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Promoters hired to organise Obama gig

THE Government has hired concert promoters MCD to organise the entertainment event culminating in an address by US President Barack Obama during his visit.

Officials from the White House will be in Dublin today to finalise the schedule for his visit in 11 days' time. The plan is to hold the event in a Dublin city-centre location on the evening of Monday, May 23.

O'Connell Street remains the favourite location for the two-hour event, which would feature music, dance, poetry recitals building up to a speech by Mr Obama. But the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, College Green, the Phoenix Park and Croke Park are also on the shortlist.

The O'Connell Street proposal would see the street closed off, with a stage erected outside the GPO, facing up towards Parnell Square.

A crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 would be allowed to attend the event, which would be all-ticket, similar to a rock concert. MCD will be involved in organising the line-up for the event.

The president's advance party will meet with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of An Taoiseach and An Garda Siochana. The Defence Forces, Office of Public Works and Dublin City Council will also be involved in the arrangements for the one-day visit.

Mr Obama will visit his ancestral home of Moneygall in Co Offaly on the afternoon of his one-day visit.

He will also visit President Mary McAleese in Aras an Uachtarain and meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Farmleigh. The following day he will head to London for a state visit.

Irish Independent