Tuesday 23 May 2017

Obama's ancestral home opening its doors to the public

Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Eoghan MacConnell

VISITORS to Moneygall will shortly be able to tour the house where US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle stepped back in time last year.

Mr Obama was given a private viewing of the home where his third great-grandfather Fulmouth Kearney, a shoemaker's son, was reared.

Now the Kearney homestead has been leased by its owner, local shopkeeper, farmer and funeral director, John Donovan, to the Moneygall Development Association. "We're delighted that the house will soon be open. . . the house was an integral part of the visit so it's important that people can see it when they visit Moneygall," said Mr Donovan.

The father of two, who is married to Clodagh, met the Obamas when they visited Moneygall on May 23 last year.

"Myself, Clodagh and our children Rachel and Philip, were inside the room when he stamped on the floor and said: 'This is where my ancestors lived'," added Mr Donovan.

"It seemed to have struck a chord with Mr Obama when I said it to him that he was standing on the very floor where his ancestors once stood."

The house will be kept in the same condition it was in when visited by the Obamas. "In the next week or two, we will be opening the house to the public," Mr Obama's distant cousin Henry Healy said.

Irish Independent

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