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Obama Visits School in Northern Ireland; Family Explores Irish Roots

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(SLIGO, Ireland) -- President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron took some time out of their busy summit schedules to visit with local school children Monday afternoon.

“Hello, everybody,” Obama said as they walked into a classroom of nine-, 10- and 11-year-olds at Enniskillen Integrated Primary School.

“Good afternoon Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister,” the children, dressed in navy blue uniforms, answered, in unison.

After learning the students had been studying the G8, Obama quizzed them briefly on the agenda.

The two leaders then joined a group of roughly 20 students for an art project in an outdoor courtyard.

“Do you trust me with this brush?” Obama joked, as he picked up some blue paint and joined the students in decorating a large canvass.

“I think I just went outside the lines,” he said.

Cameron, who was painting alongside Obama, finished his portion first and the students cheered him on with a “hip, hip, hooray!”

“Now I feel bad,” Obama quipped. “I didn’t realize that David was going to move so fast.”

The president later got his own cheer from the children when he finished his painting.

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha, meanwhile, were off exploring their family’s Irish roots. Visiting Trinity College in Dublin on Monday, the first family viewed archives documenting the president’s Irish family tree. President Obama’s great-great-great grandfather was born in the village of Moneygall, where some of his distant relatives still live today.

The president and first lady visited the village in 2011, where the president met his eighth cousin, Henry Healy, who has since become known as “Henry the Eighth.”

“We knew he was my cousin because his ears flapped out just like mine,” Obama joked earlier Monday, as he recalled their visit.

It appears Healy had another opportunity to bond with his famous relatives Monday. “Just met with @FLOTUS & Malia & Sasha,” Healy tweeted from Dublin. “I presented Malia & Sasha with a Cert of Irish Heritage earlier! Great reaction from Sasha ‘I can prove I'm more Irish than my friends now.’”

Healy has been embraced by the first family. He spent St. Patrick’s Day at the White House last year and accompanied the president for a pint at a popular local pub in Washington, D.C.

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