Travel News Update: U. S. President Barack Obama Will Be Visiting Ireland This Week

Ha’penney Bridge, Dublin – Photo Credit,Tourism Ireland

Mr. Obama’s heritage has been traced to the village of Monegall in Co, Offaly.

New York, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. President Barack Obama will receive the warmest of Irish welcomes when he visits the Emerald Isle this week. Hundreds of thousands of well wishers will line the streets as the President makes his first visit to Ireland – home to some of his ancestors. Mr. Obama’s heritage has been traced to the village of Monegall in Co, Offaly. There is a great sense of pride in this tiny picturesque village located at the very center of the island, where preparations are in full swing.

Canon Stephen Neill, Local Church of Ireland Vicar, “Since St. Patrick’s Day when the announcement was made that he was actually coming to Moneygall, since then it has literally been a media storm. My phone never stops ringing. But it is a good story, we are happy to share a good news story with the world. This is something very positive and it’s positive for Ireland too. I think it’s very good that the president has indicated his confidence and interest in Ireland by coming to visit us here and I think it is the kind of boost we need.”

President Obama will become one of eight hundred thousand Americans expected to travel to Ireland this year and his visit is being seen as a great opportunity to encourage more U.S. vacationers to make the trip in 2011.

Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland, “We have huge connections with America and we look forward to deepening those in years to come and giving a warm Irish welcome to all the Americans that come here. There are 40 million people of Irish decent in America and we think they are going to be thrilled that President Obama is coming here and the genealogical connection is an indelible one and we are delighted that president Obama is coming here to discover his roots with us in Ireland.”

Fiona Fitzsimons, Genealogist, Eneclann, “Well, we traced back nine generations from the president, so we took Megan Smolenyak’s work and we took it back another four generations again, tracing it back to the late 1600s and that’s a real achievement in Irish Genealogy because so many of the records have been destroyed over the previous 300 years. The thing to remember as well, is that the president’s family, they weren’t rich, they weren’t anglo Irish, they were simply a regular family and to be able to trace them back was really quite something.”

President’s Obama direct descendents are looking forward to welcoming home their famous family member.

Henry Healy, distant relative of the president, “We hope he will come and visit the school house behind me where his ancestors were educated. The ancestral home still stands in the village, that’s another important site, also Templeharry church. So there are three important sites within the area for anyone to come and visit, and of course it wouldn’t be a presidential visit to Ireland without a traditional stop off in the local pub for a pint of Guinness.”

During his stay President Obama will also visit the capital city of Dublin where a huge celebration rally is planned.

For more info on visiting the island of Ireland check out –

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