Monday 25 September 2017

No early morning jog for fitness fanatic Michelle Obama

The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin surrounded by a ring of steel for the visit of Michelle Obama and her daughters
The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin surrounded by a ring of steel for the visit of Michelle Obama and her daughters

THE first lady has developed a reputation for being an early morning riser at home in the White House and a bit of a fitness fanatic, by all accounts.

But there was to be no Stephen's Green jaunt for Michelle, Malia (14) and Sasha (12) as rumours that the world's most powerful family would go for a dawn jog turned out to be just that.

The only sight to get the heart a flutter was that of Arts minister and former All-Ireland winner Jimmy Deenihan sporting spandex on his morning run through the green.

And aside from the minister, any shortness of breath around the city centre fortress came from exasperated Dubliners struggling to duck their way through the many barricades and even more gardai and secret service personnel encircling the Shelbourne Hotel.

"I'm trying to get down Kildare St to collect a rubbish unit. I've been here 10 minutes and don't think I'm going to have much luck," said a rubbish collector.

The refuse from Dail Eireann would have to remain until the first lady has departed our shores.

Elsewhere, the garda cordons and hovering clamper vans meant the Cliff Townhouse Hotel further up the green had to do without maintenance work.

"I have my van outside but they keep moving me on. I need to find out when the barriers are going to be lifted," the aggrieved worker said.

"I can't get clamped again."

If the vast security operation was in place to keep back the baying public desperate to get a glimpse of Mrs Obama, than perhaps her appeal was overrated.

As it was, the assembled members of the press outnumbered any members of the public, baying or otherwise, for most of the morning.

Though when the moment came and the trio finally emerged just before 10.30, a slightly more respectable-sized crowd of curious onlookers had formed.

And a moment afterwards it was all over. Blink and you would have missed Michelle giving a friendly wave and revealing her captivating smile through darkened Chevrolet windows.

She was off for a stroll around Glendalough and rumours of lunch with Bono. And not a pair of runners or a sports bottle in sight.

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