Wednesday 29 January 2020

Moneygall on the tourist trail as Obama link draws US visitors

Louise Hogan

MONEYGALL is still firmly on the US visitor's tourism trail, according to President Barack Obama's Offaly-based cousin, Henry Healy.

Mr Healy (pictured), who visited Mr Obama in the White House on St Patrick's Day, revealed many people he encountered on his 10-day trip had told him that they planned to include the small village that Mr Obama's ancestor hailed from.

Mr Healy revealed the Somerville theatre at the Irish Film Festival in Boston was a sellout as the documentary by filmmaker Ed Godsell -- 'The Road to Moneygall', which depicted the efforts to bring Mr Obama to the birthplace of his great-great-great-grandfather -- was shown.

He said many of the US citizens he met were planning to visit Ireland and include Moneygall on their itinerary.

Mr Healy said the trip abroad would be worthwhile if it put "Moneygall on the tourism trail".

Mr Healy enjoyed a pint with Mr Obama on St Patrick's Day, along with his uncle, publican Ollie Hayes.

He said Mr Obama had indicated they would return to Offaly.

"It is my belief that Moneygall will be on their agenda again as all the first family haven't visited Moneygall and his two daughters would also have an interest in their ancestor," he said.

Irish Independent

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