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Entries in Enda Kenny (2)

Wednesday
Mar212012

Obama Jokes About Birth Certificate at St. Patrick’s Day Reception

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama embraced his Irish roots at a White House St. Patrick’s Day reception Tuesday night, taking a stab at the “birthers” who continue to question his heritage.

Visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny presented the president with an official certificate of Irish heritage noting, “These are very rare.  As rare as the man himself.”

The president thanked the prime minister for the gift and, without missing a beat, added, “This will have a special place of honor alongside my birth certificate,” drawing a big laugh from the crowd.

Obama’s quip about his much-scrutinized birth certificate came after he and Kenny delivered toasts reaffirming their close relationship at the extended St. Patty’s day celebration.

The president also recounted his trip to Ireland last May, when he visited his ancestral town of Moneygall.  Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather emigrated from the small town during the height of the potato famine in Ireland.

“We are all proud peoples who share more than sprawling family trees.  We are peoples who share an unshakeable faith, an unbending commitment to our fellow man, and a resilient and audacious hope,” Obama said.  “That’s why I say of Ireland tonight what I said in Dublin last May, this little country that inspires the biggest things -- its best days are still ahead.”

Maryland’s Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley and his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March provided the entertainment for Tuesday night’s celebration.

The president thanked O’Malley for “rocking the White House for the evening.”

“It’s said that the curse of the Irish, as the governor must know, is not that they don’t know the words to a song -- it’s that they know them all,” Obama said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar172011

New Irish Prime Minister Makes a Sales Call to America 

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Amidst the shamrocks, Guinness and corned beef, and general merriment of St. Patrick’s Day at the White House and on Capitol Hill Thursday, the visit by Ireland’s new prime minister is also a critical outreach mission.

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been in power for less than two weeks. But his trip to Washington this week is significant back in Dublin because it is essentially a sales pitch.

The new Irish government wants to reassure American businesses that it’s still okay to invest in Ireland, despite the fact that the economy is practically on the brink of collapse and the Irish may have to raise their once-very friendly corporate taxes in order to pay off the massive bailouts they received from the European Union.

Kenny is the leader of the center-right political party, Fine Gael, which brokered a coalition government agreement with the center-left Labour party earlier this month.  Fine Gael, Labour and the more hard line nationalist/liberal Sinn Fein party won a record numbers of seats in a national election in late February -- in fact, some reports say that this is the first time in Irish history that the Left holds the majority of seats in the government.

So, while everyone Thursday will toast the strong ties between the United States and Ireland, the mission of the Irish Prime Minister is about more than just sharing a pint and a bowl of shamrocks. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio