HE has friends in high places, but it hasn't saved Henry Healy's job, writes Eoghan MacConnell.
This time last year Mr Healy was welcoming his distant cousin -- US President Barack Obama -- to his ancestral hometown.
Mr Healy has visited the White House for a second time since that visit to Moneygall in Co Offaly last May.
But the recession doesn't care for reputations -- and Mr Healy (27) confirmed yesterday he has lost his job as a bookkeeper with a local plumbing firm. He had worked for the firm for seven years.
"I couldn't say a bad thing about them," he said of his former employers, adding he felt "very fortunate" to have continued working in the construction sector for so long.
Mr Healy is now looking at a possible career in teaching at secondary school level.
Last March he began a part time college course studying for a professional diploma in education -- but he is hoping to pick up something before he completes it.