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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Security tight for Barack Obama’s Dublin address

Michael McHugh

Published 23/05/2011 | 07:23

Thousands of people are expected to attend an open air concert and address when US President Barack Obama arrives in Ireland.

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The public spectacle is scheduled after a short trip by Mr Obama to his ancestral home of Moneygall, Co Offaly, in the midlands.

Mr Obama will speak to the Dublin city centre audience at around tea time on Monday following entertainment involving many well-known Irish artists as part of his 24-hour visit to the Republic.

Security is expected to be tight and while access will not be restricted to the free concert and presidential address on College Green, those attending will be screened.

Among those lined up to play are Sharon Shannon, Mundy, The Coronas, Imelda May and Jedward, while actors Brendan Gleeson and Gabriel Byrne will give readings, and top sportsmen including Padraig Harrington and Brian O'Driscoll will also take part.

Unlike the Queen of Britain's tour of Ireland which concluded on Friday, it is not a state visit and will not carry the same degree of ceremony - though it will recognise the special ties which many Irish people have with America.

After landing at Dublin airport in Air Force One, Mr Obama and the First Lady will call on Irish President Mary McAleese at the Aras an Uachtarain. They will sign the visitors' book and attend a tree planting ceremony.

The meeting with Mr Kenny and his wife Fionnuala will take place at the state guesthouse at Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park.

Mr Obama will be taken by helicopter to Moneygall for a 20-60 minute visit. His great-great-great-great-grandfather was a shoemaker in Moneygall and his son, Falmouth Kearney, left for New York in 1850.

Residents queued for up to six hours last week to secure a "golden ticket" to see Mr Obama's "homecoming". It will involve a trip down Main Street to the Kearney ancestral home, where he will be greeted by John Donovan, the owner of the house, and his family. The president and First Lady will then visit Ollie Hayes's pub to meet extended family members including representatives of the Healy, Donovan and Benn families.

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