Obama in Europe: tending to old friends, new global problems and ancestral roots in Ireland
By Associated Press
May 21, 2011
...A highlight of Obama’s opening stop in Ireland will be a feel-good pilgrimage to the hamlet of Moneygall, where America’s first black president will explore his Irish — yes, Irish — roots, and most likely raise a pint.
It turns out that Falmouth Kearney, who immigrated to the United States in 1850 at the age of 19, is the great great great grandfather of Obama on his white, Kansas-born mother’s side. Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, will connect in Moneygall with distant relatives from the Irish branch of his family tree.
Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the United States, says the president’s visit will be “a golden moment” for a country that’s been on the economic ropes after its boom time. The visit is sure to play well at home for Obama — make that O’bama — as he heads into re-election season after being pushed to great lengths simply to prove he was born on U.S. soil...