US PRESIDENT Barack Obama told of his own heartbreak over the tragic deaths of two Irish boys in Hurricane Sandy during a private meeting with their grieving parents.
The newly re-elected president visited Damien Moore – who is originally from Portnoo, Co Donegal – and his wife, Glenda, during a visit to Staten Island.
The US-based couple's two sons, Conor (4) and Brandon (2), perished when they were swept away from the arms of their mother in the storm.
In an emotional meeting with Mr Obama, who is also a father of two, the Moores told how they were still in shock and struggling to come to terms with their loss.
Mr Obama said: "I had the opportunity to give some hugs and communicate thoughts and prayers to the Moore family.
"They lost two young sons during the course of this tragedy. And obviously I expressed to them, as a father, as a parent, my heartbreak over what they went through. They're still obviously a little shell-shocked, but they came here in part to say thank you to all the people who have been supportive of them."
The tragedy that befell the Moores was highlighted after it emerged that Glenda was apparently refused entry to a nearby house where she had asked for help. Her two boys were found in a nearby swamp 30 hours after they were swept from her arms.
The two boys were laid to rest in a single coffin earlier this month.