Con changes tune with Obama song
THE former owner of an upmarket hotel seized by bank officials is now writing songs about the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama.
Limerick businessman Con Ryan lost Kinnitty Castle in Offaly in 2008 when a receiver was called in over a €7m debt.
Now Mr Ryan has turned his attention to music and has written a song telling the story of American presidents with Irish roots -- from Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, to Mr Obama.
The tune, 'As Sure As My Name is Kearney', was recorded by a group of traditional musicians, TippOffCom -- or 'Tipperary and Offaly Combined' -- who used to play in Kinnitty Castle.
All of the proceeds from the folk tune, which is available from www.tippoff.com, will go to the charity Gorta.
Mr Ryan plays banjo and bouzouki while Peter Coughlan sings the lead vocals.
Others in the band include Nenagh accordion player Tom Lawlor and Justin Rogers who plays the uileann pipes -- and the band has moved to Moneygall to ensure they are in the village when Mr Obama arrives.
"It's such a historic event -- and we wanted to do something as musicians to give back, so all of the money raised from our new song will go to charity."
Meanwhile, gardai have started house-to-house inquiries ahead of the visit. Homeowners and tenants have been asked to complete forms with their personal details, and to give information about any guests staying in their properties between May 22 and May 23.