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Village to get new road for Barack's round trip

BARACK OBAMA'S visit will not just be about building bridges -- it will also include building roads.

The National Roads Authority is planning to build a new road so the US president can be whisked -- under maximum security -- from one end of his ancestral village to the other while avoiding the anticipated crowds.

The road -- planned for the outskirts of Moneygall in Offaly -- is expected to cost approximately €30,000.

Preparations are intensifying ahead of the presidential visit on Monday, May 23, and the CIA and the US Secret Service are due to arrive in the tiny midlands village of Moneygall for an "advanced security visit" today.

However, the Irish Independent has learned that a special ramp road is to be built linking the M7 Dublin-to-Limerick motorway to the Cloughjordan Road between now and the president's visit.

The road will ensure that the US president can start his tour of Moneygall at the Limerick side of the village despite landing by helicopter on the GAA pitch on the Dublin side of the village. It is expected that 5,000 people will line the route.

The road will ensure Mr Obama travels to his ancestral homestead first before moving through the village, enjoying traditional music in Ollie Hayes's bar and then making his address to the people outside the old schoolhouse where his third-great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney was educated.

He would then end at the GAA ground and be whisked away by helicopter.

Irish Independent