Entries in Ireland (2)


An Extended St. Patrick’s Day for Obama

Joshua Roberts/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House’s water fountains have been dyed green today to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day but for President Obama the holiday will extend another couple of days.

The president and first lady will host Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Tuesday, culminating in a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the White House that evening. Earlier in the day House Speaker John Boehner will host the two leaders at his annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill.

Also on Tuesday the president and Vice President Biden will meet with First Minister Peter Robinson of Northern Ireland.

A statement from the White House says Obama is looking forward to “reciprocating the warm hospitality the Irish people extended to the President and Mrs. Obama during their visit to the Emerald Isle in May 2011.”

Prime Minister Kenny’s visit contributes to an ongoing tradition of Irish leaders visiting the White House around the holiday. When Kenny visited last year, the president said the shared heritage of the two countries created ties that were difficult to match.

“We, obviously, have the strongest possible relationship with Ireland,” he said. “The warmth, the affection, the familial and person-to-person contacts between our two countries extend far beyond any dry policy issues. There is just an incredible bond between our two countries.”

President Obama shares a family relationship with Ireland. Last May he visited the small town of Moneygall in County Offaly, where his maternal great-great-great grandfather emigrated from during the height of the country’s potato famine.

In the meantime President Obama celebrated the day’s festivities with an afternoon stop at a Washington pub, the Dubliner. With the US Capitol building dominating the local skyline, the president ordered a Guinness and shared a toast with the lively, green-decked crowd. He brought two companions from his Moneygall trip: Ollie Hayes, owner of the town public house and Henry Healy, the president’s distant cousin.

Obama wore a pin that read “VIP Guest – Tell ‘em Danny sent you.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Kicks off European Trip in Ireland

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DUBLIN) -- After an overnight flight, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama touched down in Dublin, Ireland Monday morning on the first day of their week-long, four-country European trip.

After landing under cloudy skies and a light rain, Obama commented that the "sun is coming out" as he and his wife arrived at the president's residence in Dublin to sign the guest book.  Once there, the president and first lady met with Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr. Martin McAleese and participated in a tree planting ceremony with President McAleese.

During Monday's visit to Ireland, President Obama is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Farmleigh.  He will also travel with the first lady to Moneygall to meet with distant relatives and tour the town where his great, great, great grandfather was born.

"This is a homecoming of sorts for President Obama.  He's very excited to see this small town in Ireland from which he has roots," Deputy National Security Advisors for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes said previewing the visit.

Obama will wrap up his day delivering remarks at an Irish Celebration at College Green in Dublin.

"I think it's a chance to talk about the relationship between our two countries," Rhodes said previewing the speech.  "It's also a chance to talk about the enormous affinity, frankly, that the American people have for Ireland that's rooted, in part, in the huge population of Irish-Americans here.  And it's a chance for the president to really celebrate the ties between our countries and the kind of unique feelings the American people have for Ireland and hopefully that the Irish people, you know, have had with the United States for many years."

The president and first lady will spend the night in Dublin.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio