay this small village a visit. If a people can move, Moneygall – with its 300 inhabitants – is ecstatic. Sports for Kids “O’Bama” T-shirts jump over the street waiving American flags. Transmission of the villagers to climb the stairs to beautify the facades of their houses.
“Dulux provided all the paint for all homes in the area, sent by a lady cooordinate all colors and has done a pretty good job on it you know,” says resident Timmy O’Conor, wielding a brush. “If you pass the man himself now, that’s the thing.”
There is speculation that the man can go through the Ollie Hayes Inn for a pint of Guinness. Ollie Hayes said that the CIA had come across a few months ago, but still no certainty that really going to happen. If Barack Obama stops in case, you will find a large bronze bust of him imitating adorn the bar and Hayes says he’ll be ready and waiting on the Guinness. “Who knows,” said Henry Healy that I am in the bar, “that all may have to meet with him and raise a glass to his reelection campaign in 2012.”
Healy is a distant relative of President Obama and was invited by the Irish-American Democrats and the American-Ireland Fund to go to Washington for his inauguration. “Our relationship goes back to 1761 when there was a marriage between Sarah Healy and Joseph Kearney. Joseph Kearney is the great-great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney emigrated from this village in 1850.”
Family members, although they are a dime a dozen in this part of the world. Healy’s aunt, 75 years old, Sadie Williams, says she thinks that is older, Barack Obama, a relative living in Ireland. “It’s exciting for us all,” he told CNN. “We all had a great feeling at first when the word came through it relates to us.”
Williams’s grandson goes to school at Kilkenny College, about an hour of Moneygall. The school boasts alumni such as author Jonathan Swift and philosopher George Berkeley; the very name of what is now the University of California – Berkeley. It now has 13 students who claimed a family relationship with President Obama. “I just knew these two guys that my cousins,” says the oldest of the clan of ‘Obama’s cousin, 17-year-old Kate Condell. “We did not realize they were connected before.”
There is a big star banner star covered in the class table and the assistant director has established a series of biographies of Barack Obama. But the kids admit they have not read. Kate Condell is the only one who even visited the United States. “Only in Florida family holiday, but an invitation to the White House would be greatly appreciated!
Maybe not in the Kilkenny College, but in other parts of Spain there is a palpable anxiety in the air. The poor state of the economy, the financial burden of the struggle of everyday life, uncertainty about whether Ireland can escape their debts – these are questions hanging over a town known for its good humor. “We all just want a break from it, to talk about something else, a bar-owner tells CNN.
Like many of his predecessors – including John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bush – have done before him, Obama is in search of his Irish roots, among other things because it is safe to go along with 40 million Irish emigrants with Irish roots living in the U.S. UU.
This is after all, the beginning of his 2012 reelection campaign. But the Irish in the Emerald Isle is a home, a gesture of solidarity and kinsmanship in difficult times. And an opportunity for residents of Moneygall to a party that will surely last long after the president is gone.
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