Thursday 23 November 2017

Obama Moneygall visit set for May 23

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Barack Obama: will spend 24 hours here

US President Barack Obama's visit is now almost certain to take place on May 23.

There had been indications the date could be changed to Sunday, May 22, as Mr Obama looks set to address a mass rally in Dublin's Croke Park.

But Washington sources say the Irish visit will only last 24 hours despite the efforts of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and US Ambassador Dan Rooney to convince Mr Obama to extend his stay.

There are reports in the US that he will visit Glasnevin Cemetery on his way from Dublin Airport to visit the grave of Daniel O'Connell, who was deeply influential in the life of Fredrick Douglass, the freed slave and writer Mr Obama deeply admires.

The only certainty about Mr Obama's trip is that he will visit his ancestral village of Moneygall, Co Offaly. Laughton House, owned by Health Minister James Reilly, is one of the locations being scrutinised as a potential landing site.

The whirlwind tour of Moneygall will take in a trip to Templeharry Church where his third great-grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, worshipped.

Irish Independent

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